I was not tagged in the #ChallengeAccepted black-and-white #SupportingWomen nonsense that’s been making its way across social media these past few days. While vaguely useless, self-serving social media activism is somewhat de rigueur on Instagram in 2020 (see: those black squares), the recent selfies posted by women with a black-and-white filter in the name of empowerment are particularly without merit. While their muddy origins may very well be rooted in activism, the trend quickly spread through increasingly wealthy, white female celebrities who posted pictures of themselves without donating a single cent or providing even one link to educate their audience on the very real issue of sexism. It was, therefore, the perfect bait for Ivanka Trump, who Tuesday morning posted her own black-and-white selfie, effectively ending the trend for the progressive influencers and celebrities who would never want to be in her company. 

In a time where many of us are confined to our homes and the horrors of the world seem to be involved in some kind of competition with one another, it’s understandable that finding ways to help can feel like grasping at straws. But instead of, say, weaponizing a fanbase to overload Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally with fake ticket sales and tainting the campaign’s data, more and more users are turning to online methods that require little effort and make much less of an impact. Because while posting a selfie is well and good, in what way is, say, an immigrant mother going to feel empowered staring at a sea of white women who aren’t actually acknowledging her? She already has to deal with that every day! 

Mockability of the challenge aside, the real danger of these trends lies in their ability to placate someone who otherwise could use their energy in a way that actually helps someone. If posting  a selfie on Instagram gets equated with gestures like donating, volunteering, or having difficult conversations with your family, then it’s not surprising how many people take the easy way out. Even worse, it’s now allowed Ivanka Trump to act as if being a #girlboss in power somehow makes up for the many anti-woman stances taken by her father.

“Let’s choose to love, support and strengthen one another,” she writes. “We are ALL mothers — we each bring something unique and beautiful into this world.”

With mothers being separated from their children at the border and others mourning the loss of their children at the hands of police brutality, who, exactly, is Ivanka referring to?