'Big Brother' host Julie Chen's eye surgery: How her mother reacted to her revelation
The "Big Brother" host revealed that she had surgery to make her eyes look bigger after a former news director told her that she would never make it to the anchor desk because of her "Asian eyes," and she received an email from her mother after her appearance on the talk show. "She wrote, 'I am so happy about your secret story,'" Chen tells People Magazine. "'It is good that you brought it out and let people know that it is wrong to judge the book by its cover and it is obnoxious to discriminate against other races.'"
As for the other responses since her "The Talk" appearance, Chen wasn't expecting the reaction she's been getting. "The response has been a bit overwhelming," Chen says. "When I decided to reveal this, I thought it would only create dialogue in the Asian community, as it's been a hot topic through the years for us ... I thought those who are not Asian simply would not understand the issue and would not be interested."
Chen does want her critics to know that she never meant to look "less Asian." "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," Chen says. "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 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."