The Dress, A Retrospective
Last night if you were anywhere near the internet you were no doubt swept up in the controversy surrounding #TheDress.
As if I need to explain, but just in case, here ‘s what happened: A poorly lit photo of a dress (above) from a British retailer (the dress costs 77 QUID off the rack!) was posted to Tumblr asking the question, what colors are this dress? From there, a uniquely all-encompassing online debate erupted over whether the dress was white and gold or blue and black. And to be clear, this was EVERYWHERE last night. Buzzfeed, the internet ‘s home for desperately clawing for every click they can possibly get, reported that their post about the dress broke traffic records on their site with more than 670,000 people viewing the article at once.
Since we here at Funny Or Die are logical folks, the first place we turn to for answers is science. Just the facts, ma'am. Let the degenerates debate it out; we ‘ll rely on cold hard data.
The folks at Deadspin went directly to the Photoshop eyedropper tool to see what it had to say. Turns out it says the dress is varying shades of blue and BROWN, if you can believe it.
As the author of Deadspin ‘s post, Kyle Wagner, says, ‘Pretty much everyone is wrong, which seems about right.”
Next, we start talking to the geeks, the nerds, the neuroscientists. Wired.com was able to scrounge up a color and vision expert whose phone I ‘m sure was ringing OFF THE HOOK last night. Here ‘s what he had to say.
What ‘s happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you ‘re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis. So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.
‘ Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College
So there you go. The article goes on to explain that the way you interpret the colors of the dress is all about the context, the background that you see the dress projected onto.
‘Most people will see the blue on the white background as blue,” Conway says. ‘But on the black background some might see it as white.”
Next we turn to social media. First, as is customary, we honor the celebrity reactions to #TheDress.