Julie Chen plastic surgery

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
Julie Chen plastic surgery

There has been a lot of talk the past few days since Julie Chen revealed she had plastic surgery to look less Asian in order to further her career. Do you think there is anything wrong with what she did? Do you think she sold out her heritage as some have suggested?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I don't see anything wrong with what she did and no, she didn't 'sell out her heritage'. Herself maybe, but she doesn't owe anyone an explanation or apology for it.

If people feel justified in tweeting that the new Miss America (of Indian heritage) 'looks like a terrorist', or that how dare they crown an 'ARAB' or any of the other nauseating racist crap that's going around about her, I can totally see how another Asian woman in the public eye might feel better about not looking so 'ethnic'. It's a shame Chen felt she had to resort to plastic surgery, but the blame can't be placed on this woman's choice to alter her appearance.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

I don't think there is anything wrong with it either. She did what she felt she needed to do for her career, and evidently it worked. I don't think she overdid it or anything. I mean look at Barbara Walters and all the work she has done and no one says a word. It amazes me every time I see her that she is just a little over a year younger than my Mom (who actually looks 85).

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I'm okay with her personal decision because I think that we each should have the right to make those decisions about our own bodies. Having said that, if society is putting pressure on people to look "less Asian" then I think that's definitely effed up.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I don't see anything wrong with what she did and no, she didn't 'sell out her heritage'. Herself maybe, but she doesn't owe anyone an explanation or apology for it.

Agreed. I don't think her eyes look "less Asian," they just look more like she's finally had a good night's sleep, and that's a better look on most people. I had a friend, who is Caucasian, who had eyelids like that and when she had hers done, she said that she was tired of being thought of having a hangover. Julie Chen also looks like she had a nose job, which has nothing to do with looking less Asian, but has everything to do with our society's perception of what is good looking. Ditching the mandarin-style top probably helped with her climb to the top, too!

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I don't think there is anything wrong with it either. She did what she felt she needed to do for her career, and evidently it worked. I don't think she overdid it or anything. I mean look at Barbara Walters and all the work she has done and no one says a word. It amazes me every time I see her that she is just a little over a year younger than my Mom (who actually looks 85).

We'll never know if it worked or not. Wasn't it suggested that Barbra Streisand get a nose job to "further her career"? She opted not to due to her singing voice. Celebrities are criticized all the time for their Botox-gone-bad and plastic surgery failures.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Have you all read the story in why she did it? She was basically told by her boss that she had to because her Asian eyes made her look disinterested and not engaged and they would hold back her career. She was also told that she would never be an anchor there.

The pressure that was put on her to change her face was wrong. And I will say it, the fact that she complied with it was not helpful to changing things, it was the opposite...it caters to a mentality that would have been better to reject.

I don't however place much blame on her for doing it. As the victim of such racism, she wasn't in a very powerful position to do the braver thing and resist such pressure...she had the most to lose. I put a lot more blame on her employer, who also may not have been in a easy spot...his assessment of the situation might have been accurate, however we could excuse all sorts of bad choices away because they are 'tough'. The truly right thing to do would have been to take a risk and not feed whatever judgments might already exist in society by forcing his employees to conform to some racist standard.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I don't think there is anything wrong with it either. She did what she felt she needed to do for her career, and evidently it worked. I don't think she overdid it or anything. I mean look at Barbara Walters and all the work she has done and no one says a word. It amazes me every time I see her that she is just a little over a year younger than my Mom (who actually looks 85).

I think there is plenty of opinion that the pressure put on women to meet some beauty and youth standard is wrong. This is just adding racism to the sexism. I think its not great to blame the victims but i would give kudos to any woman, asian or not who was willing to try to resist our inappropriate standards of what someone should look like

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Spacers" wrote:

Agreed. I don't think her eyes look "less Asian," they just look more like she's finally had a good night's sleep, and that's a better look on most people. I had a friend, who is Caucasian, who had eyelids like that and when she had hers done, she said that she was tired of being thought of having a hangover. Julie Chen also looks like she had a nose job, which has nothing to do with looking less Asian, but has everything to do with our society's perception of what is good looking. Ditching the mandarin-style top probably helped with her climb to the top, too!

Charlie Roses eyes look tired and small..i can't see where he's really looking sometimes. I wonder if he has ever been pressured to get plastic surgery done. Never seemed to hurt his career any that he didn't

Julie Chen was not told that she looked tired. She was told she woudln't get an anchor job because she is Chinese...that her community couldn't relate to her because of her heritage and because her Asian eyes made her look bored.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

Also the comparison shown in the first post doesn't look quite as dramatic as the one she showed on the day she talked about this.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

If she was told to do it then I think it was wrong. But if she chose to do it herself then I think it was a personal decision.

Is it possible that she was also seeking the surgery to improve her vision? My cousin who was adopted from China has had the same surgery because her peripheral vision was being hindered.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

It wasn't her vision. It was her choice as in she wasn't forced to do it but she was told that she wouldn't get hired if she looked too Chinese, and that her natural eyes made her look disinterested.

I don't fault her for being young and ambitious and wanting to succeed but I fault the racists who said she wouldn't work without it (or wouldn't hire her) and our creepy society for such a racist, narrow view of tv-friendly looks. I hope we're less like that now, and that there aren't Asian women feeling like they have to do this to succeed anymore.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

It wasn't her vision. It was her choice as in she wasn't forced to do it but she was told that she wouldn't get hired if she looked too Chinese, and that her natural eyes made her look disinterested.

I don't fault her for being young and ambitious and wanting to succeed but I fault the racists who said she wouldn't work without it (or wouldn't hire her) and our creepy society for such a racist, narrow view of tv-friendly looks. I hope we're less like that now, and that there aren't Asian women feeling like they have to do this to succeed anymore.

Unfortunately i have seen a lot of comments from people today excusing it or trying to say that this isn't even a racism issue. That doesn't leave me very hopeful....although i do think its probably better than it was back then, i don't think its entirely a non-issue either.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"KimPossible" wrote:

Have you all read the story in why she did it? She was basically told by her boss that she had to because her Asian eyes made her look disinterested and not engaged and they would hold back her career. She was also told that she would never be an anchor there.

The pressure that was put on her to change her face was wrong. And I will say it, the fact that she complied with it was not helpful to changing things, it was the opposite...it caters to a mentality that would have been better to reject.

I don't however place much blame on her for doing it. As the victim of such racism, she wasn't in a very powerful position to do the braver thing and resist such pressure...she had the most to lose. I put a lot more blame on her employer, who also may not have been in a easy spot...his assessment of the situation might have been accurate, however we could excuse all sorts of bad choices away because they are 'tough'. The truly right thing to do would have been to take a risk and not feed whatever judgments might already exist in society by forcing his employees to conform to some racist standard.

I got tired of reading what other people say Julie Chen said and I watched the video last night from "The Talk" website. She says that the station manager told her that she wouldn't be on the anchor desk because she is Chinese and that he thought she looked disinterested & bored. She does not say that he told her she needed eye surgery. It was an agent she hired for career advice who told her that he would not represent her if she didn't have eye surgery, and who may have been getting a kickback for the referral. That is far different than an employer telling you to do it.

And I would say that she *was* in a powerful position. Even though the station manager wasn't the one who told her to have eye surgery, his saying she wouldn't be on the anchor desk because she's Chinese is outright racism -- and she says that on the show! She didn't do that, nor did she pursue jobs at other stations, or in other cities, or seek out a different agent. Instead, she stayed at that station for a year and developed a complex about herself that led her to decide that eye surgery was the best decision. Racism is illegal, and she could have (should have?) filed a discrimination complaint against that employer, which may have opened the door without her feeling she needed to resort to surgery.

But what it comes down to, is that she did what she thought she should do for her career, and she did not do anything about the racism that made her feel that way. I'm glad the station has apologized & pointed out that this would never happen today. We've made a lot of progress against racism since 1995.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Spacers" wrote:

I got tired of reading what other people say Julie Chen said and I watched the video last night from "The Talk" website. She says that the station manager told her that she wouldn't be on the anchor desk because she is Chinese and that he thought she looked disinterested & bored. She does not say that he told her she needed eye surgery. It was an agent she hired for career advice who told her that he would not represent her if she didn't have eye surgery, and who may have been getting a kickback for the referral. That is far different than an employer telling you to do it.

What? no its not. Its all racism...it doesn't matter if it comes from an employer or the agent. Why does it matter who it comes from...they are both telling her the same thing. "You look too Asian, therefore i can't work with you (or help support your career goals)"

This is a weird thing to nitpick IMO....the issue was the pressure put on her to be 'less asian' and conform to some sort of western standard of feminine beauty.

And I would say that she *was* in a powerful position. Even though the station manager wasn't the one who told her to have eye surgery, his saying she wouldn't be on the anchor desk because she's Chinese is outright racism -- and she says that on the show! She didn't do that, nor did she pursue jobs at other stations, or in other cities, or seek out a different agent. Instead, she stayed at that station for a year and developed a complex about herself that led her to decide that eye surgery was the best decision. Racism is illegal, and she could have (should have?) filed a discrimination complaint against that employer, which may have opened the door without her feeling she needed to resort to surgery.

She was not in a powerful position...she had a ton to lose if she decided to do that. It would have been commendable for her to pursue that...but lets not pretend there was no great risk to her life goals and ambitions by going this route and alienating herself from the industry. Victims of racism are NOT in a powerful position. They have to sacrifice the most if they want to contribute to the fight against racism. It irks me that you are trying to even argue this.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I agree with Kim.

She was at the beginning of her career, trying to get on-air....this is not a position of power. Discrimination is hard to prove, harder back then, and complaints like that can make you unhire-able. I think it's a sad story all around.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

It is unfortunate that this happens, but I think it is common even today. Maybe not that they would boldly say it was because of her race, but people on TV are expected to look a certain way if they want to keep their jobs. Whether that means plastic surgery, a diet so drastic you are borderline anorexic, liposuction or whatever. It is a very high pressure industry with heavy focus on looks.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

It is unfortunate that this happens, but I think it is common even today. Maybe not that they would boldly say it was because of her race, but people on TV are expected to look a certain way if they want to keep their jobs. Whether that means plastic surgery, a diet so drastic you are borderline anorexic, liposuction or whatever. It is a very high pressure industry with heavy focus on looks.

