Challenge Accepted: Latest viral challenge aims to promote female empowerment

ByKemberly Richardson WABC logo
Thursday, July 30, 2020
New viral challenge aims to promote female empowerment
Challenge Accepted: There's a powerful message taking over Instagram that is showing up in the form of black and white photos of women.

NEW YORK -- There's a powerful message taking over social media that is showing up in the form of black and white photos of women.

Claire Sulmers, founder of Fashion Bomb Daily and a social media influencer, is one of millions of women around the world taking part in the latest challenge sweeping social media to empower women.

"It was a wonderful nice note in my in box unexpected," Sulmers said.

Here's how it works: post a single black and white photo of yourself with the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted and then nominate another lady to do the same.

Instagram says roughly 3 million pictures have been uploaded. Facebook users are also involved.

"I do think it's signaling a trend of women supporting women and supporting entrepreneurs, those who are ambitious, those who we admire and not being afraid or ashamed to proclaim that in a social setting," Sulmers said.

Back in 2016 a similar campaign unfolded for cancer awareness.

While it's not completely clear how the challenge originated this time around, many online say it is believed to have started as a way to support victims of Femicide in Turkey -- others believe it is simply a movement to support and empower other women.

This round, there was a flood of photos after New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently gave a passionate speech on the floor about sexism after a male colleague was accused of calling her a derogatory name.

Lance Ulenoff is a technology expert and says this challenge is doing exact what social media is set up to do: spread information fast and with ease.

"Viral challenges like these, social media challenges like these, is a connection to a broader conversation outside of your home, outside of the space you've been living in for months, you get to feel like you're part of something bigger," Ulenoff said.

As far as what's next, some point out it could be what ignites a much bigger movement offline, but others worry, like so many other challenges in the past, it will fizzle and fade away.

"When the ice bucket challenge was happening, suddenly everyone was doing it, in a way that kind of, it was exciting because it did generate a lot of money for ALS, but it also kind of was no longer special," Ulenoff said.

The ladies of Eyewitness News have accepted the challenge: