Anyone that has been on Instagram in the last week or so has probably noticed some of the black-and-white images of women with the captions #ChallengeAccepted and #Womensupportingwomen. Additionally, many celebrities joined the challenge and shared their own black-and-white photos. The challenge claims to be about women empowerment and women supporting other women, and women are supposed to tag other women on their posts to post their own monochrome images with the tags #challengeaccepted and #womensupportingwomen. According to director Ava Duvernay, the challenge is more of a cool excuse to post pics, but she still posted a photo to support her friends.
Numerous celebrities participated in the challenge, including the likes of Meghan Trainor, Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Paula Abdul, Zooey Deschanel, Paris Hilton, and many more.
Many critics, though, claim that it’s a shallow gesture in the light of a global pandemic and civil rights protests taking place around the world, and even called the movement ineffective. Some urged for an actual call to action, but we believe that there’s nothing wrong with the trend, and it’s just a harmless way of showing support to our fellow sisters.
I know this trend is well-intentioned. But there are better ways to support women than turning on the black-and-white filter and tagging a selfie #womenempowerment or #WomenSupportingWomen. Here’s why.https://t.co/AHfsZ3B5ES
— Rae Alexandra (@Raemondjjjj) July 29, 2020
Challenge accepted 🖤 Thank you @TerriSeymour‼️ I truly love this challenge and message. Everyday let’s amplify and support the voices of women! Nominating @GwynethPaltrow @nikakljun @juliannehough @JanetJackson @jennadewan @ArianaGrande @ddlovato & @katyperry ✨ XoP pic.twitter.com/sxicvIF0FV
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) July 27, 2020
The origin of the trend remains unknown, but KQED Arts and Culture report that the challenge originated in the Turkish women’s rights campaign after a 27-year-old student named Pinar Gültekin fell by the arms of her ex-boyfriend. This incident sparked a wave of outrage across Turkey, and the protests turned into a social media campaign to raise awareness about the number of women that fall by the arms of their partners in the country. The point of posting black and white photos was symbolic of seeing women in black-and-white photographs in newspapers every day, fallen victims to their partners. The point of the selfies was to help other people realize the fact that these women can be their sisters or their mothers, and it could just as easily be one of them on the front page of the newspaper the next day.
Instagram themselves, though, confirmed that the challenge has been around since 2016, and Turkey is just one recent manifestation of it.