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The Talk co-host Julie Chen received a mix of praise and empathy after revealing that she had plastic surgery on her eyes on live television earlier this week. Now the longtime journalist explains that her parents are “proud” of her decision to reveal the struggles she endured before having the surgery.
Chen revealed that she had the surgery to enlarge her “Asian Eyes” after being bullied at her place of employment.
“He said, 'Let's face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community?'" she recalled. "'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.'"
Chen confirmed her decision to enlarge her eyes in order to fulfill her dreams of making it big in the world of journalism. Chen, however, knew the revelation wouldn’t come without consequences. In a statement released to Us Weekly Chen explained, “I felt vulnerable and nervous that the haters who hide behind their computers on the Internet would come out and say mean things. And some did. That was expected."
"I was pleasantly surprised by all the supportive emails, tweets, and postings from our show's viewers who are not Asian but told me they understood my story," she continued. "To them I say thank you."
The Big Brother host noted that her strongest support came from her parents.
“I chickened out of telling my mom before the show aired what my secret was," she explained. "I was overwhelmed with love and relief when she sent me an email right after it aired, saying she and my father could not be more proud of me."
Chen noted that at the time when she decided to have the surgery, it divided her family as some felt she was denying her heritage. Despite the pain and heartache she went through beforehand, Chen explained, “Every decision I've made...it got [me] to where we are today, and I'm not going to look back."