The Academy’s New Class is 39% Female and 30% POC

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced its new class of members. The 2017 class numbers 744, which is a new record. This breaks the 2016 number of invitees at 683, which had previously held the record.

This new class might also hold the distinction of being the most diverse (so far). Of the 744 members, 39% are women and 30% are people of color (POC).

Here’s how the new class will influence the gender makeup of the Academy:

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable women invited include “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, comedian Amy Poehler, and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

POC comprise 39% of this year’s class. Here’s what that looks like with respect to the Academy’s full voting body:

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable POC invitees include Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele,” Indian actor Salman Khan, and Hong Kong actor Tony Leung.

Of course, there’s a lot of intersectionality happening for women of color (WOC). Prominent WOC in this year’s Academy class include Priyanka Chopra, Sanaa Lathan, and Nazanin Boniadi.

The Academy’s new class is part of an effort to increase the numbers of women and POC members by 2020.

Hopefully the new influx of fresh faces and perspectives will allow more diverse and inclusive narratives to come to the forefront, and prevent another #OscarsSoWhite fiasco.

 

Trends: Slaying While Pregnant

 

Beyonce's performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards (The Fader)

Beyonce’s performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards (The Fader)

It seems like almost every female celebrity is pregnant right now (and that almost all of them are pregnant with twins). But instead of lying low and taking it easy during their pregnancies, many of these women are stepping it up, and making pregnant and non-pregnant women alike look like slackers.

First case in point: Beyonce. Leave it to Queen Bey to put us all to shame. The superstar performed a set during this year’s Grammy Awards. One portion featured her leaning back in a chair perched at a very precarious angle. (I don’t know about you, but my heart was in my throat for that whole portion. And I audibly exhaled when she got off that chair.)

Beyonce had also been scheduled to perform at Coachella before withdrawing. But we can’t fault her for that, considering she’s done more while pregnant than many people do in their lives.

Serena Williams is widely acknowledged to be the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) tennis player in the world. Last month, she announced her pregnancy. When she announced the news, Williams was 20 weeks along. Someone very smart (and awesome) did the math and realized that Williams had recently played in a match while pregnant. And, as Laura Wagner at “Deadspin” put it, this wasn’t just any match:

Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, her record-breaking 23rd major, without dropping a single set, while nine fucking weeks pregnant. She is the greatest of all time.

Elsewhere in entertainment, Gal Gadot has been preparing for her upcoming movie “Wonder Woman.” Last November, she shot reshoots for the movie…while also five months pregnant. And she was probably doing more than a few stunts. NBD.

It’s great that we’re seeing so many women dominate during a time in life when women traditionally have been relegated to the sidelines.

Sex & Stats’ 2016 Year in Review

CoverGirl Nura Afia (Today)

CoverGirl Nura Afia (Today)

Raise your hand if you are DONE with 2016. Everyone? Yeah, I thought so. Before we let the door hit this year on its ass, let’s look back at some of the biggest trends in sexuality this year.

Women’s Equality

This year, women began speaking up and demanding more. This ranged from five women suing New York State for the infamous tampon tax to single women voting becoming America’s force to be reckoned with to “Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum asking for (and getting!) equal pay for her performance on the hit TV show.

This is one trend that’s been a long time coming, and I hope it continues for a long, long time.

Brands’ New Inclusive Spokesmodels:

This year, larger brands began making strides towards inclusivity in their advertising. This was especially prevalent with the CoverGirl brand: Beauty blogger (and teenager!) James Charles became the first man to rep the brand, and beauty vlogger Nura Afia became the first Muslim woman to wear hijab to appear in CoverGirl’s advertising.

Let’s hope that more brands follow CoverGirl’s lead of using spokesmodels of all stripes to include in their public-facing advertising. After all, it’s been proven that diversity is big business.

Wonder Woman:

Wonder Woman fever is beginning to crest, with many news items about the Amazonian princess making headlines. First, the character was revealed to be queer by DC comics writer Greg Rucka. A few weeks later, she was named honorary ambassador to the United Nations for female empowerment worldwide.

Wonder Woman will probably retain a strong interest with the release of the self-titled big screen movie starring Gal Gadot. The movie will be released on Jun. 2, 2017.

And that’s it for 2016. See you in 2017!

Wonder Woman Will Be the U.N.’s Honorary Ambassador for Female Empowerment

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman (Vulture)

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman (Vulture)

In addition to being the Amazonian Princess of Themyscira and civilian Diana Prince, Wonder Woman can add another title to her resume: United Nations’ Honorary Ambassador.

Wonder Woman’s promotion will kick off a campaign dedicated to women’s empowerment. This ties into the U.N.’s sustainable development goal 5, which promotes worldwide gender equality.

Though Wonder Woman will be used as a symbol of women’s empowerment throughout the world, it’s worth noting that most of the top U.N. jobs are held by men.

Wonder Woman will be formally announced as the honorary ambassador on October 21st, 75 years after her character first debuted. Actresses Lynda Carter, who’s played the character in the 1970s TV show, and Gal Gadot, who’ll depict the character in a big-budget DC Comics movie next year, are expected to attend the ceremony.