Julie Chen never predicted that her plastic surgery secret would become such a hot topic. And yet, after she revealed the news during an episode of The Talk last week, the 43-year-old has been inundated with tweets condemning her decision to go under the knife. Chen addressed the controversy during the Sept. 16 episode of her CBS daytime talk show.
"I wasn't surprised that there would be haters judging me for what I did. What was hurtful was that the hateful comments that I read where people were judging me were people within my own community," she said. "It was comments like, ‘Way to give in to the Western standards of beauty.' ‘You're denying your heritage. You're trying to look less Asian.' Guess what? I don't look less Chinese! I'm not fooling anybody here."
Chen said that while her family already knew about her cosmetic procedure, they didn't know it was private information.
"I got a phone call the next morning after I revealed my secret, and it was a conference call from my sister and my cousin, and they were like, ‘Uh, that was your secret? We've been telling our friends for years that you had plastic surgery.' I was like, ‘Thanks!'" she recalled. "But I also got an email from another cousin who's much younger than me and she didn't know. She was like, ‘Wow, I didn't know that was your secret.' Because she was too young, you know, and we didn't want to bring her into the family politics and drama."
In a separate interview with People, Chen said she never would have considered plastic surgery if she wasn't a TV journalist. "I am sorry to hear some within my own community are still judging me and don't agree with a decision I made for myself, which had nothing to do with denying my heritage," she told the magazine. "I want people to understand that there are Asians born with the crease I had surgically done to my eyes, so the goal was never to look less Asian."
The Big Brother host added, "The goal was to simply have bigger eyes so the camera didn't make me look sleepy, bored, angry or disinterested in my interviews. The goal was to look, in my opinion, more alert and more interested on camera for my work/career."