The Wednesday Five: Fashion Tips from Queen Latifah, Lauren Greenfield at Sundance, and Is Your Menopause in Your Genes?

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Menopause, Newsmakers

Our second February blog follies includes Black History Month, women directors triumphing at Sundance, and new research on possible genetic links to the timing of menopause.

As Black History Month began, Feminist Law Professors tipped us off that the Association for the Study of African American Life and History had announced that its 2012 theme is “Black Women in American Culture and History.” In addition to the inclusion of such perennial favorites as Rosa Parks, Ida B. Wells, and Harriet Tubman, FLP’s Bridget Crawford offers some additions from the legal world: “Let’s start with Sadie Alexander, Jane Matilda Bolin, Yvonne Burke,  Inez C. Fields, Ruth Cavers Flowers, Jacqueline Guild, Lutie Lytle, Constance Baker Motley, Jane Cleo Marshall, Pauli Murray, Rachel E. Pruden-Herndon, Charlotte Ray, and Lucia Theodosia Thomas.  And that’s not even venturing fully into the second half of the twentieth century.” We’ll keep you posted as more favorites emerge.

  • Do you know at what age your mom experienced menopause, and how it was? Knowing that can give you a clue about yours, writes Liz Scherer at Flashfree.  A  study just published in Nature Genetics, she writes, posits that “the timing of menopause may very well be linked to specific genes. What’s more, three of the 13 locations of these genes were directly associated with the immune system. The other important regions are associated with cellular repair, hormones and inflammation, all of which are linked with certain things that happen as we age.” What does this mean for us? Click over, learn more (including what Scherer thinks), and let us know what you think in comments below.
  • All  the high-end items featured on our Fashion Fridays led some of us to stop by the Budget Fashionista, and we were especially pleased to find this fashion profile of the immortal Dana Owens, also known as Queen Latifah. Click over for photographs of the statuesque  author/actor/musician, as well as her style tips, including “Know your color palette and work it” and “Be you (everyone else is taken)”.
  • We were never particular fans of Health magazine, and now we know why:  “What I did not know until today was that it’s also a comedy goldmine,” writes Sarah Harper at P***ed Off Woman.  As evidence, she cites a recent piece by Valerie Frankel, “Secrets of the World’s Healthiest Women,” which “advises American women to live healthier by copying the “secrets” of women in France, Scandinavia, Japan, and the Mediterranean,” which include tips such as “For an unclogged heart, herd goats and down olive oil like a Mediterranean. Avoid breast cancer and live to 100 by dining on tofu Japanese-style. Stay as happy as Norwegians by hunting elk and foraging for cowberries.”  Nowhere, Harper notes, does the writer note some of the other factors, such as access to health and child care, that might be contributing to better health outcomes in the countries mentioned.
  • The Sundance Film Festival has been trying singlehandedly to increase the odds for women filmmakers—and the initial results are promising, writes  Liz Kelly at Digital Entertainment Examiner.  Focusing first on the participation of LA-based Women in Film (WIF),  Kelly notes that that initiative isn’t nearly over: “Women in Film President and Mandalay Pictures President Cathy Schulman just announced a new co-venture with the Sundance Institute to support female filmmakers.” We join Kelly and WIF in congratulating the three WIF members who won awards for directing:  Ava DuVernay. Lucy Walker, and Lauren Greenfield; Greenfield  won the overall U.S. Directing Award: Documentary for her landmark The Queen of Versailles. Below is an interview on the Sundance Channel with Greenfield, an award-winning artist before she decided to chronicle the rise and fall of some Florida real estate royalty.