What Color Is the Dress? The Mystery Is Solved

Feb 27, 2015 at 11:13 am |
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Forget Kim Kardashian. Last night, this dress broke the internet:

The #dress #colour #conundrum #BlackAndBlue or #WhiteAndGold

A photo posted by Yusuf Dindar (@joey_dindar) on

After the tumblr user swiked posted the above picture asking, “guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f*** out,” the internet totally lost its chill.

The carefully woven collective sanity of mankind as we know it was rapidly torn asunder as those of us who weren’t already sound asleep second guessed friendships, relationships, and their own visual capacities. Was the dress white and gold, or was it black and blue? Some who saw one color combo originally quickly began to see the opposite, some who wanted to see blue could only see white, and some who wanted nothing more than gold saw only black.

Social media quickly came to the cause, enlightening us with humor while adding more fuel to the fire.

What’s the deal with this fucking dress? #blueandblack

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

And then people just started getting plain silly.

A photo posted by betches (@betches) on

Maybe Miley figured it out?

Definitely .

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

But the REALITY here, folks, is simple. Let’s get a few things straight. Before you and your friends and coworkers continue to argue over the color of the dress, make sure you’re all looking at the same image. There are so many photoshopped, tampered versions out there by this point that no one knows what they’re looking at anymore.

The second reality is scientific. Your brain perceives all images through the eyes, which taking in various wavelengths of light to begin processing the visual input that the visual cortex in your brain then makes sense of. Based on the conditions of light in whatever you are looking at, your brain autocorrects actual colors to compensate for brightness or shadow. This will also be affected by the environment that you’re in when you’re looking at something, namely if you’re in a bright space or a dark space. Depending on when you are trying to process an image, such as this dress, you will perceive different colors. Not to mention the fact that the original image has some really cruddy lighting, so most white/gold believers’ brains automatically compensated and understood the dress to be in shadow.

Simply put: in a bright environment, the dress will look more white/ gold, while in a dark environment, the dress will look blue/ black. You have the rods and cones in your eye to thank for that. #psychology

The final reality is the image itself. If you’re familiar with photography (aka you have an Instagram), you’re well aware of the many and varied filters that photographs can go through to look super beautiful with colors that pop much more than in the image your camera originally captured. One of the best tools on IG is the saturation filter, which determines the intensity (or lack thereof) of colors. There is also the exposure of an image, which determines how much light is in the photo. Depending on how saturated and exposed an image is, the colors can change to look nothing like the original, ranging from, say, a deep blue and black, to a mousy grey/ white/ gold.

But before you waste more of your life worrying about the colors of the dress, think about what’s really important here. Don’t ask yourself if the dress is white/gold or black/blue, ask yourself: “Would I wear this?” If the answer is no (and it should be), then you don’t need to worry about the color of the dress. Can’t we all just agree that this dress (in black and blue) is ugly?

We’re over it, but the question remains: blue and black or white and gold? What colors do you see?