Julie Chen: Plastic Surgery Confession and Controversy on ‘The Talk’

September 11, 2013

Julie Chen, host of ‘Big Brother’ confessed on ‘The Talk’ — where she is a co-host — that she got plastic surgery to open her eyes and make her look less Chinese.

Her sudden revelation was part of the season premiere week of CBS’ ‘The Talk’ in which each of the co-hosts were taking turns revealing a secret live on television. Earlier in the week, Sharon Osbourne had stunned the world as she talked about her affair with Jay Leno, host of ‘The Tonight Show.’

When it was the 43-year-old Julie Chen’s turn to reveal a secret, she told the story of why and how she chose to undergo the controversial eye surgery. She said that when she was a local TV news reporter in Dayton, Ohio, the news director told that she would never sit at the anchor desk because she was Chinese. He told her that the audience wouldn’t be able to relate to her because she was “not like them.”

She spoke of the impact of his words — a “dagger” to her heart she said — that dashed her dreams of becoming a national news anchor and she was left feeling insecure. When she decided it was time to move on and find another job, an agent told her that had to get cosmetic surgery that would open up her eyes and make them look bigger and less Asian if she wanted to be successful.

She was tearful as she recalled the reaction of family members over the surgery that some Asians condemn and see as a person’s willful abandonment of their identity and heritage. She some of her family would disown her if she got the surgery. She spoke of how conflicted she felt, saying, ‘I thought, ‘Get it done; my dreams come true for my career. Don’t get it done; who knows what becomes of me?'”

Ultimately, she said that her parents supported her decision and she underwent the surgery. A search of Julie Chen’s before and after photos reveal just how dramatically the procedure altered her appearance. This, no doubt, will spark much discussion as to what is the price of success. Is a surgical obliteration of one’s ethnic features a price that’s too high?

But what did Julie Chen herself have to say? Does she think she made the right choice?

Still live on daytime television she reflected aloud saying she didn’t like to live with regrets. “I did it. I moved on,” she said. “No one is more proud of being Chinese than I am and I have to live with the decision I have made.”

You can see the video of her confession below.

Pictures: PR Photos

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