The debate that divided the world is now being used as a powerful campaign to raise public awareness around domestic violence. Salvation Army’s South African chapter brilliantly took #The Dress, which pitted millions of people against each other in camps of white and gold versus black and blue, and asked on Twitter: “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” Against an image of a woman wearing a white and gold version of the dress, it reads: “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”
Of course, once dressgate, everyone freaked out that the world wasn’t freaking out about real issues — war, poverty, etc. — but this advertisement for the charity’s #StopAbuseAgainstWomen effort seems to take the foolishness out of the original situation and turn it into a powerful (non-fashion) statement.
The tweet, which was posted on Friday morning, has already received positive feedback for appropriating the viral phenomenon for good. Many called it “brilliant,” “powerful,” and a smart way to leverage social media. “The best hijacking of online culture I’ve seen recently,” Andrew Blakeley wrote. Jonathan Blades added, “The Salvation Army taking the silliness of #TheDress to make a powerful point. that is how you jump on the bandwagon.”
While the argument over whether the dress was white and gold or black and blue ended — it was black and blue for anyone who’s failed to turn on a TV, check the Internet, or read a newspaper for a week — one more thing’s for sure: Domestic violence is a serious issue that deserves the same kind of fevered attention that was paid to #thedress.