Julie Chen's recent admission that she received double eyelid surgery to advance her career continues to spark reaction. On Wednesday's episode of CBS' "The Talk," where Chen is co-host, the television personality said that she chose to have blepharoplasty (double eyelid surgery) after her supervisor at an Ohio news station told her in the 1990s that she would never be an anchor there unless she did something about her eyes. She recalled him telling her:
"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."
When a well-connected agent reinforced the offensive message by telling her he would not represent her unless she altered her appearance, Chen told her parents that she was considering blepharoplasty and soon after went on to have the procedure. Blepharoplasty creates a fold in the eyelid, resulting in eyes that appear bigger and more rounded. After she had the procedure, Chen says that her career took off.
Now the Dayton news station that Chen worked at when she underwent double eyelid surgery has apologized for her experience there. "We are sorry to hear about what happened to CBS' Julie Chen in 1995 when she was a reporter at WDTN-TV," Joe Abouzeid, WDTN and WBDT president and general manager said in a statement. "The station was under different management and ownership during that time. At WDTN and WBDT, we don't tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind."
While the station has apologized to Chen, members of the public have not been so sympathetic to the chat show host. During her confession Chen wondered if she "gave in to the man." Angry Asian Man blogger Phil Yu said that she "kind of did," but he went on to say that blepharoplasty is so sought after in Asian countries such as South Korea that Chen's confession would not have raised any eyebrows there (no pun intended). Others said that Chen's decision to have eyelid surgery wasn't solely about her racial heritage because she appears to have had a number of other cosmetic procedures as well.
What are your thoughts on Chen's confession? She said that her decision to have eyelid surgery divided her family members. If you felt that your career would remain at a standstill unless you altered some aspect of your appearance, would you cave and get plastic surgery?