Chinese Company Would Really Like You to Wear Helen Keller Sunglasses

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Every face shape has a style of sunglasses that fits it best. There are hundreds of articles addressing how to find the right pair for you, but none of them answer the most important question of all: "What kind of sunglasses do I wear if I want everyone to immediately know that I'm an idiot?"

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There's an answer: Helen Keller Sunglasses.

Do these sunglasses actually have anything to do with the real Helen Keller — the activist, the author, the first blind and deaf person to ever get a Bachelor's? The one played by Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker? The one who was never able to communicate with anybody until Anne Sullivan taught her the word for water through tactile sign language? That Helen Keller?

Image for article titled Chinese Company Would Really Like You to Wear Helen Keller Sunglasses

Sort of. The eye wear company is run out of a China, a country that has long included Keller in their national educational curriculum, admiring her as, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, "an exemplary figure that overcame her disabilities to make a mark – and a socialist to boot."

Cool. Fine. Awesome, but is it a little...bewildering...to name a tacky sunglasses brand after someone iconic, at least in part, for her blindness? Someone who, by the way, never wore sunglasses herself?

When asked about the company name, Helen Keller spokesperson Chen Wenjing was quoted as saying that they "were aware Helen Keller was blind, but what they valued was her philanthropist spirit which spread optimism around the world."

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That's an inarguable statement, at least in regard to Keller being an admirable figure, though it becomes slightly flawed when assigned to a label that has nothing to do with philanthropy and everything to do with consumerism and image. That and the brand's tagline is "You see the world, the world sees you," which implies that the product renders invisible people visible. No mention of sun protection, though.

Helen Keller Sunglasses: Insensitive Insult or Respectful Tribute? [The Inventor Spot]

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In China, Helen Keller Sells Sunglasses [WSJ]

DISCUSSION

By
Robbiecda

*looks around, sees nothing provocative; is well aware of the pun*

Okay, I'll do it. After living with mainland Chinese for more than 5 years, absolutely nothing that low surprises me anymore, seriously. This is a society that values nothing human, and that prizes money above all else. The 2-y-o girl ignored in the street after being run over? Normal. Making money at the expense of 300,000 babies, killing some of them? Normal. Don't ever kid yourselves, people. There are people in China who care, but it is a very different society. The herp-derpity types who think, "Oh, they're just like us, they just look different," I just want to hammer in the head. No, they're not. You have no fucking idea what things are like over there. Your worst nightmares as regards children will not suffice. The stories about female foetuses dumped into rivers? True. Get over it, and adjust your attitudes accordingly.