Why You’re Seeing Black-And-White Selfies All Over Instagram Right Now

It’s the latest social media chain to go viral.

NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Since the beginning of quarantine, we've seen plenty of Instagram challenges take off. From the #DontRush challenge to the Dolly Parton challenge, these social media trends offer another way to virtually connect with friends and followers. The latest is the Women Supporting Women challenge — a photo chain centered around black-and-white photos and female empowerment.

How It Started

While you may be seeing black-and-white selfies tagged with #WomenSupportingWomenChallenge for the first time this week, you might notice that "Challenge Accepted," which is often included in the caption or as a hashtag, isn't anything new on Instagram. As Metro UK reports, posting black-and-white photos with the phrase, "Challenge Accepted," originated from a 2016 challenge to raise cancer awareness. That hashtag popped up again in March as a way to stay connected with friends and spread positivity — though it wasn't specific to supporting women. While it's unclear how the hashtag evolved into women posting photos and nominating other women, we do know that many celebrities have hopped on the trend, too.

How It Works

To take part in the Women Supporting Women Challenge, technically you're supposed to be "nominated" by another woman. If you get nominated, then you post a black-and-white selfie with the caption "Challenge Accepted," or #ChallengeAccepted, and #WomenSupportingWomenChallenge. In the same post, you tag friends who you inspire you and encourage them to post the same thing.

Who's Taking Part

The challenge has exploded in popularity and the #WomenSupportingWomen hashtag now has more than 6 million posts. Vanessa Bryant, Kerry Washington, Ciara, and Eva Longoria are just a few of the big names that have accepted the challenge and kept it going. Many who have taken part, including Zoe Saldana, have noted how fond they are of the solidarity being demonstrated through this challenge.

While celebs may be at the top of your feed with this challenge, plenty of non-celebs are in on it too. Since it's like a chain mail, technically you're supposed to wait until it comes to you to participate. But if you want to go rogue — these are unprecedented times after all — all you need is a selfie, the black-and-white-filter, and a few friends you feel like shouting out.