Julie Chen Got Plastic Surgery Because Her "Asian Eyes" Hurt Her Career

The 5 hosts of The speak are divulging secrets all week. once Julie Chen’s flip visited, she started by showing a clip of her 25-year-old self newscasting for a neighborhood network in urban center, Ohio. “The downside was within the solution!” 25-year-old subgenus Chen chirped. She looked great: poised, expressive, already in command.

But, today's subgenus Chen went on to reveal, her boss at the time didn’t suppose thus. once the industrious subgenus Chen offered to fill sure leisure anchors over the vacations, he gave it to her straight. “You can ne'er air this anchor table, as a result of you are Chinese,” she recollects him telling her.

“He same 'Let's face it Julie, however relatable area unit you to our community? however huge of AN Asian community can we very have in Dayton? ... On high of that as a result of your heritage, as a result of your Asian eyes, I've noticed that once you are on camera, once you area unit interviewing somebody you look fair and bored as a result of your eyes are thus serious, they're thus tiny.'"

Chen’s reaction was heartbreaking: She developed a deep insecurity round her eyes. She started tape recording her segments on a tape machine and enjoying them back at the top of the workday, evaluating the heaviness of her lids. tho' she knew her boss was being racist, she upset he may be right concerning her career. once a “big time agent” refused to represent her unless she “got cosmetic surgery to create [her] eyes look bigger”—the man then “whipped out an inventory of plastic surgeons” and warranted her a number of swipes of the surgical knife would take her “straight to the top”—Chen determined to travel for it.

“I can say, once I had that done, the ball did roll on behalf of me. that I struggle with. You know, wow. Did I give up to 'the man' and do this?” she asks the women of The speak.

On cue, they uncork the validation: “Fabulous!” “More expressive!” “It was the correct issue to try and do.” subgenus Chen points out that she currently appearance “more alert,” and Sheryl undergrowth lauds her for “representing [her] individuals, [her] race, women, and [her] colleagues.” Sara Gilbert tells her she is gorgeous and brave.

“My womb-to-tomb dream was to at least one day be a network news anchor,” subgenus Chen reveals early within the phase. may|you'll|you may} argue that subgenus Chen sacrificed one a part of herself to avoid wasting another; that she ultimately achieved a platform from that she could advance our conversations concerning race additional effectively than if she’d remained obscure. and positively her talking concerning this currently will that. however career aspirations shouldn't have needed her to tone down her quality. "No one's additional happy with being Chinese than i'm," subgenus Chen told her colleagues. The approach she talks concerning her previous eyelids—“too a lot of fat,” “excess skin”—doesn’t quite line up thereupon statement. i'm wondering however she'd feel concerning those eyes if they were still hers?

The pressure subgenus Chen moon-faced was vile, unfair—and value resisting. we all know the problem: racism. however also: the matter was within the resolution.

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