If you are an avid internet user, you will notice that in the past few days, some women across the world have been posting monochromic pictures of themselves on various social media platforms with the caption, “Challenge Accepted.”

The new trend, which sees women sharing black and white photos of themselves, has also gotten the backing of a host of prominent figures including the likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Tiwa Savage, Gabrielle Union, Kristen Bell, Kerry Washington, Funke Akindele, Bukky Wright, Ini Edo, and Zahra Buhari-Indimi.

The sole aim of the challenge is to encourage “women to support women” in what appears to be a show of solidarity and calls for female empowerment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

How does it work?

To be part of the challenge, you will have to post a black and white photo of yourself, and then challenge other women who you want to uplift to do the same. The women, thereafter, share their photo, usually with the caption “Challenge Accepted” or hashtag #womensupportingwomen, and tag other women to post their own, who in turn, can nominate other women.

How did it start?

There are reports that the trend originated from Turkey and that it was aimed to protest against femicide. Tariro Mzezewa, a travel reporter for the New York Times, also disclosed that the idea of the challenge was in response to the high rate of killings of women and girls in the country.

“The original accompanying hashtags were #kadınaşiddetehayır and #istanbulsözleşmesiyaşatır, which I’m told translate to say no to violence against women & enforce the Istanbul Treaty/ Doctrine (where rights to protect women are signed.),” she wrote on Twitter.

On his part, @beelzeboobs, an Instagram user, wrote. “The black and white photo challenge started as a way for women to raise their voice. To stand in solidarity with the women we have lost. To show that one day, it could be their picture that is plastered across news outlets with a black and white filter on top.”

Some celebrities who participated in the trend

Although the trend has gone viral with the phrase used over 6 million times on Instagram, it, has, however, generated criticism in some quarters with a number of women suggesting that rather than share black and white selfies, photos of books, products, and charities that benefit women should be prioritised.

Ali Segel, the cohost of the podcast Web Crawlers, wrote: “I challenge everyone who has posted a black and white photo to post a screenshot of the organization or charity they’ve donated to that actually supports women. Thanks!”

Also corroborating with Segel, Alana Levinson, deputy editor of MEL Magazine, shared a screenshot of Ivanka Trump’s #ChallengeAccepted Instagram post, with the caption: “To all the women mad at me for pointing out how vapid the challenge was: come get your gurl.”

Those participating, however, defended the challenge as a harmless way of taking a deep breath from the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises across the world.



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