May 26, 2008 12:00 PM

On Survivor: Cook Islands in 2006, boxer Parvati Shallow flirted her way to sixth place. But when she set foot in Palau for a return engagement last year, she knew she had enough of batting her eyelids. Says Shallow: “I’m a girl’s girl at heart.”

Smart move. Forming an all-female alliance she named the Black Widow Brigade, Shallow, 25, picked off the tough guys one by one to nab the $1 million prize on Survivor: Micronesia: Fans vs. Faves. Now the University of Georgia alum, who started amateur boxing in 2004, when her trainer encouraged her to compete, plans to use some of her winnings to make women stronger through her charity Knockouts for Girls (, which provides scholarships and boxing training for underprivileged teens. “You watch these girls stand straighter when they walk down the street,” Shallow says. “They just have an air of confidence about them.”

So does her mom, Gale, 51, who has dropped 30 lbs. training for triathlons with her. “She motivated me—you learn a lot from your kids,” says Gale. Says Parvati: “She looks amazing!”

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