Blog Posts by Elise Solé, Shine Staff

  • Army's New Hair Guidelines Spark Backlash

    photo: U.S. Army
    The U.S. Army is catching heat for encroaching on unfamiliar territory: beauty routines.

    On Monday, it released a memo titled Regulation 670-1, which outlines new appearance guidelines for men and women that some say discriminate against female African-American troops. Those updates have quickly spurred some heated backlash, as well as a petition, posted to the White House website, urging for changes to the rules "to allow professional ethnic hairstyles. As of Wednesday had received more than 7,400 signatures. Petitions require 100,000 signatures in order to receive a response from the White House.

    The petition, created by an Army sergeant named Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard, specifically takes issue with the fact that, under the new rules, hair twists (defined by the Army as “two distinct strands of hair twisted around one another to create a rope-like appearance”) and dreadlocks are not authorized. Multiple braids and cornrows are OK, as long as they’re bigger than a

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  • Running May Not Be So Good for You, And Other Questionable Healthy Habits

    CorbisBad news for running fanatics: The sport hailed for losing weight, reducing stress, and lowering blood pressure may also end your life early. High-mileage runners (those who run more than two and a half hours per week) as well as  non-runners die earlier than moderate runners, (those who run about two and a half hours per week), according to a study of almost 4,000 men and women presented Sunday at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

    "Moderate runners can reduce their mortality rates by anywhere from 25 to 40 percent and could add as many as six years to their life," study co-author James O'Keefe, director of preventive cardiology at the Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri tells Yahoo Shine. One theory is that too much running puts stress on the body, which can kick off a domino effect of damage. And that chronic, extreme exercise may “remodel” the heart, which could cancel out some benefits of running. "We absolutely don't want to

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  • 5 Health Rules You Can Ignore

    Corbis If you own a trendy fitness-tracking device such as the Fitbit or the new Vivofit, you’re probably diligent about getting your recommended 10,000 steps per day (the equivalent of five miles). But you might not need to move as much as you think.

    According to Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, taking 10,000 steps isn't really necessary. “I wouldn't discourage people from taking 10,000 daily steps, but it’s not a magic or even scientifically proven number,” Tudor-Locke tells Yahoo Shine. The number originates from the 1960s, when Japanese pedometers were marketed under the name "manpo-kei" which translates to "10,000-steps meter." And as fitness trackers took off in the United States, companies adapted the goal of 10,000 steps.

    A number that better aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is between 7,000 and 8,000 steps. “The CDC says people

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  • Teen Takes On Surfer Sexism in Awesome Letter to Mag

    CorbisIt's girl power at its best: A 13-year-old with a passion for surfing has a major problem with what she calls rampant sexism in the sport. Not about to keep her feelings to herself, she recently criticized a popular monthly surf magazine in her home country of Australia by writing a letter to its editor in chief, scolding him for the way women are portrayed in the magazine’s pages.

    Her claim that the magazine applauded men for their surfing skills, while delegating women to scantily clad decoration, began circulating in the Australian media a few days ago. In the letter, the girl, Olive Bowers, writes, “Dear Tracks Surf Magazine, I want to bluntly address the way you represent women in your magazine. I am a surfer, my dad surfs and my brother has just started surfing. Reading a Tracks magazine I found at my friend's holiday house, the only photo of a woman I could find was ''Girl of the month''. She wasn't surfing or even remotely near a beach. Since then I have seen some footage of

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  • Finally! Long-Awaited Rule Meant to Prevent Back-Over Accidents Passes

    A sobering thought: Each week, 50 children are accidentally backed over by a vehicle and 228 are killed annually by those accidents, which typically occur in parking lots or driveways, according to statistics compiled by public safety awareness nonprofit That’s why Monday’s passing of a rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)that would require most new vehicles — cars, SUVs, vans, and light trucks — to come equipped with "rear visibility technology" (which will allow the driver to see a 10-foot by 20-foot zone behind the car) by May 2018.

