Angel and twins

The Rise of Surrogacy in Hollywood- Part 1

Katey Segal with her child born of surrogate mother
Katey Segal with her child born of surrogate mother

The Rise of Surrogacy among Hollywood Celebrities


Giuliana, 43, and Bill Rancic used a gestational surrogate for their child, so it is their biological offspring.  Giuliana’s struggles with achieving a viable pregnancy are very well documented.

Hollywood power couples often used surrogacy
Hollywood  couples often use surrogacy

Technological advancement has made childbearing possible without the physical union between couples. Many couples across different parts of the world use surrogate as a method for bringing children in their family due to various reasons. Surrogacy exists in two forms; traditional or gestational. Surrogacy is particularly prevalent among Hollywood celebrities. Most of them prefer gestational surrogate as the method of choice to bring a new-born in their family. Reports from Parent Magazine show that there is rise of surrogacy among Hollywood celebrities.

Hollywood Is Found of Surrogacy
Hollywood Is Fond of Surrogacy

According to the New York daily news reports, several celebrities have had babies through surrogacy, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban admits to bearing their second child, Faith Margaret through surrogacy in Dec 2011. The couple opted for a surrogate since Nicole felt that her chances of conceiving were very narrow. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in April 2009 break the news of their expected twins via a surrogate mother. Jimmy Fallon and Nancy Juvonen, too welcomed their child Winnie Rose in August 2013. Through surrogacy, Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman get Felix in March 2011.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick with surrogate children
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick

The story is not different for actress Katey Sagal, after parting ways with Jack White; she gets remarried to Kurt Sutter, the creator of Sons of Anarchy, in 2004. Her advanced age and the devastating stillbirth news of her firstborn Ruby still fresh in mind prevent her from bearing more children. Adopting child becomes even harder for the couple to consider. Thus, they settle for surrogacy. The couple, Sagal and Sutter undergoes in vitro fertilization and gives it a long shot. The result was the birth of Esmé Louise Sutter in 2007.

Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse
Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse and surrogate child

Still, the technology rewards Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse, with their daughter, Flora in Dec 2016. According to HuffingtonPost, the actress had a long struggle with fertility problems, and she admits to having the baby via a surrogate.

Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery used surrogacy for their third child they named Sienna May.

❤️Eli Christopher❤️ Chris Ivery just fell a notch.. I’ve got a new guy

A post shared by Ellen Pompeo (@ellenpompeo) on

A while back Pompeo talked about the surrogacy process during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!    “This is an incredible thing to do with your life, to give the gift of carrying someone’s child. I am forever grateful and feel very blessed and grateful to her — she who will remain anonymous,” she said at the time. “I was there with her when they inseminated her, and we held hands. I looked into the microscope and I saw the embryo. I saw the baby, and they put it in a thingy, and they inseminated her. And then we held hands, and we prayed, we talked to God, and if she was meant to be. He said he was going to try to help us out, and now we have a gorgeous baby girl.”

 

Ellen_Pompeo_and_Chris_Ivery used surrogacy for their child
Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery used surrogacy for their child

Ellen has used surrogacy before. Discussing the process of surrogacy back in Oct of 2014, Ellen said “She was born two months ago,” Pompeo, 44, told Kimmel of her baby girl. “I’ve done it before. The covert thing is kind of fun. This baby was born via surrogate, so I felt an obligation to keep the surrogate’s privacy. That was of utmost importance to me.”

Angel and twins
Angela and her surrogate born twins

Angela Bassett and her husband also used a surrogate for the birth of their twin children.

Tyra Banks is in good company when it comes to her piers who have also used surrogacy
Tyra Banks is in good company when it comes to her piers who have also used surrogacy to grow or make their families

HuffingtonPost, reports Tyra Banks and Erik Asla opted to have a son, York Banks Asla, via a surrogate at an advanced age. Tyra had been putting off the idea of having a baby until she reached over 40 years. For Tyra, the advanced age and the fertility issues couldn’t keep her from becoming a mother, as she reports to the People TV.

Thus she opted for IVF treatment which led to the birth of the son in January 2016.

