A positive new trend is lighting up Instagram feeds everywhere with the “women supporting women” or “challenge accepted” craze, inspiring users to post black-and-white selfies to spread messages of female empowerment, friendship and confidence.
A slew of stars including Kerry Washington, Khloe Kardashian, Cindy Crawford, Ayesha Curry, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Gabrielle Union, Halle Berry, Jessica Alba and Demi Lovato have jumped on the bandwagon in recent days to promote sisterhood and solidarity, tagging friends to continue the campaign by sharing a photo of their own.
"So grateful to all of the inspirational women in my life who constantly uplift each other and encourage one another,” Curry wrote on Sunday, thanking Vanessa Bryant for the nomination.
“Thank you to all the magical women in my life for the endless love and support. May we all continue to shine a light on one another,” Witherspoon posted on Monday, adding the hashtags #ChallengeAccepted and #WomenSupportingWomen. “This is what sisterhood is all about.”
Furthermore, The Cut cited an Instagram spokesperson who explained that the hashtags are “meant to celebrate strength, spread love, and remind all women that supporting each other is everything. “
As of Tuesday morning, over 7 million posts have been shared to photo-sharing platform with the #WomenSupportingWomen tag, while over 4 million posts have been linked to the #ChallengeAccepted tag. Over 1 million images have also been uploaded with the related #BlackAndWhiteChallenge hashtag.
“The trend is still picking up with usage of the hashtag on Instagram doubling in the last day alone,” a spokeswoman for Instagram told The New York Times on Monday. “Based on the posts, we’re seeing that most of the participants are posting with notes relating to strength and support for their communities.”
According to the Times, a similar trend surfaced a few years back, when black-and-white photos were posted with the same tag #ChallengeAccepted to promote cancer awareness.
Most recently, the Instagram rep said that Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão appears to have kicked off the current empowering “challenge accepted” craze on July 17.
Some speculate that the trend gained steam when Rep. Alexandria Occasio Cortez spoke out against Rep. Ted Yoho’s “dehumanizing" remarks towards her on the House floor last week.