    "Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday in an NHTSA statement. "As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today's rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing

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  • See the New Royal Family Photo (Prince George Got So Big!)

    Jason Bell/ Camera Press/Redux

    There's a new photo of Prince George! On Saturday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released an official family photograph to mark the beginning of their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, which kicks off on April 2.
    In the photo, the family is leaning out the window of their home in Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace. Kate Middleton is wearing a cream-colored top and William is wearing a pale blue shirt. Prince George, eight-months-old, is also wearing a pale blue sweater and looking to his left at the family dog Lupo, who makes a surprise appearance.
    The image was shot by Jason Bell, 44, an award-winning British photographer and Oxford University graduate who has photographed celebrities including Claire Danes and Scarlett Johansson, among others, for publications such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. Bell also has royal ties — he shot the famous family for their official christening photo in October and his work is on permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery in

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  • Cue the Mommy Wars! Gwyneth Paltrow Says Movie Star Moms Have It Tough

    Photo: Getty ImagesIf you do a quick Internet search for "Gwyneth Paltrow," you'll find an onslaught of furious comments about the actress. Alhough the 41-year-old often stirs up controversy (thanks to everything from her touting her own wood-burning pizza oven to referring to her recent breakup as a "conscious uncoupling"), this latest reaction is due, in part, to a New York Post open letter to Paltrow regarding an interview she gave on the challenges of being a movie-star mom.  

    On Wednesday, Paltrow, who announced her split from husband Chris Martin this week, told E! News, “I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you're shooting a movie, they're like, 'We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,' and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it's not like

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  • Self Magazine Sorry for Mocking Cancer Survivor's Marathon Tutu

    Right: Monika Allen (Photo: Facebook/Glam Runner)

    Call it a fashion faux pas. Self magazine has issued an apology to cancer survivor Monika Allen after making fun of her marathon racing outfit in its April issue.

    "In our attempt to be humorous, we were inadvertently insensitive and we deeply apologize,"  Self Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger said in a statement to Yahoo Shine. "I have sincerely apologized both directly to Monika and her supporters online. At SELF we support women such as Monika; she is an inspiration and embodies the qualities we admire. We have donated to her charity and would like to cover her good work in a future issue.  We wish her all the best in her road to good health."

    A few months ago, the magazine had reached out to Allen after spotting a Facebook photo of her running the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon dressed as Wonder Woman and wearing a tutu. Allen makes the tutus for her company, Glam Runner, which donates money to various charities, including ones that research brain cancer — a disease Allen was diagnosed with

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  • Could Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Conscious Uncoupling' Change Her Public Image?

    Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow (Photo: Goop/Hilary Weekes)As much as people love Gwyneth Paltrow, she also has plenty of haters. So, while the Twitter jokes begin to die down, it's somewhat surprising to observe a new sympathy grow for Paltrow after her "conscious uncoupling" from husband Chris Martin.

    For Paltrow, who built a polarizing empire based on informing women how to live (by way of a perfect marriage, gluten-free children, and duck-egg-omelet family brunches) peppered with cloying humblebrags such as, “I’ve always been told I have good skin” and “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year,” her impending divorce may actually improve her public image.

    In the real world, divorce can be stigmatizing for women both personally and professionally. Within the generally sexist confines of dating conventions, a divorced man is regarded as a mature catch, having proven his ability to commit (thus becoming the ideal dinner party guest); a woman, especially a mother, with a failed marriage is often viewed as damaged

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  • Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin Separation Breaks the Internet

    Getty ImagesBreaking: Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin are dunzo, according to a statement released Tuesday by the couple on Paltrow’s blog Goop (the site is currently down, presumably due to an influx of traffic thanks to the big news.)

    The blog post is titled, “Conscious uncoupling,” — a phrase that went viral within minutes.

    In the post, the couple wrote, “It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we

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