Lucy Liu and surrogacy
Lucy Liu and her controversial surrogacy

As a single mom, Lucy Liu choose in 2016 to have her son Rockwell via the gestational method.   After being accused of being the “Murphy Brown of Surrogacy”,  she  said of the process;

“I didn’t really think about it at all,” Liu told CBS News. “I just went ahead and did it … I didn’t realize there was criticism until after I sent out the information that I had my baby through a gestational carrier and my friends said, ‘Don’t listen to what some people are saying.’ I didn’t realize people were saying anything negative!”

In an attempt to counter the negativity Lucy has run into as a result of her decision to use a surrogate Liu has been working with Tylenol on the #HowWeFamily campaign to show people that there isn’t one right way to have a family.

In January 2018, famous Kim Kardashian and Kanye West also welcomed their third born baby through surrogate.

Hollywood Couples Who Use Surrogacy
Hollywood Couples Who Use Surrogacy include Kim Kardashian and Neil Patrick Harris

Why the rise of Surrogacy among Hollywood Celebrities?

When you look deep into the lives of Hollywood celebrities, you will realize that there is the rise of surrogacy among them. Have you ever wondered why some celebrities miraculously regain their adoring shapes after childbirth? Dr. Vicken Sahakian, a fertility doctor, based in Los Angeles through the Daily mail, unravels the mystery. He echoes that more celebrities are opting to have their babies via surrogate. Such rich personalities secretly pay surrogates, while they themselves assume fake pregnancies.

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Steps to Surrogacy Process_diagram
Steps to Surrogacy Process diagram

A celebrity’s performance, charming looks, and body structure are linked together. Most of these actresses invest all their resources and time to become international stars. They then become absorbed in their professions without checking on their biological clocks. Soon they desire their biological kids when they are beyond the childbearing age. With their fertility graph fast going down, surrogacy seems like the surer solution to the problem.

commercial-surrogacy-pros-and-cons
Commercial Surrogacy has Pros and Cons

Those who desire to have kids at their prime age also opt for surrogate mothers since they can afford the cost. Fearing that pregnancy would ruin their perfect looks and careers, none of the stars in Hollywood would even suggest they do anything different but there are two sides of every story, and  surrogacy is no different. We will discuss that issue in Part 2 of this story.

Little Souls of Surrogacy
Little Souls of Surrogacy
Neuro Speculative Afro-Feminism

The Creation of a New Virtual Reality

Black women today pride in Neurospeculative AfroFeminism (NSAF) which is a virtual reality program made only for them. It gets held at the Sundance Festival, in the United States of America, where it premiers. It is a section of the New Frontiers. You may be wondering, why black women only? According to Ashley Baccus-Clark, the Huffington Post creator, and a multidisciplinary artist, it’s about establishing a safe space.


Ashley-Baccus-Clark
Ashley-Baccus-Clark

Having joined Hyphen-Labs, which is a group of women who utilize Neural Science technology and art to develop work that protects women of color, Baccus-Clark commitment gets emphasized. On realizing that no sunscreen was meant to cater for the black women’s skin tone, Baccus-Clark’s journey on creating the VR world began. Since the regular brands from the stores left a purple sheen layer on the skin, she decided to come up with her brand of sunscreen.

Neuro Speculative Afro-Feminism
Neuro Speculative Afro-Feminism

It was the first among other accessories and speculative beauty products meant for women of color. All these products constitute the physical component and the narrative of the virtual reality which is Neurospeculative AfroFeminism.

Black Women in Virtual Reality
Black Women in Virtual Reality

Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, an engineer from Mexico with Cuban roots, Ece Tankal, and Nitzan Bartov, who are both designers and architects from Turkey and Israel respectively, designed earrings which recorded like devices. The earrings are prototype where the dichroic reflective surface allows the person who’s wearing them to see and not get seen. The headgear reflects threatening gazes to the person watching. The scarf has got patterns tailored to overwhelm the facial recognition software.

Black Women in Virtual Reality
Black Women enter Virtual Reality from a new perspective

Lastly, we’ve got the Octavia which is a virtual reality component that transports the user to the salon. Every user gets to see herself as a black woman before receiving the high-definition transcranial direct stimulation (HD-tDCS), which is a brain stimulation that’s non-invasive and alleviates depression and anxiety.

