Julie Chen Admits to Having Plastic Surgery to Look Less Chinese
The Chinese-American got a little teary-eyed Wednesday she she recalled the time her boss refused to let her appear on camera as an anchor because of her Asian appearance.
"My secret dates back to — my heart is racing — it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio," she recalled.
"I asked my news director … over the holidays if anchors want to take vacations, could I fill in? And he said, 'You will never be on this anchor desk, because you're Chinese.' He said 'Let's face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community? 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.'"
Chen then went on to explain that she had approached an agent later on, and he too told her to change her look in order to help her find jobs.
"So I started meeting with agents for career advice, and this one big-time agent basically told me the same thing. He had the biggest names in the business. And he told me the same thing. He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look better.' He then whips out a list of plastic surgeons who have done this procedure," she said.
"But the agent said, 'You're good at what you do. And if you get this plastic surgery done, you're going straight to the top.'"
"And after I had it done, the ball did roll for me," she added. "And I wondered, did I give into the man?"
According to the 43-year-old, the her family was completely behind her with the procedure, which trimmed down the excess skin found above the eyelids in almost half of the Asian population.
"I have to live with every decision that I've made," Chen concluded. "And it got me to where we are today. And I'm not going to look back."