A viral challenge has taken social media by storm as Instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with powerful women encouraging other women to post photos of themselves.
The “challenge accepted” trend calls on women to share black-and-white pictures of themselves to show support of women. As of Wednesday morning, there are more than 5.5 million posts on Instagram using the hashtag, including pictures from celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, and Vanessa Bryant.
However, the trend has led to internet-wide confusion and clashing narratives over the challenge’s true origins.
The challenge was popularised at the same time as a similar black-and-white photo trend in Turkey, as many protest the high rate of femicides, or murders of women, in the country.
Last week, the remains of 27-year-old student Pınar Gültekin were found in Turkey, after she was allegedly beaten and strangled to death by a former partner. Gültekin’s killing sparked outrage throughout the nation and on social-media. The news of Gültekin’s murder comes after the rate of femicides has increased in recent years, according to the Guardian.
While a representative for the Council of Europe told Insider that the they have no knowledge of the Instagram challenge being connected to their work, they said the posts on social media do help support the missions of the convention.
Zeycan Rochelle Yildirim, who works in education development for a private foundation and lives in Istanbul, told Insider she noticed the black-and-white photos circulating just one day after the trend had popularised in her own community with two Turkish hashtags, #ChallengeAccepted and #WomenSupportingWomen.
“Initially I was confused,” she said of seeing Americans participate in the challenge without a connection to the Turkish movement. “I felt a little bit sad that the message was being lost.”
Yildirim said that the idea of sharing a black-and-white picture to show support for Turkish women made sense because when women are killed in femicides, it’s often black-and-white photos of the victim that are shared on social-media.
Regardless of the challenge’s true origins — and the intentions of international participants — Yildirim said she’s glad more people are learning about the Istanbul Convention. “I think if we have enough pressure from international media, maybe we can get more justice for women who are abused in these cases,” she said