What is 'Challenge Accepted'? Instagram Trend Sees Women Supporting Women

The "Challenge Accepted" social media trend sees women sharing black and white selfies with a message about women supporting women. Women are encouraged to tag other women in their posts to keep the chain of support going.

Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Khloe Kardashian have taken part in the challenge, with the latter saying: "To all my Queens—Let's spread love and remember to be a little kinder to one another."

There are currently more than three million posts with the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted on Instagram. An Instagram spokeswoman told The New York Times on Monday: "The trend is still picking up with usage of the hashtag on Instagram doubling in the last day alone.

"Based on the posts, we're seeing that most of the participants are posting with notes relating to strength and support for their communities."

Women are also taking part in the trend with the hashtag #WomenSupportingWomen, which currently has more than seven million posts on Instagram.

Where did Challenge Accepted come from?

It is unclear exactly why or when the challenge started, but Instagram told New York Times that a photo shared by Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão was the first post they could find that appeared to take part in what is now a popular trend.

Additionally, the same article reported that the video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confronting Rep. Ted Yoho's sexist remarks against her caused an increase in social media posts about female empowerment.

Lily Collins shared a black and white selfie and said: "Women supporting women is a beautiful thing. These posts are a reflection of how strong we are together."

Paris Hilton told her followers in a caption: "Thank you to all the amazing women for your beautiful messages and nominating me for this challenge. I love you all! I love when women come together to support each other.

"My dream is that every woman feels loved, feels safe, feel happy, free and supported in their dreams. One woman can make a difference but together we can rock the World!"

However, the Challenge Accepted trend has been criticized for not supporting any particular cause, and for being a way for celebrities to seem as though they are a part of a movement without any real effort.

The recent Blackout Tuesday challenge on Instagram which saw users post a black square in support of Black Lives Matter faced similar criticism, as many posting the square did not appear to support the movement in any concrete way.

For example, Ten Eighty Magazine reported that there was double the number of black squares posted on Instagram than there were signatures on the petition calling for justice for George Floyd's death.

New York Times writer Taylor Lorenz said: "People love these types of 'challenges' because they don't require any actual advocacy. You can self promote in the name of a cause, but the cause in these #ChallengeAccepted posts is so vague they basically don't support anything at all."

The Cut writer Claire Lampen wrote: "All available information indicates that the challenge has no concrete goal beyond spreading good vibes and @ing a few women you like.

"But as with the 'Imagine' video certain celebs used to convey that #WeAreOne amid a pandemic and its attendant economic crisis, or the #itakeresponsibility anti-racism PSA, the social-justice message feels a little hollow when the main focus is on participants' flawless faces."

But those taking part in the #ChallengeAccepted trend believe that it is simply an opportunity for women to support each other with uplifting messages.

Actor Jennifer Garner said: "I'm sending love back to you and heaps to all women looking after their sisters. That's how it's done, ladies."

Cindy Crawford's black and white image was simply captioned: "Love this simple way to lift each other up."

To take part in the challenge, post a black and white photo of yourself with the caption or hashtag "Challenge Accepted." You can also write about what female empowerment means to you, or share ways for women to support women.

Tag your friends in the mentions or via direct message to keep the Instagram trend going.

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In this photo illustration, social media apps, including Instagram, are displayed on the screen of a smartphone on October 07, 2019 in Paris, France. A new Instagram trends sees women share black and white selfies with the hashtags #ChallengeAccepted and #WomenSupportingWomen. Chesnot/Getty