Why women are posting black-and-white photos of themselves on social media

Kerry Washington, Jennifer Garner and several influential women have joined in the latest viral challenge.
evalongoria/kerrywashington/ Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Women are sharing black-and-white photos of themselves on social media to spread messages about female solidarity and empowerment, with many including the hashtags #challengeaccepted and #womensupportingwomen.

While its origins are unclear (though there was a similar viral challenge in 2016 that was tied to raising cancer awareness), the goal is to just share some positivity during the pandemic.

Several celebrities are taking part in the challenge, including Kerry Washington, who posted a photo of herself in a sun hat. She noted she had been nominated to take part in the challenge by Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late basketball great Kobe Bryant.

“Challenge accepted. Thank you for nominating me @vanessabryant ❤️ I am awed by the power of women loving each other and lifting each other up!!!!! And I adore you Xo,” Washington wrote in the caption.

Bryant also nominated her oldest daughter, Natalia, to take part in the challenge.

Khloe Kardashian shared a selfie, saying Bryant also nominated her.

"To all my Queens- Let’s spread love and remember to be a little kinder to one another," the reality star wrote.

Eva Longoria also took part, tagging Washington and other influential women.

“Challenge accepted ladies!” Longoria wrote in the caption. “Women supporting women!”

TODAY's Sheinelle Jones joined in, too, sharing a candid photo with the hashtag #sisterhoodmakesmesmile.

And Jenna Bush Hager participated with a fun poolside photo.

“Sisterhood is the sweetest gift. Challenge accepted (in the pool, in Texas with tacos and besties, of course!)” the TODAY with Hoda & Jenna co-host wrote of the snap.

TODAY co-anchor Savannah Guthrie also shared a photo.

Kristen Bell also took part and shared a moving quote from organizational psychologist Adam Grant: "'Shapers' are independent thinkers: curious, non-conforming, and rebellious. They practice brutal, nonhierarchical honesty. And they act in the face of risk, because their fear of not succeeding exceeds their fear of failing."

Jennifer Love Hewitt also joined in with a black-and-white selfie.

Jennifer Garner was also among the many celebrities who took part.

“I’m sending love back to you and heaps to all women looking after their sisters,” she captioned her photo. “That’s how it’s done, ladies ♥️♥️♥️. #challengeaccepted #womensupportingwomen”

It may be unclear exactly how the black-and-white challenge began, but there’s no denying it’s spreading a beautiful message about sisterhood!