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Old 11-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
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Oakley's 'Asian fit' sunglasses: To be outraged or not



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Are Oakley's "Asian fit" sunglasses offensive or simply a case of a company filling a market need? A recent article from Quartz titled "Why Oakley's 'Asian Fit' aren't racist, just science" aims to put the long-running debate to rest.

The line of shades, designed to sit higher on the face, have been around for years. And with a name like "Asian fit," one might think that people would be up in arms. But the product hasn't sparked much outrage.

Why did Oakley design an entire line of glasses for the Asian market? Quartz writer Matt Phillips spoke with Mark Hubbe, assistant professor of anthropology at Ohio State University. Hubbe focuses on craniofacial differences among human populations.

Hubbe told Phillips, "Asian individuals tend to have more of a flatter face with the cheek bones very projected compared to the typical European." That's something Oakley and other glasses manufacturers, including TC Charton, have built businesses around.


Via Oakley's official site:

Getting the right fit is essential for comfort, protection, and even optical performance. You may have heard industry terms like “European Fit” and “Asian Fit”. If sunglasses tend to sit too low on your face or slide down your nose, touch at your temples or cheeks, or feel narrow at the sides of your head, try our Asian Fit. The tabs below show all the technology we put into making these frames fit with perfection.


A scan of blogs and Twitter posts suggests that few are bothered by the concept. A blogger from Lovelyish writes, "initially, I was a little offended, because the implications of making an Asian Fit mean that the 'normal' fit would be Caucasian, and once again heteronormativity is portrayed as a white male, while everyone else is labeled as 'other.' Or in other words, everyone who is not white is seen as a freak (Am I reading too deep? Perhaps, but if you get offended and can’t realize why, it probably boils down to something along these lines.)."

If people are upset it appears to be due to the name, not the concept. That's something that Oakley has struggled with, according to a 2008 article from W Magazine.

Via W:

But the decision to go with the Asian-fit name hasn’t been without controversy. According to Wade Cleveland, the firm’s eyewear business unit manager, Oakley has received several complaints about the moniker, primarily via customer letters. “A long time ago we tried to use the term ‘alternative fit,’ and that turned out to be worse,” he says.

Is the name of the product offensive? Does it need to be changed? Or is this all much ado about nothing? Please leave a comment below.

Oakley's 'Asian fit' sunglasses: To be outraged or not
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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probably tons sold already, to Asians.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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If you're enraged about a company altering their design to meet the needs of an ethnicity's features, you are probably very, very stupid
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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Nothing offensive about it.

I thought the sunglasses will be a very narrow oblong with 2cm height lenses for "chinky eyes" lol.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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I am not bothered by that label/name for the product.

However, Oakley could have named the product using a more politically correct name.

I'm sure there are people who are bothered by that label, but as the article suggests, MOST are not.

The article suggested that the product was made for a flatter face and projected cheekbones.

So, instead of Asian fit, why not "Projected Fit" or "Cheeky Fit" or "Flat Fit" something that shows the consumer market what type of face the glasses are for?

I'm sure the guys at Oakley could have found a better name.

On the other hand, Oakley, being a large and well-know brand/corporation, would have also done a lot of research (hopefully) before launching such a name.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
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The name is not offensive, it's just a common reference in what the product is, it also targets the Asians so I see nothing wrong with that. Why change the name? The product works and works well! I've tried many snowboarding goggles and the Oakley Asian fit fits the best. People are overly sensitive. I chalk this up to how certain people want to change the lyrics of the Canadian athem to make it gender natural. For fk sakes, take it for what it is.
Whatever you call it it's just a product that fits a certain type of face.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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Not offensive in the least bit. But I agree with Marshall, it could have been given a better name...
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
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Wait, they make sunglasses for especially slanty eyes?

Why the fuck would I find that racist? Why wouldn't I want sunglasses that are optimized to my obviously slanty eyes?
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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Not offensive in the least bit. But I agree with Marshall, it could have been given a better name...
What would be a better name?


"Oakley Kungfu's"

"Oakley Shanghai"

"Oakley 888AZN SLIM FIT"

"Oakley Lahhh"

IMO it's the most non-offensive way to say that these glasses will fit a particular headshape.

If they came out with brown fit, I'd prefer "Oakley South Asian" over "Oakley Masala Fit"

This is a hell-of-alot more culturally sensitive than Subway's Butter Chicken sub campaign with the gentle sitar strumming in the background, lol.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:25 PM   #10
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They probably could have named it better.

Like this company....

Spoiler!
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:26 PM   #11
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^^ LOL Oakley Kungfu's...but seriously, their asian fit snowboarding googles have been out for quite some time. And they fit snug around the nose as opposed to the regular crowbars.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #12
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more company should do it
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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Back when I was looking for a pair for baseball, I tried the Asian fit and they looked exactly the same as a normal pair, the only difference was the nose piece was more like protruding.

... I got the "white person" shades...
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #14
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The term "Asian" is not politically correct anymore!?

Wtf should they call them then?! Should I be offended by the term "European?

Asia is a continent right? People who have descended from/were born on/live on/etc. that continent would be deemed "Asian", no?

What do you want...Mongoloid? Caucasoid? Negroid?

God damnit, what is wrong with people....
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:34 PM   #15
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The term "Asian" is not politically correct anymore!?

Wtf should they call them then?! Should I be offended by the term "European?

Asia is a continent right? People who have descended from/were born on/live on/etc. that continent would be deemed "Asian", no?

God damnit, what is wrong with people....
we want to be mad.
we live in a country where healthcare is free and crime is relatively low.
ergo, we get mad over miniscule/irrelevant things in order to satiate our cravings for altercation.

Madness, pure madness.


PS I don't like your fuckin avatar.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:35 PM   #16
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Mongoloid Fit is probably the most politically correct.. I wonder why they didn't use that?
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:36 PM   #17
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PS I don't like your fuckin avatar.
why not?
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #18
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why not?
its intimidating...
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:40 PM   #19
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why not?
culturally insensitive to dinosaurs
not all of them 'roar'
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #20
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There...its is changed....and I see my large avatar has been revoked. Never piss off the mods
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:44 PM   #21
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There...its is changed....and I see my large avatar has been revoked. Never piss off the mods
This picture represents the nature of these responses

Spoiler!
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #22
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this is just great marketing, people who find this offensive are fucken idiots
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:51 PM   #23
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I have a terrible time finding sunglasses to fit my asian face. I bought three different styles of Oakley Asian fit and they all didn't fit my nose and cheeks properly. I must have a super asian-y face...
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #24
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Only difference in any Asian fit goggles/glasses is that theres more nose padding or longer nose piece. Its to fit the typical asian face with very flat nose bridge.
It really helps me to fit customers, especially here in richmond, because 90% of the asians will have a gap at the nose in regular goggles.

The Oakley rep actually called it A-fit for "Alternative Fit" when we asked him when we were getting Asian fit goggles a few years ago. So there is an unofficial, more political name for those of you who are sticklers for these things.

Burton makes Asian fit snowboard boots as well. They are just wider and have more volume in the front of the boot. Its only sold in Japan, but they would sell so well here in Vancouver.

I am just lucky being asian, have a pronounced nose bridge and fit into most glasses/goggles.

Honestly, there should also be Asian fit hockey helmets....too many kids with wide heads and the back of the head is flat, so they dont fit into these oblong oval shaped helmets.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:04 PM   #25
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...... Rayban been selling asian fit version of their popular shades for like 5 years... someone just noticed?
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