Julie Chen Opens Up About Going Under The Knife To Look Less Chinese

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Julie Chen
Television host Julie Chen arrives for a special screening of CBS' new comedies during a celebration of "National TV Dinner Day," in Los Angeles, California, September 10, 2013.

Julie Chen, one of the co-hosts of CBS’s “The Talk,” opened up about going under the knife to advance her career on Wednesday’s episode of the show.

Chen said on the show that she decided to undergo plastic surgery at the age of 25 when she was working as a reporter with a local news channel in Dayton, Ohio.

After showing the audience a clip of what she looked like during the time, Chen proceeded to elaborate on how her dream of landing a job as a news anchor was quashed by a news director, who said she would never get the job because of her Asian looks.

“So, 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.”

Following this incident, Chen started asking agents for career advice, and one of them echoed an opinion similar to the one voiced by her news director, and suggested that she get surgery done on her eyes to make them look better.

“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,'” Chen told the audience.

Chen’s decision to go under the knife, she said on the show, caused friction in her family as they believed she was ashamed of her heritage.

“Eventually, my mom said, 'You wouldn’t have brought this up to me unless this was something that you wanted to do.' And they told me that they'd support me, and they'd pay for it, and that they'd be there for me," Chen said.

The talk show host revealed that things improved on the career front after the surgery, and added that she does not regret her decision.

“No one is more proud of being Chinese than I am and I have to live with the decision I have made,” Chen said. 

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