If you happen to peak on Instagram this week, you might be intrigued by the number of women, normal and celebrity alike, posting black and white photos of themselves with the caption/hashtag #ChallengeAccepted. This is one of the many recent trends on the photo app highlighting and promoting female empowerment. As of Monday, over four million photos have been posted with the hashtag and the caption WomenSupportingWomen.
It honestly feels like there is no specific reason for this trend starting, just simply to give women a platform to feel like they are empowered and confident, which is not a jab at the ‘challenge’ whatsoever. On the contrary: women are always in a constant battle with sexism and discrimination. Having the ability to post on Instagram a simple picture, might not ‘fight the patriarchy’ but can allow for women to support other women.
It is unknown where the challenge originates from. However, a representative from Instagram mentioned that one of the earliest mentions was a post made a week and a half ago by Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão.
Countless celebrities participated in the challenge, ranging from Kristen Bell -- who posted a bare-faced selfie and inspiring quote alongside -- to Jenifer Aniston -- who didn’t even completely understand the challenge, but “who doesn’t love good reason to support women.”
However, the challenge doesn’t shy away from its critics. Some believe that the challenge is an empty gesture that is mindless noise to a constant Instagram feed that highlights the COVID-19 Pandemic and the BLM protests. In response, proponents say it's a harmless way to support friends and others. It is a difficult situation to argue for or against. It seems that many times, influencers and celebrities are huge fans of these sort of challenges because they do not require much actual advocacy. So this asks the question: Do celebrities truly care about #ChallengeAccepted?
I argue that it takes the mind away from all of the negativity occurring in the world and instead brings about some positivity to a person’s feed. Why should women have an excuse to spread positivity? When it comes to celebrity advocacy culture, we should really take their posts with a grain of salt, but at the same time, why should we question their choice to post if there is no harmful consequence?
Sisterhood is a key component to the challenge. Oftentimes, we as women bash on other women due to societal standards put in place. Women often will shine a negative light on their counterparts because they feel this is the only way to truly, get to the top. We must find a more communal way and effort to connect women, instead of constantly being bitches to each other. Women must support Women to fight discrimination and sexism faced every day, whether that be in the real world, or on Instagram.