Point: The dress is effing white and gold

By Akilah Hughes

At approximately 8 p.m., just as I had finished posing for a pic with my first-ever lobster roll, John Green (famed author of The Fault in Our Stars) tweeted me to let me know that the Internet was crumbling over the color of some dumb dress:

I checked out #TheDress picture (the uninspired, yet appropriate name it was given) on my phone and quickly dismissed the asshattery; the dress is clearly white and gold. I mean, look at it! There's gold at the top, a horrendously ugly white shrug, and then alternating chunks of white and gold. Where is the debate? That monstrosity that I'd only ever be caught dead in on a trip to a bed & breakfast in Jersey in 2004 is WHITE. AND. GOLD.


I handed the phone to my friend Amber, whose jaw dropped as she exclaimed in this classy-ass dining establishment, "ARE YOU SHITTING ME???"

I still think I'm being punk'd, but she claims she sees blue and black.

Listen, I don't doubt that some people are seeing blue and black, but I'm also not doubting that some people are incredibly wrong and should listen to reason. I mean, how dare you? I'll concede that the white part of it is a little blueish, but it's definitely just some ugly gold and white dress from a discount store that is going to go out of business soon. Get your eyes checked, kids. There's only one right answer, and that answer is white and gold.


Also, my lobster roll was delicious and I would 10/10 recommend.

Counterpoint: The dress isn't real, but also, it's blue and black


By Kevin Roose

I mean, the dress is black and blue. I'm sorry. I don't know what to tell you. I wish I had better news for you. It's black and blue.

When I first looked at the dress on my phone, it was white and gold. I was at a Chipotle in San Francisco, having a salad before meeting a friend for a drink. But then I finished my salad, had that drink, talked to that friend, and came back to my phone an hour later, and it had switched to black and blue. I've looked at it a hundred more times, and it's still black and blue.


A relativist would argue that I was right both times. Before my beer, I was stressed; the day had been filled with chaos, and I was projecting onto the dress my need for calm placidity. In that moment, the dress was white and gold, because I needed it to be. But the beer and an hour with my friend loosened me up, shook my stress off, and allowed me to see the dress for what it really was: a black and blue beacon shining in the world, serving as a Rorschach test for all who view it.

But more importantly—and this is the most crucial point of all—there is no dress.

Parmenides, the Greek philosopher, taught that the only real things are the things that do not change. Therefore, the dress is an ontological impossibility, since it changed colors from the first time I glimpsed it. A dress is either white and gold, or it is black and blue, but if it is both, it belonged to the realm of illusion from the start. To quote Parmenides:

How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown.


So no, the dress does not exist. But if it did, it would be black and blue.

Akilah Hughes is a comedian, YouTuber, and staff writer and producer for Fusion's culture section. You can almost always find her waxing poetic about memes and using too many emojis. 🍕

Kevin is Fusion's news director.