How Does A Black-and-White Picture Empower Women?

black-and-white selfie

Women across the world (those who have the privilege to have an Instagram account of course) are posting black-and-white pictures of themselves with tags #ChallegeAccepted and #WomenForWomen as a symbol of women empowerment.

At the same time, there is a stream of conversation taking place about how can a black-and-white picture ever empower anyone?

So is this just a meaningless social media trend? Just another opportunity to post a stunning picture of yourself?

Actually, it’s more.

In this current time of the pandemic, when we are all in a constant state of tussle with ourselves, any small act of kindness matters. All the women who have received a personal DM reminding them that they should take care of each other and that they are beautiful the way they are and requesting them to post a black-and-white picture would tell you that even if they knew it was a forwarded message, they all felt a moment of love when they read that message.

black-and-white selfie
Image Source: Instagram via Aditi Rao Hydri, Madhuri Dixit Nene, and Katrina Kaif

These messages have poured in from all quarters – close friends, family, long-forgotten acquaintances, frenemies, and more.  

And the experience was actually sweetly surprising. The thought stays with you, and believe me, every woman on this planet loves being appreciated and considered inspiring by another woman.

Many on Instagram and Twitter have noted that this particular iteration of the challenge started in Turkey in order to raise awareness about the high rates of femicide in the country. “Turkish people wake up every day to see a black and white photo of a woman who has been murdered on their Instagram feed, on their newspapers, on their TV screens,” Instagram user @beelzeboobs wrote. “The black and white photo challenge started as a way for women to raise their voice. To stand in solidarity with the women we have lost. To show that one day, it could be their picture that is plastered across news outlets with a black and white filter on top.”

black-and-white selfie
Image Source: Instagram via Sarayu Blue, Payal Kadakia, and Joya Kazi


Most of those who have posted their pictures may be unaware of the movement in Turkey, but their posts do not intend to disrespect it in any way. If anything, as we are reading and writing more about it, the whole issue of femicide in Turkey seems to be getting further global attention.

Posting a black-and-white picture on social media may seem like a toothless tiger in the fight for women empowerment, but the fact remains that in this day and age, social media has become our biggest tool to make our voices heard. People have used and abused it for all things good, bad, and ugly. 

So if today women chose to use the platform to make themselves feel empowered then so be it. #ChallengeAccepted


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