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Gray and teal? Or white and pink? Lizzo, Will Smith reignite debate over sneakers

Some people saw both pairs of colors!
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/ Source: TODAY

It's the sneaker debate that just keeps on going.

An Instagram post by singer Lizzo on Sunday has reignited the question of whether this pair of retro Vans sneakers originally posted online in 2017 are gray and teal, or pink and white.


Fans and fellow celebrities chimed in with endorsements for gray and teal as well as pink and white.

Will Smith then got in on the discussion with an Instagram post of his own on Sunday in which he encouraged people to ask their friends what color sneakers they see in the photo.

"There’s no right answer, but it’s definitely not pink,” he joked in a video.

The debate last divided the internet in May when CNYCentral, an NBC affiliate station in Syracuse, New York, posted the image of a woman's sneaker on Twitter — the same image that divided people around the world in 2017 — and people took both sides.

"When I first looked at the photo I saw teal & grey & now I'm seeing pink & white and it looks exactly like this photo. Idk how my brain did it. It's freaking me out," wrote one Twitter user.

"If I turn the brightness on my phone all the way up, it’s pink & white. If I leave at normal (dimmed) setting, it’s grey & green," someone else posted.

Much like the debate over #TheDress, which Internet users couldn't decide if was blue and black or white and gold, clearly, there was not going to be a consensus.

The Dutch Twitter user who originally posted the pic of the sneakers in October 2017 said that they were not her shoes but that she believed they were gray and teal. Her photo quickly went viral, sparking a variety of impassioned responses.

The shoe appears to be a retro women's Vans sneaker, which is no longer available, but was once listed as "mahogany rose" (i.e. pink) on the Vans website.

In addition to these sneakers, there have been a number of arguments over the colors of an Adidas jacket, a pair of flip flops, a handbag and a Nike outfit.

And while it's startling to think that people can see the same objects so differently, there may be a reason behind the varied views.

"It’s a perception issue. It's the way the brain processes information that comes in,” eye surgeon Paul Dougherty told TODAY in 2015, speaking about #TheDress debate. “Everyone's brain is different, so even though it's the same stimulus coming in, which it is, everyone processes the information differently."