Julie Chen has recently revealed that some years ago she had to undergo plastic surgery. The reason that she went under the knife was because her heritable features weren’t up to par with the current network, or any network for that matter. Her Asian features, pulled back eyes, heavy eyelids, and wide nose, weren’t relatable with the Ohio community she was longing to broadcast to. She decided she would never work for them again, and got herself an agent. To her surprise, the agent told her the same thing. She needed to “Americanize” herself basically. Plastic surgery became the only option that would give her, her dream job. After many talks with her family, she realized that strict Asian values would deem her to be unworthy among her extended family. Either way she was at a loss. With the approval of her parents, she flew to California to undergo plastic surgery. Now, she is a well known personality in the news as well as TV overall.
As a Mexican, I unfortunately can’t identify myself with many immigrants. I grew up in a border town, learning to speak English while living in Mexico, and not fulfilling the “Hispanic” look that categorizes my race. I personally don’t know what I would do if I was in Chen’s shoes. On one hand, I would be infuriated by the fact that I have to look a certain way to execute a service to the public. On the other hand, I wouldn’t let something like that stop me from fulfilling a career that, as an immigrant, was harder to accomplish than others.
What I found shocking is that foreigners are still under a certain stigma. Many Americans describe this country as a melting pot. Knowing it is a melting pot of cultures, why is there still so much prejudice towards and even among immigrants. I am sure that by now, people realize that there is a big Asian, Latino, African American, and Middle Eastern community among them. So why this pressure to “Americanize” your looks to be more liked by the public? The chances the viewer will be an immigrant is likely to be very high.