Sep. 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM ET
The hosts of "The Talk" have been spilling secrets this week, but Julie Chen's confession might be the most shocking of all.
On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the 43-year-old Chinese-American revealed that in the beginning of her career, she got plastic surgery to make her eyes look bigger.
"My secret dates back to — my heart is racing — it dates back to when I was 25 years old and I was working as a local news reporter in Dayton, Ohio," she said. "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.'"
"He said, 'Let's face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we have in Dayton?'" she recalled. "'On top of that, because of your Asian eyes, I've noticed that when you're on camera, you look disinterested and bored.'"
Flexible Video Widget"Well, fast forward, I'm like I need to get another job — if I can — so I start meeting with agents for career advice," she said. "This one big-time agent basically told me the same thing. He said, 'I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger."
Chen discussed the surgery with her parents, and with their support, she went under the knife. "And after I had it done, the ball did roll for me," she said. "And I wondered, did I give in to the man?"
"I have to live with every decision that I've made," she said. "And it got me to where we are today. And I'm not going to look back."