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The Black & White Photo Challenge Takes The Internet By Storm

Saudi movers and shakers are nominating friends to take part in the latest photo trend to sweep Instagram to support each other and promote female empowerment.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you’ve noticed your Instagram feed is overrunning with black-and-white photos of your favourite celebrities and influencers, not to mention your girl gang.


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From Khloé Kardashian, Kerry Washington and Jennifer Aniston to Jennifer Garner, Kristen Bell and Cindy Crawford, celebrities have been posting stunning photos of themselves, adding captions about women supporting each other and the hashtags #challengeaccepted and #womensupportingwomen. 


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While Ivanka Trump posted a throwback of when she was pregnant, Hilaria Baldwin is busy doing a headstand in her photo and Crawford chose a stunning shot on the beach. As well as head-turning images, A-listers are taking the time to choose the right words for their encouraging captions.  “To all my Queens- Let’s spread love and remember to be a little kinder to one another,” Kardashian wrote. Meanwhile, Aniston, who was just nominated for an Emmy for the first time in 11 years for her work in “The Morning Show,” penned: “Thank you to all the brilliant and beautiful women in my life who sent the most uplifting messages today. Truth be told, I don’t really understand this #challengeaccepted thing…but who doesn't love good reason to support women!  Soooo…. challenge accepted!” 


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The campaign that’s all about a show of women’s empowerment has also seen our favourite regional influencers and go-getters, including Saudis Marriam Mossalli, Loulwa Al Sharif and Alanoud Badr, posting monochrome images of themselves, using the main hashtags and tagging other women while nominating them to post their own photos. Mossalli, who is behind luxury consulting firm Niche Arabia, posted an adorable after-birth picture, adding to her caption: “Women are a special kind of human: we support each other, we teach each other, we have even started telling each other when we dress ugly... individually, we are badass... together, we are unstoppable!” 


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While there are millions of women who are happy to post pictures, there are also critics of the virtual chain who feel selfies aren’t exactly going to change the world. They also believe the pictures, sometimes seen as vain, are taking up space on social media feeds during a time the world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-racism protests. However, it is cheering to see women back their friends and the women they look up to. These harmless photo challenges are also undoubtedly a great way to feel connected and spread some positivity during these trying times.  

Why did it all start? 
An Instagram representative has said the first post they found related to the challenge with the vintage-inspired aesthetic came from Brazilian journalist Ana Paula Padrão. However, the origins behind the latest chain to take over the photo and video sharing app remains a bit unclear. Some say it’s a reaction to American Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral speech. The Representative spoke out against Representative Ted Yoho’s sexist remarks directed towards her while she was in Congress. Others, meanwhile, think the challenge is linked to women in Turkey, who have been sharing black-and-white photos to raise awareness about femicide.  The black-and-white photo challenge is thought to be a way for Turkish women to raise their voice and stand in solidarity with the women who have been murdered.

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