Last night my world was turned upside down by a single, stupid picture of a dress. You may be annoyed with this dress. And that’s okay. You may think there are bigger things to worry about in this world. And that’s true. But this dress is powerful. Science has explained why people see it differently. What science cannot explain though and clearly, neither can humanity is why our society refuses to accept that another person can see something completely different from us.
Our eyes see things differently. Our noses smell things differently. Our fingers feel things differently. Our ears hear things differently. Our tongues taste things differently. Every experience we have is unique to us. Words always try to describe what our senses feel but they will always come up short. I can teach my children everything they’ll ever need to know but I will always have a different view than they do. They will always have the ability to freely think and absorb their surroundings independent of the facts presented.
This isn’t about a dress anymore. This is about every single topic we’ve ever debated ever in life. Mommy wars. Politics. Lifestyle choices. Sports. There are ALWAYS two sides to an argument and we absolutely refuse to give that fact any credit. Battles are started. Marriages are torn apart. Relationships are destroyed. Yes, many issues are much, much, much, much bigger than a dress in bad lighting. Scratch that. EVERY issue is much, much, much, much bigger than a dress in bad lighting. But what if we used this nonsense to learn a lesson instead?
Want to know what happens when I look at the picture?
At first I saw, very, very obviously a navy blue and black lace dress. Nana Bear sent it to me in a text message. I thought it was some kind of joke that I wasn’t getting. “Uh…” is how I started my reply to her. Then she shockingly told me she saw white and gold. My next question to her? “Mom, are you drunk?” After a busy day I had spent almost no time on social media and for whatever reason, after my mom texted me, I had my phone in my hand anyway so I went on Twitter. Guys, I was completely flabbergasted. Post after post after post about the same thing! Hashtags getting millions of hits. The country completely divided. I skimmed my feed and then moved to Facebook. It was much quieter but someone posted a Buzzfeed article. From the preview image on Facebook, I very obviously, without hesitation saw a white and gold dress. I opened the link. It was still white and gold. I scrolled down. It was still white and gold. I refreshed the page. It was still white and gold. I sent the link to my brother who agreed with me previously that it was black and blue and he still saw black and blue. What. In. The. World?
I’ve heard many stories of the dress changing colors depending on the lighting you’re in, the angle your screen is at, even the mood you’re in. Many of my friends say that it looked white and gold at first but now that they know, they only see it in black and blue.
But get this, no matter how many times I look at it, no matter how I try to manipulate the situation, I cannot predict which way my eyes will see the dress each time. I’ve looked at it over and over and over again. Upstairs, downstairs. On my phone, on my computer. In the dark, in the light. With my glasses, with my contacts, with my natural eyes. When I was tired, awake, angry, laughing. I still see it both ways. Even now, a day later, when I’ve looked at it a dozen different times, I still, all the sudden, without notice will see it as white and gold.
And you should too!
Not the dress. It really is blue and black. But LIFE. You should always see life both ways.