Science Explains Why You’re STILL Arguing About #TheDress
Who out there among us expected to walk into the office this AM to hear people still debating what color that damn dress is? Between a major win for net neutrality, llamas on the lam and #blackandblue vs. #whiteandgold, yesterday Twitter proved that it’s still the Internet’s watercooler. And we confirmed that, yes, we, along with Mindy Kaling, will happily be distracted by just about anything RTable.
Even with the debate still nudging along, there is some cold hard evidence out there that proves that the dress is, in fact, wait for it, deal with it — are you ready? Black and blue. The reason we’re all still torn is science, specifically primal biology and the way our eyes and brains now see color in a sunlit, oft-Instagram-filtered world.
Our good friends and champions of all things color, Pantone explain how we see color here: Light receptors within the eye transmit messages to the brain, which produces the familiar sensations of color. Newton observed that color is not inherent in objects. Rather, the surface of an object reflects some colors and absorbs all the others. We perceive only the reflected colors.
Perceive, eh? Interesting word choice, Pantone. As Wired points out, it’s a “perceptual boundary” that really caused the color debate across social media. We evolved humans have made it far enough to be able to see in daylight, but, as anyone who’s ever taken a dress out of a store to see it in natural lighting knows, daylight changes color. Your brain is supposed to figure out not just what color that dress is but what color *light* is bouncing off of said dress and then subtract that color from everything else to give you the unobjective answer. They break it down as such:
That chromatic axis varies from the pinkish red of dawn, up through the blue-white of noontime, and then back down to reddish twilight. “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,” says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. “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.”
If science isn’t your thing, photo experts and Photoshop novices alike each took a turn auto-toning and white-balancing to different results. Even Wired’s photo team was “driven briefly into existential spasms of despair” seeing the dress in both (ahem) lights until deciding it was black and blue.
If all of that is making your head hurt, let’s go to the source — the designers of the Tumblr-ed dress in question, Roman Originals, who changed the description of the frock on their site to #TheDress Lace Bodycon Dress. Yesterday, all 300 dresses on the site sold out in 30 minutes and the company’s creative manager told THR the site’s seeing about a million visits to just this one page. Nice free publicity, even if Chrissy Teigen decried the dress’s wearability by throwing her own sartorial shade on the debate.
At the end of the day/week, did we all just spend 24 hours getting into a debate about the color of a dress or what question we were actually all screaming into our computers and phones (what color is this dress IRL vs. what color is this dress in this poor quality pic I posted on Tumblr?)? Yes. The dress looks periwinkle and tan to me, but I’m not going to argue with science… or, well, Photoshop.
What color did YOU think the dress is/was? Sound off below!
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.