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Black and White challenge Explained: Why are women posting black & white photos on social media | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Women all across the world have been posting monochromic pictures of themselves on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms to promote women empowerment, accompanied by the hashtag #challengeaccepted and #womensupportingwomen.
The purpose of the trend is to show solidarity and support other women across the world.
What is the challenge and how it works?
The challenge to upload your black and white photograph has circulated like a conventional chain mail where people nominate at least one other woman to post her own black-and-white portrait, who in turn, can nominate other women.
Women have been posting black and white selfies with positive affirmations to show their appreciation for other women using the hashtags #ChallengeAccepted and #WomenSupportingWomen.
How it started?
As the challenge campaign went viral on social media, many women from Turkey came out saying the trend was started in their country to protest against femicide.
According to many posts, the challenge began after the killing of 27-year-old Pinar Gutelkin, a Turkish woman. She was allegedly killed by her boyfriend earlier this month.
The incident sparked outrage across Turkey where activists said it was another addition to the long list of violence-related cases against women.
Actress Sarah Hyland also took to Instagram to give some context about the challenge. “I know there are many challenges that include women posting B&W pictures to support women’s rights,” she wrote.
“One origin, however, hasn’t been talked about as much, and that is the tragedy of the #femicide” occurring in Turkey.”
One Instagram user @beelzeboobz wrote that the challenge started in Turkey as a way to spread information about the high incidence of women being killed in Turkey. “Turkish people wake up every day to see a black and white photo of a woman who has been murdered, on their Instagram feed, on their newspapers, on their TV screens,” the user wrote.
Cristine Abram, a public relations and influencer marketing manager for Later, told the New York Times that a video of Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking out against Rep. Ted Yoho’s sexist remarks against her on the floor of Congress last week led to a spike in social media posts about feminism and female empowerment, which may have contributed to the latest round of black-and-white photos.
“That was the spark that led to the resurgence of the hashtag challenge,” Abram said.
A representative from Instagram said that the earliest post the company could surface for this current cycle of the challenge was posted a week and a half ago by Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão.
However, this is not the first time Instagram users have leveraged black-and-white selfies in support of a vague cause. Back in 2016, black-and-white photos with the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted were meant to spread a message of “cancer awareness.” Over the years the photo trend has also been used to “spread positivity.”
Criticism to the challenge
Though the challenge has gone viral and about 6 million such posts have been shared on Instagram, it has received some backlash also from some corners.
Many feminists on social media have said that though the photographs have spread widely, the posts themselves say very little.
“Ladies,” Alana Levinson, a writer, tweeted on Monday, “instead of posting that hot black-and-white selfie, why don’t we ease into feminism with something low stakes, like cutting off your friend who’s an abuser?”
Other women suggested that instead of a black-and-white selfie, women should share photos of books, articles, products and charities that benefit women.
Celebrities joining the campaign
Actor Anushka Sharma on Wednesday shared a monochrome picture of herself to support the ‘women supporting women‘ challenge on Instagram. The ‘Sultan’ actor complimented the post with a note on her take on women empowerment and said it takes a lot of more than “strength” for women to navigate life as the world has been skewed against women.
“It takes a lot more effort, strength, perseverance, wisdom, knowledge, patience and grit for us to navigate life as the world has always been skewed against us. No one knows this better than us. Standing together in solidarity and not falling for the trap that is constantly laid down for us is our victory,” she wrote.
Hollywood actor Jennifer Aniston also participated in the ‘women supporting women’ challenge on Instagram and extended her gratitude to all the brilliant and beautiful women in her life and the uplifting messages that she’d received from them.
Sharing a glamorous monochromatic picture of herself in an oversized denim shirt and shorts, with her luscious locks left free the ‘Friends’ actor accepted the viral challenge and penned a note for all her beautiful girlfriends. She began her note, “Thank you to all the brilliant and beautiful women in my life who sent the most uplifting messages today. Truth be told, I don’t really understand this #challengeaccepted thing…but who doesn’t love good reason to support women! Soooo…. challenge accepted!”
The ‘Murder Mystery’ star tagged her friends from Hollywood including – Jennifer Lopez, Lily Collins, Gal Gadot, comedian Manon Mathews, Michelle Pfeiffer, film producer Aleen Keshishian among others and urged them register to vote for the issues that affect women.
Many Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities have participated in the challenge, nominating others in their circles to take it forward.

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