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In the past 24 hours, you must have noticed how women have been posting black and white pictures, with messages encouraging women. It is beautiful to see, days dedicated to women to send messages to each other with the sole aim of encouraging each other.

The #challengeaccepted trend is meant for women empowerment, for women to appreciate each other and encourage each other. Celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Kristen Bell, and Kerry Washington, Genevieve Nnaji, Tiwa Savage have accepted the “challenge.” There’s no obvious social justice bent here other than to encourage women to share photos of themselves where they feel confident.

Here is how it works; when posting the photo, people have been using one of the following hashtags: #challengeaccepted, #womensupportingwomen, or #blackandwhitechallenge. Then, they shout out the woman who nominated them to participate, share a message of female empowerment, and nominate other people either in the caption or via DM.

According to the New York Times, more than 3 million people had used #challengeaccepted on their posts so far.

Looking into the origin of this challenge, the Times says the first post to emerge from the current spike in #challengeaccepted was a post by Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão more than a week ago.

However, in a tweet by Tariro Mzezewa, a Times travel reporter, she said:

The Turkish hashtags about domestic violence and femicide were dropped as the challenge went viral. The images were for women to bond “but MORE importantly that we know that we can be the next trending image and hashtag.” – @zeycan_rochelle. The original accompanying hashtags were #kadınaşiddetehayır #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.)

These and more are the disparities about the origin of the Challenge accepted trend, however, each points to the fact that it is for women.

As much as there has been mass support for the trend, some have doubts as to how pictures will serve as a means of empowerment. Either if it empowers women across the globe, or it’s an empty gesture absent real action: tone-deaf and even vapid. Some, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, have since deleted their #challengeaccepted posts.

However, people have explained that spreading positivity does no harm to anyone, so people should be left to post their pictures if it works for them.

Here are some images below:

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