“The Dress”: The Internet Phenomenon finally explained

On February 26th, 2015, a picture was posted on Tumblr, and went viral on Twitter within half an hour only ! Yes, you guessed it, I am talking about “The Dress That Broke The Internet”. 

4°3 EL HABBAB Anas

I- A little reminder of the case:

If you don’t know “The Dress”, you haven’t been on Twitter for a very long time ! But anyways, I summarize the situation for you.

Grace, a young bride, received three pictures of dresses (including The Dress) her mother wanted to wear at her wedding. Grace and her mother Cecilia began arguing over the color of the garment : while Grace saw it white and gold, her mother saw it blue and black. When Grace showed The Dress to her husband-to-be, Keir, he fervently asserted it was blue and black. Then followed a debate all over Grace’s and Keir’s Scottish community, which then extended to the rest of the world when Caitlin, a friend of the couple, decided to post a picture of the Dress on the social media Tumblr on Thursday, February 26th 2015.

II- One Dress, Two Teams

The Dress became rapidly a source of debate over the weeks, so fast that it divided humanity into two teams : Team White and Gold, and Team Blue and Black. Those Two teams began clashing brutally, especially as celebrities got into the mix . So now, let’s see who belonged in each team :

TeamBlue and BlackWhite and Gold
Celebrities in that teamTaylor SwiftAriana GrandeKanye WestEllen DegeneresMariah CareyJimmy FallonKim Kardashian

III- The Dress finally explained

As unexplainable as it may seem, The Dress phenomenon has a scientific explanation. It actually has something to do with the interpretation of the color. Basically, light travels in waves, and your eyes contain thousands of rods and cones that send signals to your brain. Your brain then determines which part of the object is illuminated. And our brain is really good at seeing something in a different way depending on its interpretation of the picture. Take a look, for example, at this optical illusion. Is square A darker than square B ? The obvious answer would be “Yes”, but if you cut the two squares and put them next to each other, they will appear as the same color. This misinterpretation comes from the fact that square  B is on the lighter pattern while square B is in the shadow. The same phenomenon applies to The Dress. People who see it in white and gold interpret (well, their brain interprets) The Dress as in shadow, so the colors seem lighter. And yes, that means that The Dress is actually… blue and black !

When Grace’s friend Caitlin posted the picture of The Dress on Tumblr, she could have never believed that it would become such a debate all across the world… And yet, here it is, The Dress, the proof that your perception of the world may not be the real one.

Janvier 2020

Sources : https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmatthendrick/16074881544


https://www.flickr.com/photos/33170765@N04/3371640116 (Ellen)


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