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?"

There's an answer: Helen Keller Sunglasses.

Do these sunglasses actually have anything to do with the real Helen Keller โ€” 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?

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 โ€“ 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."


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]


In China, Helen Keller Sells Sunglasses [WSJ]