Wednesday on The Talk, Julie Chen proved that she's not so different from the numerous women in South Korea famous for trying to "Americanize" their faces when she revealed that, early on in her career, she got plastic surgery to make her look less Asian.
Chen said that when she was working at WDTN-TV in the '90s, she was told by her boss "you will never be on this anchor desk because you're Chinese." (Cool thought bro! Just wait for the lawsuit.) Desperate to get another job, Chen met with an agent who told her, "I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger." So she did it.
Here's Chen's Before and After:
"If you look at the After, the eyes are bigger, I look more alert...more expressive," says Chen. "I will say, after I had that done, the ball did roll for me. Which I struggle with, you know, wow. Did I give in to 'the man' and do this?"
Chen's co-anchor Sheryl Underwood was quick to make it clear to Chen that she "didn't give in to 'the man.' Because you didn't know about giving in to 'the man'", implying that Chen couldn't truly know about racial pressures because she's not black. (Chen responded, "Fair enough!") "You didn't do that. You made a choice that was good for you and you have represented people, you've represented your race, you've represented women and your colleagues. Don't look back."
Sharon Osbourne, the queen of plastic surgery, agreed. When Chen first described getting the surgery, Osbourne exclaimed "Fabulous!" like she had discovered there was a sale on purple eye shadow at Sephora. Later she added, "I think it was the right thing to do."
Only Sara Gilbert showed any real indication that Chen's choice might not have been the best thing ever. "I think you were beautiful before, you are beautiful now and it's really whatever makes you happy."