White Dress, Blue Dress, See Dress, Buy Dress

Stroop 2Newsrooms came to a standstill Thursday with the publishing of the now famous photo of a dress. There’s nothing particularly special about the dress. It wasn’t part of the Oscar-hype. There was nobody famous in the dress (or falling out of it). There were no special fashion features that would set Project Runway alight. It was just a nice stripy dress that many conservative women would wear to a dinner or a show.

It’s not the dress itself, but the reaction to the dress that makes this week’s Odd News report.

Headline: Debates Rage Over Color of Dress Photographed in Rare Light

What color is This Dress?

The innocent question posed by the poster of the photo at the center of the storm: “What is the color of  this dress?”

Easiest quiz ever! 

It’s obviously white and gold. What’s all the fuss about? Let’s get onto some more serious Odd News like 2 loose Llamas Lassoed after Running Amok near Phoenix.

But wait. It seems that the answer is anything but simple. (This is what I always told my Biology teacher after a quiz, but he never bought it.) My answer is wrong – I have failed the test!

The dress is blue.


And black.

Hmmm? Hmmm?

This is just like my high school Biology quizzes after all.

All of you guys out there – husband included – who have, over the years, really put your foot in it when you’ve said something simple, but stupid about your significant other’s fashion, you now stand absolved.

Except for the green hair comment.

Rule #1 of Marriage: Never tell your wife that her newly highlighted hair is green – even if it looks green to you. (It’s ash blond – I saw the label).

You should lie to your wife.


Lie your ass off.

When I gave my husband the above dress quiz, he hummed and hawed a bit – maybe suspecting a trick along the lines of “Do these pants make my butt look fat?” (or “Do you like my new hairdo?”) – but he eventually settled on taupe and green. Ok, he really did fail the quiz. Even if we’re grading on a curve.

“Not just any green,” he explained, back peddling as fast as possible, “but the same green as your hair.”


[Note: I stand corrected. My husband says he wasn’t back peddling – he was rushing full speed towards the edge of the cliff.]

A super-scientific Buzzfeed poll found that 71% of readers also failed the quiz. Which may explain the state of our educational system. We should definitely earmark federal funding to support color-identification retraining in the kindergarten grades and Sesame Street will, under the new federal statute, become mandatory viewing.

Color scientists have been found hiding in university closets and brought in to mediate the debate (John Kerry was busy) and explain the phenomenon using lots of long scientific words like “cones” and “eyeballs” and  “waves” and “chromatic bias of the daylight axis”. What the explanation boils down to is that our brains are just fooling with us. What we think we see isn’t what we see.

I’ve long suspected that our brains have a mind of their own. And there’s no reasoning with a brain. Once it decides that the dress is gold and white, no amount of evidence from Photoshop will convince it otherwise.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.18.38 PM
Inhofe Discovers Snow

The moral of the story is that we can’t always believe our eyes. So, stop pointing at snow in Boston – or throwing snowballs at your fellow Senators – saying it proves that global warming is a hoax.

I’m Jae and this Gases Me.


8 thoughts on “White Dress, Blue Dress, See Dress, Buy Dress

  1. “And what about this dress? Do you like it?”

    “Uh darlin’, you are asking the guy who would wear striped shorts with a plaid shirt if you didn’t stop him. Do you really want his opinion?”


      1. Of course I had to ask! Who can see their own butt? My husband is obsessively honest – usually a good quality in a man, but not when it comes to fashion.


  2. It humbles me when I think about how differently we all see things. What we see one way, others may see entirely differently. And that extends far beyond dress colors, which is why it behooves us to have an open mind.

    That said, I still couldn’t believe this went viral. Ah, the whims of social media…



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