The founders of neurospeculative-afrofeminism-designers-now
The founders:   Nitzan,  Carmen,  Ece

The four women have managed to bring culture, Young Thug, and black womanist literature to the project. Using the eye as a logo indicates the creator’s motive. It is also an indication of you seeing or watching what’s happening. According to Ashley, she started going to salons on reaching ten years. She has come to learn that salons are a site of creative endeavors, political activism, and community building. She claims that they aimed to mirror this as they incorporate science and technology in the space left out.

nsaf_techno
nsaf_techno

The birth of NSAF was as a result of two African-American men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were killed by police during a quick succession last summer. The aftermath was profound and unsettling for the black community. According to Baccus-Clark, they had to implement self-care rituals as they didn’t know how to deal with the situation. That is when they created a project that got people to think of the world around us. After six months, NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism was debuted at the famous 2017 Sundance Film Festival. It later traveled to the south, southwest, and is now showing at Tribeca.

The NSAF Salon
The NSAF Salon
Straight Outta Compton

Crystal Liu Wins Coveted Mulan Role

Crystal Liu Goes to War Against Hollywood Casting Couch
Crystal Liu Goes to War Against Hollywood Casting Couch

For years, the topic of cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood hasn’t been receiving the coverage it deserves. Despite the subject being motive, most firms in the entertainment industry hardly discuss it or acknowledge its existence. Media outlets and other entertainment stakeholders that are covering society’s culture sections are however changing this. Using technology, there has been the creation of interactive social channels that provide the much-needed platform to discuss cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood.


Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior
Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior

In February 2016, the Guardian made a publication discussing the issue of African American representation in the American film industry. One thing that stood out in the article is how the entire movie industry was losing tons of revenue. The undervaluing of the African American audience is one half of the problem while the disregard of cultural diversity is the other.

Matt Damon in Great Wall
Matt Damon in Great Wall

Vox online magazine also made a publication on the issue of cultural diversity when discussing the casting of Matt Damon in the show The Great Wall. Looking at The Great Wall, the Hollywood whitewashing controversy becomes a reality that needs to be addressed. Thankfully, film giants such as Disney are setting the example to eradicate the whitewashing trend.

Crystal Liu
Crystal Liu

As per the article published in the Los Angeles Times dated November 29th, 2017, Disney is set to cast Liu Yifei as the lead character in the live action Mulan. Liu Yifei is also going by the name Crystal Liu, she is a native of China. At 30, Liu is both an established singer, model and actress.

Liu Yifei
Liu Yifei

Disney has set the release for the epic Mulan movie to be in 2019. Crystal Liu will be playing the role of a legendary Chinese warrior in the film. Looking at Disney’s press release, prominent figures in the showbiz industry will be directing Mulan. Some of the directors will include Niki Caro who is behind both The Whale Rider and North Country.

Crystal Liu Survived Traitorus Great Wall of Hollywood Cultural Exclusion
Crystal Liu Survived Traitorous Great Wall of Hollywood Cultural Exclusion

Niki is at the helm of Mulan’s production. She will be working with Jason Reed, Jake Weiner and Chris Bender who have been in charge of various productions. Finally, Bill Kong, the producer of the Hidden Dragon will be Mulan’s executive producer.

The casting of Crystal Liu in Mulan is perhaps one of the biggest wins this year when it comes to addressing cultural diversity in Hollywood movies. Unlike The Great Wall, which used Matt Damon as one of the lead characters in a show revolving around the Chinese culture, Mulan is taking a different approach by using a native from China in the production of the live epic action film.

Crystal Liu as Mulan
Crystal Liu as Mulan

Some of the films Crystal Liu has featured in include The Forbidden Kingdom in which she starred alongside Jackie Chan. Liu also played a starring role in Outcast alongside Nicholas Cage. According to credible sources familiar with the Mulan’s cast selection process, more than a thousand individuals went through the vetting process before Disney settled on Crystal Liu making her a  real world warrior for cultural diversity.

Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior
Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior

Other production companies are set to make similar decisions when selecting their star roles; this will not only address the issue of cultural diversity and representation but improve Hollywood’s controversy-ridden image.