Yesterday was a really weird day for the Internet. First, two llamas (alpacas?) escaped in Arizona, inspiring a police chase that became nationwide news, not to mention a lot of hilarious memes. But, as crazy as it may sound, this amazing news was quickly overshadowed by something else: a dress that drove the entire world crazy.
Tumblr user swiked posted the below photo of a dress asking Tumblr what colors they saw, saying she and her friends saw different things. It immediately blew up on Tumblr, and Buzzfeed picked up the post, asking everyone “What Colors Are This Dress?”
When I first saw this photo and link pop up on my Facebook page, I rolled my eyes and kept scrolling, because the dress was so obviously white and gold to me that I figured Buzzfeed was just being weird and annoying. I went back to binge-watching Gilmore Girls (guys, I have a problem), but a few hours later, this same dress popped up on my Instagram feed, with a girl saying, “what colors do you see?!?!” I sat there wondering to myself why everyone was freaking out about a dress that was obviously white and gold, looked at the Buzzfeed article, saw that people actually believed it was black and blue, and freaked the eff out.
I spent the rest of the night frantically texting every friend I’ve ever had with the same picture of the dress from Buzzfeed, asking them what colors they saw. I showed the picture on my phone to my entire family – my dad, mom, brother, sister, and my brother’s girlfriend all saw blue and black. Gurl editor Caitlin saw blue and black, Teen editor Kaitlin saw blue and black, most of my friends did too… and then finally, FINALLY, Gurl writer Ashley and Teen editor Ally told me they saw white and gold too.
I wasn’t the only person freaking out about the fact that I saw white and gold (not even a slight hint of black or blue), while so many others seemed to see opposite colors. I think the entire population had a panic attack about these colors. It was all anyone was talking about on every social media site. Celebrities got in on the action, news stations stopped talking about llamas and started talking about #TheDress, and every other issue was forgotten because WHAT THE EFF WAS GOING ON.
ME RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/RTn4UQfp34
— Kardashian Reactions (@KardashianReact) February 27, 2015
Here’s the deal, in case you’re confused: some people saw white and gold (like me). Some people saw blue and black. Some people saw purple or even brown. A few people could even see the dress both ways – my sister first saw it as blue and black, then white and gold, then back to blue and black.
A lot of people searched for #TheDress, only to find that it is only sold in blue and black. This made my brain hurt, because I so clearly see the dress as white and gold and WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Why were we all seeing such opposite colors from one picture? That is the question, and although we have answers, I just feel like it will never be satisfying enough. There were a lot of theories. First, I saw this explanation on how your mood and past experiences can affect the colors that you see, but, I don’t know, that didn’t seem right. A lot of people were trying to convince others that they were color blind, but that’s not it either. Some said those with higher-functioning retinas could see black and blue, but… nope.
The answer comes down to science: it’s about how your brain is interpreting the light coming into your eyes. My dad, who is a professional photographer and an art teacher, could not understand why I was freaking out about this, because the answer was so clear to him. Our vision is influenced by our brain, our experiences, and our expectations. One neuroscientist told Buzzfeed, “What you looked at just before you looked at the dress could influence the way your brain perceived it. It could also be that you’ve seen dresses (or fabric) with the same texture or shape before, which could also affect your perception.” However, this isn’t something scientists know a whole lot about, which is pretty interesting. For more scientific details on this, check out this informative article on Wired.
Here’s all I know: whether it’s about perception or not, I see this dress as white and gold, and that hasn’t changed. You can tell me it’s blue and black until you’re literally blue in the face, and I will still see white and gold. And now my brain hurts. So, let’s look at some of the funniest reactions to this dress phenomenon so that we can all feel better about life.
— wusa9 (@wusa9) February 27, 2015
It has been a very interesting two days.
— Usama Adil (@UsamaAdil) February 27, 2015
— faith (@irwinsariana) February 27, 2015
BUT I STILL SEE WHITE AND GOLD.
THE DRESS HAS NO COLOR IT'S ALL A CONSPIRACY THEY'RE TRYING TO TEAR US ALL APART pic.twitter.com/UlvFD4qfyv
— farwz (@farwzaz) February 27, 2015
NORTH KNEW FROM THE BEGINNING.
"Why did you guys breakup??" Oh, he thought a dress was black and blue when it wasn't
— Lara Parker (@laraeparker) February 27, 2015
I’m not going to say my boyfriend and I didn’t have an argument about #TheDress…
How Can The Dress Be Real If Our Eyes Aren't Real? – Jaden Smith probably
— meaghan (@meaghancorley) February 27, 2015
what if black people have been gold this entire time
— eli (@uhh_elijah) February 27, 2015
BUT FOR REAL THIS MADE ME RETHINK EVERYTHING.
— Yahoo Celebrity UK (@YahooCelebUK) February 27, 2015
I really do.
— paola (@thornevibes) February 27, 2015
Send help pls.
— r (@louxriegodedios) February 27, 2015
— Woof Woof Mama (@WoofWoofMama) February 27, 2015
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@MyFoxTampaBay) February 27, 2015
— Harry Lambert (@harrylambert1) February 27, 2015
— ️ (@AverageGirl) February 27, 2015
This really was my life last night.
— nat (@ayegrierr) February 27, 2015
Everyone is going crazy.
— Yahoo Celebrity UK (@YahooCelebUK) February 27, 2015
— The FOOTBALL Bible (@TFBible_) February 27, 2015
Most people right now.
— Portlandia (@portlandia) February 27, 2015
No, but please make it stop.
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) February 27, 2015
— ThereGoesLucie (@ThereGoesLucie) February 27, 2015
— Funny Tweets (@JokesByScotty) February 27, 2015
— ASOS Green Room (@ASOS_GreenRoom) February 27, 2015
— Alex Spanner (@alex_spanner) February 27, 2015
We should have known.
— PIZZA PRINCESS (@VeeLovesMusic) February 27, 2015
— HJ❥ (@Hneenji) February 27, 2015
Annnnnd I’m done.
What colors do you see on this dress? What do you think is going on? Tell me in the comments.