‘Challenge Accepted’ on Instagram: Black and White Selfies for Women

Over the previous a number of days, many Instagram feeds have been overrun with black-and-white photographs of ladies each well-known and not.

These images are sometimes posed and filtered, taken from flattering angles and accompanied by benign captions about “supporting women.”

“Love this simple way to lift each other up. #challengeaccepted. Thank you for nominating me @vanessabryant,” the mannequin Cindy Crawford posted on Monday together with a black-and-white picture of herself strolling on a seaside that appears ripped from a Calvin Klein commercial.

The premise of the “challenge accepted” development is that these images promote feminine empowerment, and that nominating associates to participate within the marketing campaign is a manner for women to support each other.

The challenge has circulated like chain mail. Participants nominate at least one other woman (and often several) to post her own black-and-white portrait. Celebrities including the actresses Kerry Washington, Jennifer Garner, Kristen Bell and Eva Longoria have helped the campaign gain visibility.

Cristine Abram, a public relations and influencer marketing manager for Later, a social media marketing firm, said that a video of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking out against Representative 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,” said Ms. Abram. “It’s all to do with female empowerment. There was this hashtag that already existed to raise awareness around other large issues. Tapping into that allowed participants to gain traction a lot faster because the algorithm was already familiar with the hashtag.”

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 the Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão. Others have noted that women in Turkey began sharing black-and-white photos recently to raise awareness about femicide.

Though the portraits have spread widely, the posts themselves say very little. Like the black square, which became a symbol of solidarity with Black people but asked very little of those who shared it, the black-and-white selfie allows users to feel as if they’re taking a stand while saying almost nothing. Influencers and celebrities love these types of “challenges” because they don’t require actual advocacy, which might alienate certain factions of their fan base.

Source link Nytimes.com

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