There is a saying that goes “Your eyes are the windows to your soul”.
But, if you are an Asian, the windows can either seem like they are just half open or are totally shut closed. Consequently, it can also mean windows of opportunity being slammed closed because of you do not have that alert look that is apparent with those who have bigger and bolder eyes. Such is the case with CBS’ “The Talk” host and broadcaster Julie Chen, who just a couple of months ago revealed on the show that she had double eyelid surgery done.
The Big Reveal
This revelation came when Julie Chen related in an episode of “The Talk” last September that she has plastic surgery done on her eyes to make it bigger and more expressive. Chen shared her story of a time when she was still a reporter at WDTN-TV in Daytona and dreams of becoming an anchorwoman in 1995.
However, her news director told her that this will never happen because of her Asian eyes, saying, “You will never be on this anchor desk, because you’re Chinese. Let’s face it Julie, how relatable are you to our community? How big of an Asian community do we really have in Dayton? On top of that because of your Asian eyes, I’ve noticed that when you’re on camera, when you’re interviewing someone you look disinterested.“
That is the thing about most Asian eyes, typically they do not have the double eyelid crease that Caucasians and Africans have. This makes them look more melancholic, sometimes lacking that pop that makes the face look a lot more alive.
And, Chen got the same reaction when she approached a big-time agent. She was bluntly told of the same thing and that the agent will never represent her. The agent further told her that, “I cannot represent you unless you get plastic surgery to make your eyes look bigger.”
She had the procedure done after careful deliberation, consultation and blessing of her family. She got the support of her family and was even told that they would pay for the surgery and that they would be there for her. “And after I had it done, the ball did roll for me.”
The Culture Situation
However, Julie Chen’s revelation of her plastic surgery sparked a bit of controversy on the reasons why she had the procedure done. Some noted that it showed lack of pride regarding her Chinese heritage. Her confession for having the procedure done connoted that she was only pressured by her agent to make her look more like a Caucasian to get ahead in the job. It further reflected a negative idea of Asians, in general, in getting a double eyelid procedure done that they do it to shed their Asian identity and embrace a more Caucasian appearance.
Dr. Chase Lay, a San Francisco Bay Area plastic surgeon who specializes in procedures for Asians, reacted that, “I think it’s important to note that my patients aren’t feeling cultural pressured to get this procedure. Asian patients make modifications to their appearance for the same reasons people of all races do: to feel more confident and have features that they feel are more attractive.”
It is important to note that, though having big eyes is a physical trait that is more identified with Caucasians and Africans, it does not necessarily mean that Asians who opt to get blepharoplasty, the medical term for double eyelid surgery, want to relinquish their cultural identity to look more like another race. Most are just not happy with their monolid eyes and simply want to enhance their facial features with a more open eyes.
Surprising to know that while blepharoplasty is more common among Asians, it is also as popular with any other race. In Australia, the procedure ranks as one of the most popular surgical procedures done with almost 15,000 cases of double eyelid surgery performed in 2009. While in the US, it is the third most performed procedure done. Dr. Lay even said that the reason behind the popularity of the procedure among Asians is the same reason why double eyelid surgery in general is popular with no connection to wanting to look like another race whatsoever. People, in general, just find bigger eyes more beautiful.
The Further Intrigues
Interestingly enough, further controversies erupted because of her revelation and went to even criticize Chen of possibly having other plastic surgery procedures done aside from making her eyes like bigger. Because of the before and after photos of her shown during the show, viewers have wondered if she also had her nose done. However for this one, she denied that she has ever had rhinoplasty and even added that she did not get chin and cheeks implants and teeth veneers. She said that it was all thanks to the masterful skills of talented make-up artists who contours and makes her face look camera ready.
Despite controversies that sparked after her confession of getting a plastic surgery done, Julie Chen shared that “I have to live with every decision that I’ve made. And it got me to where we are today. And I’m not going to look back.“
If you are living in Australia and have been thinking on getting double eyelid surgery yourself, a free consultation with Dr. Andrew Kim and his team of experts of the Advance Cosmetic in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will allow you to discuss your expectations in getting bigger eyes with a double eyelid surgery.
You never know having the procedure done will allow people to see clear through your eyes and soul and witness the wonderful person that you are.