Well yes, we have this issue of beauty in general..but I think its fair to point out that dismissing an entire race's pretty typical/identifying features as being unappealing is particularly bothersome and an indicator of even bigger problems then just our society's obsession with beauty. I do agree with others that it is probably better now than it was back then.

Well maybe not better, just that the groups of people who fall victim to these problems are different. I think South Asians have more problems than Eastern Asians these days. Take the Miss America thing for example.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I watch big brother.. so yes I did notice.. it was a dramatic difference in her nose.. I didn't notice the eye difference.. I did notice her face was more angular and less round. I am not sure why she did it.. she does have the money to do it.. and it is keeping someone employed.. I guess I shouldn't complain. But how far is ok and what line we draw at too much varies from person to person. I would like to get liposuction myself.. and maybe a boob job... WHY? to feel more comfortable in our society. It is all controlled by society I think.. unless we are talking a medical issue.. ie soo overweight that your knees and feet are hurting to much.. or breast reduction because of back pain.. Etc etc. or reconstructive after a bad accident to be able to function. (however some reconstructive surgery is also controlled by societal views of "normal" and "beautiful". Also just because something is influenced even heavily by societal norms and you do it doesn't make your doing it wrong/sinful etc.. It is just important I think to understand how where we live and who we associate with has a baring on what we do.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"Rivergallery" wrote:

I watch big brother.. so yes I did notice.. it was a dramatic difference in her nose.. I didn't notice the eye difference.. I did notice her face was more angular and less round. I am not sure why she did it.. she does have the money to do it.. and it is keeping someone employed.. I guess I shouldn't complain. But how far is ok and what line we draw at too much varies from person to person. I would like to get liposuction myself.. and maybe a boob job... WHY? to feel more comfortable in our society. It is all controlled by society I think.. unless we are talking a medical issue.. ie soo overweight that your knees and feet are hurting to much.. or breast reduction because of back pain.. Etc etc. or reconstructive after a bad accident to be able to function. (however some reconstructive surgery is also controlled by societal views of "normal" and "beautiful". Also just because something is influenced even heavily by societal norms and you do it doesn't make your doing it wrong/sinful etc.. It is just important I think to understand how where we live and who we associate with has a baring on what we do.

So are you saying that its okay for us to say that asians are not appealing to the eye because we live in the US and are not somewhere in Asia? Like "Well, she lives in the US...of course she has(had) the wrong face"

?? (yes i'm putting words in your mouth so i expect you to say thats not what you meant, but i'm looking for the alternative explanation to what your point actually is)

ETA: i just watched a video (because the link was on the front page of msn) and she has never had any plastic surgery aside from her eyes

http://tv.msn.com/video/tv/?g=54c3498e-8c44-4f74-9ee2-3193b841d6df&from=en-us_msnhp

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"KimPossible" wrote:

Well yes, we have this issue of beauty in general..but I think its fair to point out that dismissing an entire race's pretty typical/identifying features as being unappealing is particularly bothersome and an indicator of even bigger problems then just our society's obsession with beauty. I do agree with others that it is probably better now than it was back then.

Well maybe not better, just that the groups of people who fall victim to these problems are different. I think South Asians have more problems than Eastern Asians these days. Take the Miss America thing for example.

I agree with this. It reminds me of how the African American women in the entertainment/beauty industry are more likely to be considered attractive if they have more Euro-centric features (think Halle Barry or Beyonce.) The beauty standards are bad enough, but completely canceling out the typical features of entire races as not being attractive simply because they are "not like white people" takes it to a whole new level of gross.

Plastic surgery in general is something that I'm torn on because I do think that we should all have the right to do make a decision about our body that hopefully makes us happier and more confident. On the other hand, I kind of hate that anyone feels the need to go under the knife to feel happy and confident. I want society to change to be more embracing of differences, rather than taking that decision away from the individuals. And then when you add the racism element into it, it's even worse.

It's kind of weird to me that we seem to say that only certain features can be considered beautiul. Humans seem to be hardwired to notice and enjoy novelty, so you would think that we would really embrace diversity of looks.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

"KimPossible" wrote:

So are you saying that its okay for us to say that asians are not appealing to the eye because we live in the US and are not somewhere in Asia? Like "Well, she lives in the US...of course she has(had) the wrong face"

?? (yes i'm putting words in your mouth so i expect you to say thats not what you meant, but i'm looking for the alternative explanation to what your point actually is)

ETA: i just watched a video (because the link was on the front page of msn) and she has never had any plastic surgery aside from her eyes

Videos on MSN TV

Completely OT, but I would love to have access to a makeup artist like that.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Completely OT, but I would love to have access to a makeup artist like that.

I'd definitely like to try it at least once...just to see what it looks like LOL