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Vista mom's viral campaign against sunglass company

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Vista mother's social media crusade to change the name of a pair of sunglasses and raise awareness about eating disorders went viral.

Jennifer Ouellette from Vista says she's social media savvy so when she saw an article about a pair of Thierry Lasry sunglasses named "Anorexxxy" she was outraged.

"I was just immediately, 'oh my gosh, this is just absolutely appalling,'" said Ouellette.

When her daughter was 19 she was diagnosed with anorexia and has been in treatments and recovery for two years.

The sunglasses can cost more than $500 and celebrities are spotted wearing the shades. The Paris designer has several collections including, "Obsessy, Sexxxy, Majesty and Anorexxxy."

"I said to some of my friends, 'we have to start tweeting about this because this is not cool,'" said Ouellette.

The mother and her friends from across the globe who have been advocating against eating disorders tweeted their concerns using #anorexxxy.

"If people think anorexia is a style statement then they don't think it's a deadly disease," said Ouellette. "Even though it seems like a silly little thing the name of the sunglasses, it has an impact on our culture and how our culture perceives anorexia. I couldn't let it stand."

Her social media campaign started on March 13 and went viral immediately. Over the weekend a response from Thierry Lasry's Facebook posted that the name came from the thin frame, it's been a collection for three years and didn't have a problem before and wasn't making an apology.

CBS News 8 found tweets and articles concerned about the name long before Ouellette demanded change.

By Monday, Lasry posted on Instagram "Anorexxxy" was changed to "Axxxexxxy" and apologized.

"People tend to think it's just a bunch of moms, 'what can just a bunch of moms do?' Just a bunch of moms can do a whole lot of stuff and they can use Twitter as a tool to do it," said Ouellette. "I think it's a really important story, power to the consumer on how you can use social media for the good."

The designer's statement about the name change does not credit Ouellette's efforts. However, previous concerns did not capture this much attention or action by Lasry.

CBS News 8 contacted Lasry's office in Paris but messages for a comment have not been returned.

This week, Hollister deleted a picture of a model on its Facebook page. People criticized the company for using a female model that looked too skinny.

Recent backlash against Target caused them to crop a picture of a swimsuit model that had been airbrushed.

UPDATE: A spokesperson from Thierry Lasry sent an e-mail statement after the story aired:

EXIT : ANOREXXXY _ ENTER : AXXXEXXXY

An existing best-selling style named Lively influenced the design of another pair of sunglasses.

This new style had the characteristics of having the exact same shape as the Lively but with a much thinner rim and lighter weight.

This is why this new frame ended up with the name Anorexxxy.

This name was not meant to be taken seriously at all.

We were obviously in no way paying any kind of homage to anorexia as it is a terrible illness.

We never wanted to upset anyone.

However, it seems like we recently have with this name so we've decided to rename this style.

The frame will, from now on, be stamped on the inside left temple "AXXXEXXXY".

We again apologize for anyone we might have offended.

#apology
#loveisallweneed
#makingtheworldabetterplace
#axxxexxxy
The spokesperson also wrote, "I will just add that this style has been in the collection for 3 years now and the name has not offended anybody before because everybody understood it was only describing its design … but following a article on jezebel that was referring on the latest version of this style made in collaboration with Kelly Wearstler, it went out of control on all social medias and the company preferred to act."

 

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