It takes a lot of courage to go on national TV and share your deepest secret with millions of strangers -- but that's exactly what the hosts of The Talk have been doing this week. Among the biggest bombshells? Julie Chen's admission that she had plastic surgery almost 20 years ago to make her "Asian eyes" look bigger for TV. Chen, 43, revealed on Friday, Sept. 13, what it was like to get that off her chest and out into the world.
"I felt vulnerable and nervous that the haters who hide behind their computers on the Internet would come out and say mean things," the veteran journalist told Us in a statement from her publicist. "And some did. That was expected."
Those negative reactions, though, were balanced out by an overwhelming amount of support. "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 Chinese-American television personality also got encouragement from some folks a little closer to home. "I chickened out of telling my mom before the show aired what my secret was," she confessed. "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's parents, in fact, helped her cope with the secret the first time around. Speaking on Wednesday, Sept. 11, about undergoing plastic surgery as an aspiring young anchor in Dayton, Ohio, she told her co-hosts on The Talk that she and her family had agonized over the decision.
"We had a long conversation about if it would be denying my heritage," she explained. "You know, my mom calls one auntie, my father calls an uncle...it spread to my entire family. It divided the family. Members of my family wanted to disown me if I got it done."
Even so, she has no regrets. "No one's more proud of being Chinese than I am," she said on Wednesday. "And I have to live with the decisions I've made. Every decision I've made...it got [me] to where we are today, and I'm not going to look back."