The Salvation Army has used the internet’s biggest meme to bring awareness to domestic abuse.
The South African branch of the charity tweeted a public service announcement on Friday, featuring an image of the battered woman in a white and gold version of the now-famous dress, with a caption that reads, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”
The dress is an obvious reference to the image of a dress that went viral at the end of February, driving millions of pages views and sparking many real-life conversations, as people debated the color of the dress. Due to an optical illusion, some saw the dress as white and gold and others saw black and blue. The phenomenon captivated worldwide attention, and #TheDress soon became an internet phenomenon.
While many brands were quick to try to co-opt the meme’s viral power, the Salvation Army’s use of #TheDress may be the most powerful yet. By using the meme in its PSA, the Salvation Army has turned a fun and bizarre optical illusion that everyone has seen, into an indictment against a society that routinely turns its back on the many women who suffer from domestic abuse.