Many people wondered why some saw white and gold while others saw blue and black. There had been some speculation that if you saw the dress differently, you had traces of colorblindness in your vision, which is completely false.
A few days after the dress went viral, CNN posted an article regarding the dress and how the original colors are black and blue, but the reason some people see white and gold is because humans’ perception of color depends on interpreting the amount of light in a room or scene, so when signals about the light are missing, people may perceive the same color in different ways. The human eye and brain work together to turn light into color, and the retina in your eye is covered with light sensitive cells, shaped like rods and cones, which filter the light you see into nerve impulses that then travel to your brain through the optic nerve. No two people’s arrangements of cones and rods are alike, which will cause everyone to see colors differently.
There have also been studies conducted that say that people see different colors depending on their mood; if you are sad, angry or depressed, you see it as blue and black but if you are happy or excited, you see it is white and gold. Usually, the system of science works accurately, but this specific image of the dress hits an unexplained perceptual boundary.
Although this dress disappeared for a short while, it has returned in a powerful online Salvation Army statement against domestic violence. The tweet, posted on the Salvation Army Twitter account, features a young woman covered in scrapes and bruises wearing a white and gold version of “the dress” and the message reads, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” with the caption, “the only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in six women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”
"We wanted to take advantage of the hype of the meme to spread awareness for something important…Our creative team brainstormed ways to send a greater message about overlooked abuse against women using the dress."
-Ireland/Davenport creative director Wihan Meerhloz