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#thedress web sensation becomes powerful Salvation Army campaign

Created by the Salvation Army in South Africa, the new advert features an image of a woman noticeably wearing a white and gold dress. She is covered with severe bruises on her face and body but the power of the picture is that this is less immediately noticeable than the striking dress.
It plays upon the viral Internet sensation of recent weeks where social media users were encouraged to debate on what colour they perceived a dress as being, black and blue or white and gold. Prompting lessons on the science of perception and the brain’s processing of colour, the Salvation Army has raised the meme to a much more emotive level.
The advert asks viewers “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” before saying “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice.”
The Salvation Army published the campaign on Twitter Friday morning, noting that one in six women will become a victim of abuse. It has since been retweeted over `2,000 times and has become the centre of worldwide attention, gaining heavy praise on social media for how it turns a pointless social provocation into a very effective highlight of issues that persist in the modern world.
A spokesperson for The Salvation Army told the Daily Mail: “The Salvation Army sees the devastating effects of domestic violence on women, men and children every day. We support people who are affected in our human trafficking work, our specialist services, Lifehouses and community centres. We know that one in four women are victims of domestic violence in the UK: this innovative and powerful campaign by The Salvation Army in South Africa highlights that domestic violence is often overlooked by society. We hope this image helps people to see the true impact of this crime.”
A second advert published later in the day answered the original’s question, claiming “Because they cover it with white and gold.” It shows another image of a very visibly bruised woman applying makeup to her injured face and draws attention to the fact that most victims never report abuse.
The debate’s hash tag, #TheDress, became a trending tag on Twitter and stories online about the campaign were quickly shared millions of times.

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