According to ABC News on Saturday, popular talk show host Julie Chen of CBS’ “The Talk” admitted to her co-hosts and audience that she was talked into having eye surgery in the past to look less Asian and more acceptable to American television audiences.
Chen, who has also been on television programs “Big Brother and “The Early Show,” was talking during Secret Week on “The Talk” that she bowed to the pressures of the television industry many years ago to change her looks via plastic surgery. It was some-20 years ago that she worked in Dayton, Ohio as a local reporter and had her eyes on the anchor’s job. At the time, she was only 25 years old. According to Chen, she was told by her boss that she would never be an anchor at that station because she is Chinese because, her superior felt, she wasn’t relatable to the viewing community of the news outlet. She was also told by him that when she was interviewing people on camera, she looked disinterested and bored because her eyes – to him – looked so heavy and so small. With those words, Chen said she developed a complex due to the obvious racism in the workplace.
To confirm the television station boss’ opinion, she found that when she met with agents for career advice, she heard that agents refused to represent her unless she got plastic surgery to make her eyes look bigger. That’s when she ultimately decided to change her appearance. She said that her career began to take off after she changed her looks.
While her family was initially divided over her decision to look less Asian or Chinese, she said she doesn’t like to live with regrets. “I did it, I moved on,” she said, while concluding that “no one’s more proud of being Chinese than I am.”