In this week’s Wednesday 5, we are anxiously awaiting Kathryn Bigelow, Laura Linney, and Sally Field, among others, to be back on the big screen in films that are gearing up to be serious contenders for the Oscars. Plus, we highlight a tribute to women journalists in war zones; urge you to, if you haven’t already, start Instagramming your world; remind you of Women’s Equality Day; and explore a fascinating experiment one woman undertook in avoiding mirrors for a month—yes, a whole month!


Fall Is for the Oscars

The fall season not only ushers in Fall Fashion. It also signifies a departure from the light-fare summer blockbusters and a return to films with a little (or a lot) more depth and substance, as studios jostle for Oscar nominations. The Atlantic has done our homework for us and put together a great list of 20 Oscar-worthy films that will be out this fall. Among them we’re anticipating director Kathryn Bigelow’s (Best Picture winner for The Hurt Locker) Zero Dark Thirty, about the decade-long journey to get Osama Bin Laden; Emmanuelle Riva’s performance in Amour (Love) (winner of the Palme d’Or award at Cannes) as a long-married octogenarian in the midst of a tragic turn of events in her marriage;  Sally Field (whom we’ve missed on the big screen) as Mrs. Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s much-talked-about Lincoln; and Laura Linney as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s muse in Hyde Park on the Hudson.

Amour (Love) Official Trailer

Mika Yamamoto—”More than a War Journalist . . . A Human Journalist”

Lucy Birmingham is behind what we think is an important piece of journalism for Time on her journalist-colleague Mika Yamamoto, a Japanese war correspondent who died a few days ago amidst gunfire in Syria at the age of 45. She writes:

War coverage can produce outsize journalistic heroes—a combination of courage and braggadocio. [Mika] Yamamoto was never one of those, even though she was possessed of an unsung bravery. She had a mission, nonetheless. Yamamoto told friends she hoped to connect Japan to the world. “She wanted to show the suffering of innocent women and children caught in war . . .”

In addition to honoring Yamamoto for her bravery, the article is a window into the dangerous undertakings of freelance journalists who fill in for “full-time staff members [who] will not be sent [into war zones] because of the dangers.” More and more women are increasingly filling these roles, and as Birmingham tells us, their commitment to telling untold stories is what makes them heroic.


Instragram Your View of the World

Here’s another installation of our mission to make our Women’s Voices readers even more tech-savvy than they already are. If you’re not already looped into Instagram, you can at least admire the women who are using the new social media photography platform in innovative ways. The Huffington Post‘s Emma Gray curated a list of 23 Women on Instagram worth your attention. These women, says Gray, give us “a window into those fun parts of other people’s lives. Plus, there are some incredible photographers whose work is now just a few finger taps away.”  Take a look at the stunning and quirky views of the world as seen through the eyes of Nidhi Berry, Jenny Mollen, and Gabrielle Blair, to name a few.

Photo: Nidhi Berry (@nidhurani) via Instagram


The State of the World’s Women on Women’s Equality Day

If you missed it, Women’s Equality Day was Sunday, August 26. The occasion is noted each year to celebrate women’s gaining the right to vote on August 26, 1920. Here’s an update from the folks at MBA on the stats that show both the progress and problems of the state of women in the world. Among The Good: More women own and operate businesses than ever before; more women are heading to college than men; women hold as many jobs as men. And among The Bad: Women are more likely to have an unstable retirement; women hold just under 17 percent of the seats in Congress; globally, women are much more likely to be illiterate. The message: Though we continue to see much progress, there is much farther to go.


A Fascinating Experiment: No Mirrors for a Month

“It’s interesting what not looking into the mirror does,” says Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, who went on a month-long mirror-fast. “It doesn’t make you self-centered.” In fact, there might be a growing mirror-fast trend, as a recent New York Times article reported: “Those who have engaged in the exercise report that not seeing themselves helped them see themselves more clearly.” What’s intriguing about Autumn’s perspective on mirror fasts is that, for her, our addiction to the mirror goes beyond keeping up appearances. Instead, she tells the Today show:

Most of the time we speak of this in terms of self-esteem and the unrelenting pressure on women to look good at all times. That’s a problem, of course, but what’s of equal concern for me is the fact that women are on a public stage pretty much every day. We look at each other, we see ourselves being looked at, we look at ourselves. All of that looking can distract us from doing.

Watch the video below on how Autumn got through her everyday habits without a mirror!

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  • hillsmom August 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Please remember it was the late Erma Bombeck who said, “Smear all the mirrors with Vaseline.” I think she had a valid point.