Julie Chen of “The Talk” announced on the television show that she had plastic surgery in the past to change the appearance of her eyes. The decision to get the procedure done came about because one of her former bosses felt her eyes looked too Asian and that she would go much farther in her career if she were to modify them.

Julie Chen

Originally from New York, Chen received her broadcast journalism degree from the University of Southern California. It was at her first news anchor job in Dayton, Ohio, where she was encouraged to get plastic surgery and she eventually went along with the idea. She went on to host several shows on CBS, including The Early Show and the United States version of Big Brother. Chen is of Chinese descent and has gotten mixed reactions from the Asian American community in regard to her decision to change her looks.


The surgical procedure that Chen had done is called Blepharoplasty and is often performed to correct deformities and imperfections of the eyelids. While the surgery can achieve tasks like decreasing the excess fat in the eyelids and remove bags under the eyes, Chen had it done to create double-creased eyelids. Most Asians are not born with these types of eyelids and the single eyelid is most commonly associated with individuals from certain Asian nationalities.

The Issue at Hand

Having to change one’s image, or anything else about themselves in order to meet certain standards of society, is always a sensitive issue. The original idea that Chen would do better as a broadcast journalist if she would just change the way that she looks instead of getting ahead on her abilities, is a troubling reality that is still around to this day. Talking about the fact that she was asked to get the surgery, is good for opening a public discussion that could lead to an improvement in attitudes and perceptions regarding appearances.


Chen received immediate support from her co-hosts on The Talk who felt she did the right thing by making a move to improve her career opportunities. Others have also applauded Chen for putting a spotlight on the fact that people are often pressured to conform to society’s ideas of what beauty is. While much of the reaction has been positive, some have been critical of Chen and her decision. Others in the Asian American community have accused her of denying her Chinese heritage and trying to live up to western standards of beauty, to which Chen came on the air and denied.

The confession by Chen about her plastic surgery has turned out to be a bigger deal in the public’s eye than even she expected. It points to the larger issue that many of us have with race and perceived beauty, which still needs to improve. This entire discussing could be a step in the right direction and could help others deal with personal image issues.

Image Source: ABC News

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Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel
Dr. Jeffrey SpiegelWith special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor. Learn more....

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel
Dr. Onir L. SpiegelDr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry. Learn more....