Conversation over a photo of a pair of women's sneakers posted back in 2017 erupted on social media again over the weekend

By Dave Quinn
October 14, 2019 01:00 PM
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Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Updated 10/14/2019:

Here we go again!

More than five months after the Internet exploded over the ‘Is it grey-and-teal or pink-and-white?’ women’s sneaker debate, Lizzo has joined the conversation.

Never one to ignore a viral trend, the “Truth Hurts” singer seemed confused by the optical illusion.

“I SEE GREY & TEAL BUT MY WHOLE TEAM SEES PINK & WHITE HELP,” the singer, 31, wrote alongside an Instagram post of the meme on Sunday.

Other celebrities including Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui chimed in commenting, “I SEE PINK AND WHITE OMH.” And model Shaun Ross wrote, “I see grey and teal.”

Will Smith also got in on the fun and posted two videos on Instagram about the color controversy.

“There’s no right answer but it’s definitely not pink,” he says in a video encouraging his followers to ask people around them what color they see in the image.

Originally posted 5/6/2019:

Over 4 years after the Internet exploded over the ‘Is it black-and-blue or white-and-gold?’ dress debate, users have found a new color debate to obsess over — this time involving a pair of women’s sneakers.

CNYCentral, an NBC affiliate station based out of Syracuse, New York, started the conversation by sharing a picture of the kicks to Twitter.

What color do you see?” they asked, explaining that some people are seeing grey and teal while others are seeing pink and white.

The photo of the sneakers were first posted in October 2017, but CNYCentral’s posting reignited the conversation.

As usual, Twitter was divided.

My girls all said pink, and all I see is grey and green,” wrote one user. “Crazy.”

Another had similar divide in his family. “My son and I see green and grey, while my wife sees pink and white,” he wrote.

So what color are the shoes? According to NBC Today, the footwear — which are no longer for sale — came from Vans, and were listed as “mahogany rose” (or, pink).

The reason some people have been seeing other colors could have to do with something called “color constancy,” where our brains compensate for differences in lighting and white-balance by automatically filling in information.

PEOPLE spoke to Jason Silva, the host of Nat Geo’s Brain Games, back during #TheDress debate. He who offered a rapid-fire, extraordinarily deep explanation for what’s happening.

The largest takeaway is that color exists in your brain. It’s not an objective feature of reality,” Silva explained by phone. “We don’t see the world objectively as is, we see the world through the lens of our preconceptions, cultural operating systems … reality is coupled to perception, so change perception, you change reality. Whatever situation people were in when they saw the picture of that dress, it changed their perception of the dress.”

“You never have a direct experience,” Silva continued. “You never experience an objective reality. Your brain is shielded from the world by this box that is your skull, all it’s doing is receiving a signal and interpreting it, like a cable box does for a television. What you call the world is more like a TV screen in your mind.”

It appears then that one brain, not ones eyes, is therefore at fault for the discrepancy — though the original photo’s color correction probably doesn’t help. Many users saw increasing the light on their screen changed the color of the sneaker for good.

When I first looked at the photo I saw teal and grey, and now I’m seeing pink and white,” wrote a particularly confused reader. “I don’t know how my brain did it. It’s freaking me out.”