People really care about it.
The question is:. I think this apple is red and I want you to think the same thing. Otherwise, how do I know that my interpretation is right or whether it means anything at all? But how do you check? And then along came The Dress. The world gives us mixtures of colours that are overlaid on top of each other, and you can easily filter some out and leave the rest.
When a telescope looks for x-rays in space, it ignores everything else. A beautiful example of how easily you can tune into certain colours happened while we were filming fireflies in Tennessee. Everyone else was setting up the place where we were going to film, and after a while I went along to join them. I realized that under the red headlight, the red ink had been entirely invisible.
White paper reflects red light, and red ink reflects red light. I was absolutely delighted by this — it had never occurred to me as something that could happen.
The crew were not nearly as excited by this as I was, but I can forgive them that because it had been a very long day! All the colours are overlaid on top of each other, and each one is completely independent of the rest. Each species and each device effectively tunes in to a limited range of the colourful cornucopia. Colour is an essential part of our world.
And, with a bit of filtering and a bit of background knowledge, science and culture and history and beauty are revealed. Watch Colour: The Spectrum of Science to see just some of the amazing stories the world has to tell. Home Episodes Clips Galleries Why are there no blue roses? Making the programme.
Is The Dress blue and black or white and gold? Helen wearing the dress that caused an internet sensation. Tennessee Fireflies. Helen's notes with blue and red ink. A little bit extra from BBC Scotland. There were two standout no-nos for first dates and interviews: orange and brown. Orange is only a few yellow droplets from power-colour red but those droplets make all the difference. It's quite hard to know when you're looking sexy. You look in the mirror before you hit the bar or go on that first date and all you'll see is faults. It's not until you reach your destination that your efforts will start to bear fruit.
Are you turning the heads of all the right people? Are the bar staff fighting to serve you? Are people fainting?
These are the subtle cues that might tell you you've got the formula right. And as with all experiments, the best way to confirm your results is to repeat and observe. This is how we arrive at a personal colour scheme. Why are we talking about this?
Well, we asked our survey respondents to gauge the colours they found most attractive in their potential mates. A key finding was that people generally liked to see other people wearing the same colours as they themselves chose to look confident.
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The familiar black-red-blue-white pattern remained, and brown occupied the bottom spot. It would appear, therefore, that the way we dress is influenced by the way we are perceived, because there's a tendency to feel confident in the colours that the opposite sex finds attractive. Does this mean we feel most confident when we're feeling sexy? Or is it the other way round? The survey also showed that we're probably right not to go on hot dates wearing brown or orange, as they're considered unattractive by others too.
Who wants to appear arrogant? While on the face of it it's an unattractive trait, the logical conclusion of overconfidence, it can have benefits if you're trying to impress your authority on those around you. But it has to be used with care - projected arrogance without the emotional strength to follow it through can invite people to undermine you, which they'll gleefully do. So let's assume you want to appear confident but don't want to stray into arrogant territory.
You might want to avoid red. This finding might put you in a quandary, because we've found that red is sexy and confident, but it's also arrogant. Maybe we need to think of redness as having an arrogance knob that we can turn up and down, and that we need it to be just so. Or perhaps arrogance is not the unattractive trait we might think it is - after all, feeling sexy and confident does require a certain degree of arrogance, doesn't it?
Otherwise, why bother? We all know people who find romance in partners the rest of us find overbearingly arrogant, so perhaps it's not the passion-killer we might originally think it is. Red is also considered unintelligent, which might not come as a surprise as arrogance is often overcompensating for a fear of coping with life.
But wait. Didn't we find that red is considered a sexy colour too? Yes we did. What does that say about the traits we find attractive? People, you need to take a long, hard look at yourselves.
Many social media users will be familiar with the "pink stinks" campaign , which named and shamed manufacturers and retailers who used gender stereotyping to market their products, such as pink screwdriver sets for women. Well it turns out that there's even more to it than meets the eye. Because poor pink which is just an innocent blend of colours, after all has developed all sorts of negative connotations, most notably with intelligence. Pink sits blushingly at the foot of the chart that gauges people's perceptions of colours as markers of intelligence.
We can read a lot into this finding, however. Because in Western culture at least, pink is definitely associated with femininity, so does that mean that people view femininity as less intelligent? Pink's counterpart blue sits second behind super-thoughtful black, so the pattern seems to hold. It's a shocking conclusion if true. Look deeper, though, and it might not be so simple.
Entertainment Weekly's EW. Your writing, at its best. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. The Colour of a Thing Believed is a collection of 13 independent stories with powerful and daring themes that are laid out with all carefulness More surprising is the power it holds. Ben Fischer of the New York Business Journal reported that interest in the first BuzzFeed article about the dress exhibited vertical growth instead of the typical bell curve of a viral phenomenon, leading BuzzFeed to assign two editorial teams to generate additional articles about the dress to drive ad revenue,  and by 1 March, the original BuzzFeed article had received over 37 million views.