Vixen Vent: Identifying with Julie Chen’s Pressure to Look ‘More White’


I’d be lying like a rug if I told you I’ve always loved the way I look. The journey from pubescent preteen to 20-something vixen was paved with embarrassing weight gain, regretful fashion choices and awkward encounters with the opposite sex. But more than anything, learning to love my physical self was the biggest struggle. As the daughter of a white mother and black father, I always wished I inherited the slim nose and green eyes of the former. I was programmed to think the European faces I saw in magazines and on television were the beautiful people. No matter how many times my parents said, “you’re perfect just the way you are,” I wasn’t immune to the outside influences that convinced me otherwise.

We can condemn and ridicule Julie Chen for “opening her eyes” to look more Asian, but how many times have you glanced at someone and thought, “I wish I could have this,” or “she’s so lucky she has that?” More times than not, women in the entertainment industry will nip and tuck until they rise above the rest. Seemingly flawless beauties like Megan Fox, Dawn Richard and even (“gasp!”) Beyonce are rumored to have gone under the knife, and we are criticizing Chen simply because she fessed up to doing what she thought was necessary?

One of the many flaws of human nature is that we’re rarely content with what we have until someone with less than is pointed out. I am not immune from this unfortunate assumption. Am I completely in love with myself? Absolutely not. I would love a flat stomach, boobs that don’t sag and height added to my 4’11 frame. Julie Chen’s struggle with maintaining her racial identity in a white industry isn’t so far fetched; however, I hope that in 2013 women (including me) can learn to accept and take advantage of their flaws instead of replacing them with what’s “in.”