#ChallengeAccepted campaign encourages women to empower each other

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Women from all over the world have been sharing black and white pictures of themselves on social media. The “challenge accepted” campaign is spreading the message of women empowering women.

We spoke with local women to see why this is more than just another social movement.

“Why is it important to empower other women?” Karen Clayton said.

“Women are always underestimated in our society and I think one of the things we are underestimated on is the ability to speak up,” said Beth Nielsen.

“Almost since the beginning of time women have been systematically not been listened to, not heard, not honored,” said Jenny Hallenbeck Orr.

“This isn’t one issue this is a cultural issue… this is a societal issue,” said Renée Cooper.

Millions and millions of black and white selfies have been uploaded this week for this campaign, and women from all over are coming together as one to make sure they are heard.

“Women are so strong and what a force when you put 10 or 15 of them in the same room and focusing on the same cause putting their differences aside,” said Jule Schirado.

“We must all contribute on this platform to reap the immeasurable benefits of women in society,” said Clayton.

There has been criticism to this movement, but these selfies serve a bigger purpose than to just look good.

“In a lot of ways it is empowering to put that out there because we do see a ton of selfies all the time but I don’t think it’s just that vain as everybody thinks,” said Cooper.

“I think we empower women to love their bodies because if we had a world filled with empowered women who loved the skin they were in then we can eradicate these nasty beauty standards that the world has imposed on us for so long,” said Amber Wheeler.

“We should be proud of ourselves when we can and when we are we should share it, so when maybe someone else that is having a bad day says, ‘Hey that’s me too.’ When I sent that message out to 10 more women last night, immediately everyone just felt so honored and thankful the same way I did,” said Cooper.

As more and more women chose to post these photos, it came to light that black and white photos of women in Turkey are commonly posted on social media and news outlets, but for much different reasons. They’re used to shed light on Turkish women who are murdered, and for others to stand in solidarity with the women they’ve lost.

However, CNN updated their report saying this movement did in fact start for the sole purpose of empowering women. CNN says it originally came from a post by Ana Paula Padrão, a Brazilian journalist.

Wherever it did come from it has definitely made an impact.

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