Thursday, February 26, 2015

Magic of the Mystery Dress

If you haven't already heard, there is a "Mystery Dress" dilemma on Twitter.  People are arguing over whether the dress is black and blue or white and gold.  Being the curious girl that I am, I decided to look into it some more...and I think I have the answer to all of your prayers.

Here is the original image of the dress:

Now before you say anything, let me tell you what color this dress is...

It is black and blue.

For visual proof, based on the Photoshop color spectrum, courtesy of Andrew Vassano, the colors of the dress from the image are #7a85a5 (off-blue) and #73686e (off-black).  The color codes are off primarily because of the poor lighting and quality of the image.  

This does not mean, however, that those who see white and gold are necessarily wrong.  If you noticed, those who said that the colors of the dress are white and gold tended to be significantly older (parents, grandparents, etc.).  The reasoning for this has to do with visual impairment.  As we grow older, the strength of our eyes becomes weaker.  Our eyesight gets worse, our peripheral vision shortens, and our color vision changes.  Which is why there is an accessibility feature on the iPhone to invert colors that have been partially inverted or impaired by our vision--basically, revert them.

This accessibility feature is meant to help with visual impairment--all of the things that normally occur at older ages.  Now this may not make sense yet, but i promise it will in a minute.  

Here is an image of the two different perspectives side by side on a non-inverted color screen (right is what most teens see, left is what most adults see):
Now, here is that same image on an inverted screen, which is meant to revert inverted colors:

And boom, there is the explanation to this dilemma.  It has to do with visual impairment.  So if you're seeing white and gold, it has nothing to do with your mood and it does not have to do with brightness as some of you may have read. Brightness is certainly the wrong term for what is happening with the photo, but if you did get the chance to see any posts about additive and negative colors (or something like that), that really goes in depth with what is happening and why people are seeing different colors.  

Let's look at the bigger picture, though, we should learn from this silly little dilemma that it isn't about who's right or who's wrong.  It's about understanding that everyone has different points of view, and although one person's view may not match our own, it doesn't mean that they are wrong.  It just means that each of us sees things differently, and we really should be more understanding of that.  The diversity in cultures, ethnicities, religions, and so much more is what makes our world so beautiful.

xoxo Kitana


  1. Its ultraviolet and black because ultraviolet looks different to different people.

  2. Wow, some ppl see violet and gold.WTF!


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