Have you accepted the challenge?

Our social media feeds have recently been flooded by black-and-white photos of our female friends and idols. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Cara Delevigne, and Millie Bobby Brown have accepted the “challenge,” posting their own photos with a caption about women empowerment.

To encourage more women to take part, those who have taken the challenge would nominate their fellow female friends, urging them to post a monochromatic image of themselves, and share the photo with the hashtag #womensupportingwomen and #challengeaccepted.

However, as the challenge succeeds in encouraging more people to join and spread the message of being true to and proud of one’s self, there have been critics calling the movement an ’empty gesture’ that’s bombarding social media feeds during Covid-19 Pandemic and the protests against racism. More so, we can say that the challenge has flowed like a chain message but captured with different flattering angles.

Little did they know, there’s a real meaning behind the challenge that is more severe than it may seem.

Raising Awareness

As many women interpreted the challenge to show feminist pursuit, this challenge was initially meant to raise awareness about femicide in Turkey. This cycle was originally started by the Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão who posted the challenge, tapping other women to spread the situation of women in Turkey. But it looks like the challenge became a trend and many women don’t know about its actual advocacy. 

Instagram user @beelzeboobz revealed the true meaning of the said challenge.

“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 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 plastered across news outlets with a black and white filter on top.” he stated on his Instagram post.

Simply put, this trend of black-and-white selfies should be an advocacy for women to take a stand against the horrible femicide in Turkey and in other places experiencing the same thing.

Perhaps, instead of posting that hot black-and-white selfie, why don’t we encourage other women to know the actual advocacy or educate them about the femicide in Turkey instead of seeing this warped challenge evolution lose its original meaning.

You know, it’s not too late for those black-and-white portraits to inspire and be in line with what this is trying to accomplish.

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