Julie Chen‘s face is one recognizable to many viewers who watch “Big Brother” and “The Talk.” But in a frank revelation, Chen reveals to her “The Talk” colleagues that she once had very different features, but had plastic surgery to make herself look less “Asian.”
When Chen was 25, she says her boss at a news station in Dayton, Ohio told her that her eyes were part of the reason she wasn’t getting ahead in her career. “He said, ‘Let’s face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community?'” she reveals on “The Talk.” “‘How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton? On top of that, because of your Asian eyes, I’ve noticed that when you’re on camera, you look disinterested and bored.'”
Later, an agent told Chen that he could not represent her “unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.” That was the final straw for Chen, who decided to have a procedure to change the shape of her eyes. The below image shows a side-by-side of Chen before and after her surgery.
“If you look at the After, the eyes are bigger, I look more alert, more expressive,” says Chen. “I sometimes wonder. I will say, after I had that done, the ball did roll for me. Which I struggle with, Wow. Did I give in to ‘the man’ and do this?”
She adds, “I don’t like to live with regrets. I did it, I moved on. No one’s more proud of being Chinese than I am.”