Michelle Obama, our inspiring First Lady of the Dougie and the nation’s healthy-food champion, made a big announcement this morning at the USDA headquarters: the food pyramid is being replaced by—what now seems like an obvious choice—the plate! The message: Make half your meal fruits and vegetables, a quarter protein, and a quarter grain. (Looks like we still need that glass of milk though—hello dairy lobby!)

So what do you think? From a branding perspective, I’m really digging this new design. The idea is clear and easily understandable, even for kids (clearly Obama’s focus). And while it’s lacking details that are crucial to the obesity battle—like “don’t deep fry your veggies in lard” and “don’t pile that plate too high”—that also means people won’t get lost in the weeds. With so much conflicting nutrition advice out there, that could be a good thing.

The big question of course is whether this will make any difference in the way people eat.  In her introduction of the MyPlate, which you can watch here, Lady Obama said it best: An icon isn’t going to replace exercise, or make fruits and vegetables more affordable.

But could it make kids and parents rethink what’s on their plates? That’d be cool. We’d especially love to hear what you moms out there think.

Image via

Salut les ami(e)s! Inspired by best thing we’ve ever seen in our whole entire lives and all these new trend pieces about how everyone is a ballerina again, we’re going to try something a little different. It’s another challenge, but this one is physical. Consider it as a way to break out of your rut! Plus, there’s nothing more pretty than the glow of health, and also: There’s a prize.

In the next two weeks, we want you to do something physical that you’ve never done before. Always wanted to try rock climbing? Upside-down yoga? Boxing? Dancing at a salsa club with attractive strangers? A step class (LOL)? Anything you want—but get creative, and get moving.

Rules: Spend one hour in the next two weeks doing something physical that you have never done before. If you’re a ballerina who wants to take a barre class or a treadmill person who’s never run the biggest park in your city, we’ll take it—but we’d rather the ballerina run the park, and the runner hit the barre. You get the idea: We encourage you to get as creative as possible and go outside your comfort zone…because that’s what makes it FUN.

Instructions: Send us a brief description of what you did, and if you liked it or not. Shoot it over to nomoredirtylooks (at) gmail (dot) com, with DOUGIE in the subject line. It can be short, like: “I hated hot yoga and I’m never doing it again!” or it can go into a little more detail. Your call, but keep them under 200 words, please.

Also, please include your first name and the city you live in. (People always forget their city. Don’t forget your city!) We need all emails by end of day, Sunday, May 29th.

Prize: One of you girls gets a bra! An amazing 90% organic bra, no less, from MiBra, which has a handy iPod pocket in it, and is made with organic cotton! We sampled these puppies and we like them very much! We will pick a winner and then MiBra founder Caroline Baker will send you a bra.

Pretty please: Help us spread the word! Tweet it, Facebook it, scream it from the rooftops, and tell your friends to get on board with you. This only works if you guys are game. So be game, please.

The reason for the challenge: Maybe you hated gym class as a kid, or maybe you avoid going to the gym because it feels like a chore, or you feel awkward, or you think the treadmill is trying to kill you. Or maybe you diligently do get in your exercise, but, well, you’re all diligent about it—and you always do the same thing. What we all have in common, we’re guessing, is that somewhere along the line, most of us forgot that exercise can and should be FUN. So have fun, people, and if you already have a good idea or three for what you want to do, tell us in the comments. It may help inspire the others!

So who’s in?

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Why I Hate My Clean Hair

You guys, something pretty major happened last week. Yes, Osama’s dead, relations with Pakistan are fraught, and Michelle Obama’s dougie almost outshone her husband’s own stellar moves (in case you missed him on 60 Minutes)—but also, I got highlights. Don’t be mad!

Here’s what happened: Remember how a few weeks ago I was musing about a spring makeover? Well, that longing for a physical change grabbed me by the girly bits in a way that became distracting—nay, completely consuming!—and it just wouldn’t let go.

And the more pictures I saw like the one above—of beautiful women with gorgeous and golden-tipped locks (now known as “ombre” highlights)—the more convinced I became.

Here’s how I justified it: 1. I would find a natural-as-possible salon to do it at. 2. I would only do my ends, so the dye would never touch my scalp. 3. If I didn’t like it, or it looked too fake for my dark hair, I’d just give my mane a much-needed chop.

So I headed down to NaturalMind, a cleaner salon in Silver Lake that I’d heard great things about. And to my total delight the founder, Arnaud, who arrived on the L.A. hair scene by way of 20-years-at-a-fancy-salon-in-Paris knew exactly what to do with me. He touched my coarse curls and told me he would never use foils on them—never! And in a thicker-than-butter French accent, he said: “You came to ze right place. I‘ve been doing zis balayage technique in Paris forrrever. We make it a little bit surfer, yeah?”

Mmhmm. That’s exactly how we make it, Arnaud—like I spent a week on the beaches of St. Tropez, s’il vous plait. And with an artist’s skill—and an almost-odorless-and-heavy-on-the-natural-oils dye—he painted my highlights with the subtlety of the sun itself. And I love it!

But here’s where my story goes a bit south. My new favorite hairdresser also convinced me to wash my hair. Granted, with an ostensibly natural shampoo (I say that because even with the best intentions, one can never be sure at the salon), but a shampoo nonetheless. It felt like heaven and it smelled like lavender but…

Until last week, shampoo hadn’t touched my hair in two and a half years.

And there’s a reason for that. Not washing it, I realize now with even greater clarity, had given my hair something it never had: predictability. It also eliminated my need for product—aside from a tiny bit of conditioner and some Intelligent Nutrients spray for special occasions.

But now that it’s clean I’m back in the maintenance game. It’s not a total horror show or anything—it’s just really fluffy, puffy and frizzy. Mostly, it needs product. And the ends look dry. And the curl doesn’t hold in the same way. And, and, and—I just miss those natural oils I’d worked so hard to harness!

But, like a big girl, I’m not going to cry over my clean hair. I’m going to throw on my favorite natural products, follow Siobhan’s summer hair advice, and let time and my scalp do their thing. In a way, the wash is as much of a “new look” as the color—so there’s that. Maybe it will even become an annual spring-cleaning tradition of sorts. Or not.

Got any salon disasters or success stories to share? You know the drill, ladies.