[If you read anything at all, skip to the end where my epiphany about The Dress is laid out 🙂 ]
The past few days in the online world have been very fascinating. A debate (borderline war) has broken about all over the world that is all centered on this picture right here:
The debate involving this dress is around what colors it is made up of. Some people perceive the dress to be the colors gold and white (in a dark shadow) while others see it as blue and black (in a washed-out, bright light). For others, what they see at one point changes to different colors the next time they look at it.
There are a plethora of articles explaining the science behind this phenomenon, so I am not going to even go into explaining how this kind of thing happens. (It really was weird sitting at a table with a few other people, half of them saying the dress was blue and black and the other half saying it was white and gold).
The reality behind this sensation is that the dress really is black and blue (see Wired article), which puts all the white and gold people into a tizzy. Perhaps for the first time a mass scale of people understand what it means to be color blind. For all you who see white and gold, your brain is compensating for whatever lighting/exposure trickery is going on in the picture (again, the non-photographer in me doesn’t really understand it all).
When I found out the true color of the dress, I was a little annoyed (and still am) because I still sometimes see a blue/gold color combination. Even though I know the lace is black, I just don’t see it. [Epiphany begins here] It is freaky when you know something to be true but you cannot control your own reactions/perceptions!!
I got to thinking, then, about how much this concept applies to our individual perceptions of the much larger world around us. And I can’t help but wonder how many other things I am perceiving in a way that isn’t ‘reality’. The truth is, I am very aware of certain areas of my life where I am most probably 100% perceiving certain people/situations/places in a way that doesn’t really capture who/what/where they are at all! And man, I don’t know about you, but that frustrates me. I want to know the truth; I want to hear peoples’ stories for themselves; I want to avoid the ‘Empire State Building’.
Ok, so I may never seen jet black and bright blue. I get it, my brain is one of the weird ones (at least I’m not a white?!?! and gold person). But here’s what I think [if we are using the dress analogy still]: I know the dress is black and blue. I don’t see it, but I know it, and I believe it. I’m over my misconception based on one single picture floating around the internet–I know I can’t force what I think I see onto reality.
And if I cared enough [insert me beseeching you to start thinking about issues more important than the dress here] I would go out there and find that real black and blue dress and wear it until these shenanigans die down.