Has your feed also become inundated with black-and-white glamour shots of various famous (or not) women in the name of empowerment? If you answered yes, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Just kidding, but you might find some solace in knowing that you’re not alone if you think this gesture is ultimately hollow despite its best intentions. If you’re debating posting a pic, here’s why you may want to reconsider:
This past week, countless women have taken to the ’gram with photos of themselves after being tagged in the #ChallengeAccepted and #WomenSupportingWomen campaign. (Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Khloé Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, and Cindy Crawford have all joined in and tapped other women to participate, too, like chain mail.) As New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz put it, most of the captions are “benign” but the cause is “vague.”
#Challengeaccepted! Thank you to all the magical women in my life for the endless love and support. ✨ May we all continue to shine a light on one another. This is what sisterhood is all about. #womensupportingwomen
A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on Jul 27, 2020 at 8:29am PDT
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with women celebrating each other, but according to the NYT and many others on social media, this selfie challenge co-opted very important movements like that of Turkish women who were raising awareness about femicide.
just thought all of you posting these "black and white" challenges should see how tone deaf they actually are xx pic.twitter.com/WdQzQqMlza
— ايمأن 🇵🇸 (@imaann_patel) July 28, 2020
It’s also similar to the Instagram challenge aimed at uplifting Black women and men in June when protests relating to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor gained momentum.
But just like how some used #BlackoutTuesday to simply post a performative black square and fail to share resources or vital information to further the Black Lives Matter movement, this campaign drowns out the important posts it piggybacked off of.
So instead of posting pictures of yourself, which we can all do literally any time because it is Instagram, after all, consider this: Post photos and bios of women who inspire you, post and tag women-owned businesses, celebrate trans women and share resources that will help curb the violence systemically carried out against them, post GoFundMes for women in need, or post organizations that are committed to uplifting and supporting women beyond Instagram.
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