AceShowbiz - %cJulie Chen% was met with sympathy and outrage after admitting to go under the knife at the beginning of her career to make her eyes "look bigger" and less "Chinese." The "Big Brother" presenter opened up about the eyes surgery on her other show "The Talk" as part of host reveals on its new-season premiere week.
The Asian American Journalists Association was among those who applauded Chen for telling her story, which became a reminder "of the daily struggles Asian Americans face in the workplace across all industries, not just in broadcast journalism."
"Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the country. But Asian Americans issues are still rarely covered. Similarly, few newsrooms reflect this diversity among their staff. AAJA was founded more than three decades ago because of this problem. Ms. Chen's story is an all-too real reminder of how crucial our mission remains today," the AAJA said in a statement.
Some, however, called her out for succumbing to racial pressures. "You looked fine b4," a Twitter user @Autumnbaby_NYC wrote. "Too bad the self-hate & white-worship bug that plagues so many Asian Women bit u too. #sellout." @AMuller6 posted, "Julie Chen: I got surgery for my 'Asian eyes' BS Julie. How about don't sell out? Weak."
Chen previously revealed her struggle as "a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio." She remembered, "I asked my news director [if] 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. ... because of your Asian eyes, I've noticed that when you're on camera, you look disinterested and bored.' "
"He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger,' " Chen continued recounting her story. "And after I had it done, the ball did roll for me. ... And I wondered, did I give in to the man?" But "I will say this ... I don't like to live with regrets," she added. "I did it, I moved on, no one's more proud of being Chinese than I am, and I have to live with the decisions I have made. That's my secret."