The "Challenge Accepted" Trend, Explained

You've probably spotted a ton of black-and-white photos on your feed.

Khloe Kardashian black and white selfie
(Image credit: Kerry Washington/Instagram)

As of this moment, the #ChallengeAccepted hashtag (opens in new tab) has been used on Instagram three million times. This isn't the first time the Challenge Accepted trend has appeared alongside a black-and-white photo; in 2016 it was for cancer awareness, and since then it's been used to spread positivity. Once nominated, the woman in question posts a photo and then nominates at least one other woman, who does the same. If your feed's been inundated with artsy black-and-white photos, you've been nominated yourself, or you're just very curious about what's going on, fear not. I have all the answers for you, as well as some context. Get ready, because there may be a lot more of this on your feed in the next couple days.

How did the #ChallengeAccepted trend get started?

According to The New York Times speaking to PR manager Cristine Abram, this recent trend may have originated from "a video (opens in new tab) of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking out against Representative Ted Yoho’s sexist remarks against her on the floor of Congress last week [that] led to a spike in social media posts about feminism and female empowerment." The earliest instance of the trend that could be found on Instagram came from journalist Ana Paula Padrão.

A post shared by Ana Paula Padrão (@anapaulapadraooficial) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

The hashtag #womensupportingwomen is often used alongside #ChallengeAccepted; The trend's gotten criticism since it took off, with others comparing this to the recent "black square" trend (opens in new tab) that can indeed be a sign of solidarity but also does not require much by way of long-term, concrete advocacy.

As the trend has continued, women have begun moving away from posting their faces and more towards posting about Black-owned businesses (opens in new tab) they appreciate, causes they care about, and important issues like Breonna Taylor and arresting the cops who killed her.

A post shared by Julie Willi Martin (@williwildflower) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

And other users have encouraged following up the trend with activism.

Which celebrities have taken part in #ChallengeAccepted?

I really do love this Hollywood glam from Katie Holmes:

A post shared by Katie Holmes (@katieholmes) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Kerry Washington (@kerrywashington) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

I enjoyed this caption from Ava DuVernay: "Pretty sure this is just a cool excuse to post pix, but I’m gonna always roll with whatever Janine Sherman Barrois and Violet Nelson ask me to do no matter what."

A post shared by Ava DuVernay (@ava) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Jenna Dewan (@jennadewan) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Khloé Kardashian (@khloekardashian) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Eva Longoria Baston (@evalongoria) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

A post shared by Charlize Theron (@charlizeafrica) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

And I'm sure there are many more to come today.

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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.