Chinese Company Names Sunglasses After Helen Keller

Naming sunglasses after a blind activist? It's no "lost in translation" moment.

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Deliberate irony or innocuous oversight? Neither, apparently. A Chinese company now marketing Hellen Keller-brand sunglasses said it found inspiration in Keller’s personal traits (rather than her blindness), the Wall Street Journal reports.

Still, though, it’s a bold (and perhaps questionable) move, especially considering the company’s motto: “You see the world, the world sees you.” While some might have guessed that the firm chose to brand the product without understanding the full implications, Keller’s actually a widely-known figure in China, discussed in classrooms across the country.

Chen Wenjing, one of the company’s spokespeople, told the Journal the team was aware of Keller’s blindness, but valued her traditions of philanthropy and optimism, thus celebrating those traits over her inability to see. This video ad doesn’t quite communicate that message, though — more realistically, it says: Wear these Helen Keller sunglasses as you descend from a chartered plane, and paparazzi and/or attractive people will flock.

MORE: The Miracle: Helen Keller