Unless you have been living under a rock all this while, you must surely have heard about #thedress. Yes, THAT dress. The black and blue one.
So while we were squabbling our faces off trying to determine the colour of a dress shot under poor lighting, another group of people were scrambling to add their spin to the story.
On March 6, 2015, The South African branch of The Salvation Army tweeted a powerful new ad featuring The Dress in a whole new light.
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It is a picture of a beautiful but battered young lady, dressed in a now-mythical white-and-gold version of The Dress, staring straight at the camera with welts and bruises all over her body. The ad challenges us, asking, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” with regards to its message against domestic abuse. It goes on to explain that, “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice.”
The ad came in advance of International Women’s Day yesterday, the 8th of March. It also carries the logo of Carehaven, a home for abused women and children, and states that one in six women are victims of abuse. A recent report by the World Health Organisation, however suggests that the rates are much higher, and that almost one in three women who have been in a relationship have experienced some form of violence from their intimate partner.
The ad was designed by the Ireland/Davenport agency in Johannesburg, and has since drawn much attention and critical acclaim online. The original ad itself was retweeted over 14,000 times and has passed the 15 million reach mark at press time.
The campaign features another ad in the series, which answers the original question in a statement no less poignant.