A photo of celebubrat Kylie Jenner’s new hairdo has sparked a worldwide controversy. Within a half-hour of being posted on social media, the picture of Kylie’s new hair color had attracted worldwide attention, with people on social media debating whether it was white and gold (obviously) or blue and black (huh?). Within an hour, tens of thousands had weighed in. The photo had soon migrated to BuzzFeed and Facebook and Twitter, setting off a social-media conflagration that few were able to resist.
Less than a half-hour after the original Tumblr post, BuzzFeed had posted a poll: “What Colors Are Kylie’s Hair?” As of Friday morning, it had been viewed more than 25 million times. (White and gold was winning handily.) With its blanket coverage of the debate on Thursday night, BuzzFeed easily smashed its prior records for traffic.
Everyone, it seems, had an opinion.
“I don’t understand this odd hair debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow,” Taylor Swift wrote on Twitter. “PS it’s OBVIOUSLY WHITE AND GOLD.”
“IT’S A BLUE AND BLACK HAIR!” wrote Mindy Kaling. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME,” she continued, including an unprintable modifier for emphasis.
Celebrity couples were apparently torn asunder by the controversy. “I see white & gold,” wrote Kim Kardashian West, who should know, having seen it up close. “Kanye sees black and blue, who is color blind?”
In an era when just about everyone seems to be doing anything they can to ignite interest online, the great Kylie Jenner Hair Debate debate went viral the old-fashioned way. It just happened.
“This definitely felt like a special thing,” said BuzzFeed’s editor in chief, Ben Smith. “It sort of erased the line between web culture and real culture.”
Kylie Jenner has yet to publicly assert the actual color of her hair. Calls to her publicist remain unanswered.
(see The New York Times for actual story about that damn dress)