by Nicole Allen

Over the past few weeks, Instagram has been blowing up with pictures of women of all different body types, ages, and backgrounds, participating in Instagram’s 20 Beautiful Women Challenge.

The challenge, which has over 1 million posts, is simple: take a picture of yourself, post it on Instagram, use the hashtag #20BeautifulWomen, then tag 20 women who you find beautiful and encourage them to do the same.

This challenge has come to light during February, National Eating Disorder Awareness month. With over 24 million people, predominantly female, suffering from an eating disorder, this challenge is a welcome reminder that we are all beautiful.

Air brushed models that advertise the “perfect body” on magazines and TV promote unrealistic ideals which creates frustrating and dangerous situations.

According to Janet M. de Groot, M.D. F.R.C.P. of The National Eating Disorder Information Center, “Most women with anorexia and bulimia share a hope that focusing on a thin appearance may improve their self-esteem.”

The 20 Beautiful Women Challenge helps boost self-esteem and confidence in women and young girls by showing the world that they are beautiful just the way they are. The challenge empowers young girls and women, showing them that they don’t need to be like the “perfect” models they see in the media.

All over the world, and even right here on campus, women and girls are posting pictures of themselves for the 20 Beautiful Women Challenge. I encourage everyone who has yet to do the challenge to partake in it, for it’s a great way to show that everyone is beautiful in their own way.