September 17th, 2013
03:15 PM ET
On Monday's "The Talk," co-host Julie Chen responded to those who've criticized her decision to have eye surgery early on in her career.
As the TV personality explained last week on the CBS daytime program, her "secret" was that she'd undergone surgery after a boss told her she wouldn't make it in the business because her eyes were too small.
Her honesty has ignited a conversation about plastic surgery, beauty ideals and ethnicity, and some of the reaction Chen expected. Some of it, though, has been particularly tough to stomach.
"I wasn't surprised that there would be haters judging me for what I did, but what was hurtful was that the hateful comments that I've read, where people were judging me, were people within my own community," Chen said. "It was comments like, 'way to give in to the Western standards of beauty,' 'you're denying your heritage, you're trying to look less Asian.'"
But, Chen argues, she still looks Chinese - "I'm not fooling anybody here," she said. "That's No. 1. No. 2, half of us Asians are born with the double eyelid. ... It wasn't denying my heritage."
When she first revealed her secret, Chen admitted that she has wondered whether she "gave into the man" by electing to surgically alter her eyes. But in the end, she said, "I don't like to live with regrets. I did it, I moved on, and no one's more proud of being Chinese than I am."
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