Professor Amy Chastain
Divisive Dress Delves into Domestic Abuse
In 2015, a dress and an accidental trick of the lighting took the Internet by storm. All over the world, people were asking one question: Is the dress in the picture gold with white stripes or black with blue stripes? The dress was gold and white, some insisted. Others were adamant it was not. For days, Facebook comments showed families and friends arguing the different sides of the issue. Newsfeeds were flooded with reposts of the picture of the dress. It went viral in a matter of a few hours. Enter two international Salvation Army advertisements, making use of the dress’s newfound popularity. “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” asks the first ad (TheSalvationArmySA). “Because they cover it with white and gold,” answers the second ad (TheSalvationArmySA). The message rang clear and hit hard. Though limited, these two sobering advertisements successfully made a poignant point about domestic violence against women: sometimes, abuse hard to see.
The advertisements’ simplistic, yet striking design is a key to its success. Dull grey and black backgrounds set up the heavy mood of both ads. From the beginning, the viewer can sense the somber atmosphere. On the first ad, a young blond woman reclines across the span of the advertisement. Open. Vulnerable. She looks like the girl next door, sporting soft curls and light makeup. She wears a white and gold dress. The dress from the viral picture. Upon closer examination, the viewer can see large bruises on her face and body. In large letters, the ad asks, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” (TheSalvationArmySA). Then, in smaller letters underneath, the ad states, “The only illusion is if yo...
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...against women in a creative and effective way.
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Duggan, Maeve, Nicole B. Ellison, Cliff Lampe, Amanda Lenhart, and Mary Madden. "Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms." Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. Pew Research Center, 09 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 June 2016.
"Facts About Domestic Violence and Psychological Abuse." NCADV. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016. Web. 18 June 2016.
"Statistics." NCADV. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016. Web. 20 June 2016.
TheSalvationArmySA. "Is It so Hard 2 See Black & Blue?" Twitter. Twitter, 06 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 June 2016.
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