03/15/2011 at 03:50 PM EDT
While, in the end, she may have failed to capture the heart
of Bachelor Brad Womack
, Ashley Hebert is now confident she'll find love when she calls the shots as ABC's new Bachelorette
, premiering May 23.
The fourth-year University of Pennsylvania dental student from Madawaska, Maine, is eager for people to get to know her for who she really is – and not the insecure woman seen vying for Womack's affection.
"A lot of what happened between Brad and me brought out some weird side of me that doesn't define who I am," insists Hebert, 26.
For starters, Hebert is back to her natural brunette hair color.
"People think this was a change to go dark when, actually, the blonde [on The Bachelor
] was a change. I went back to my roots," says Hebert, who hopes to find a guy that "makes me feel comfortable, somebody with a positive outlook on life who's going to be supportive and loyal."
And what will Mr. Right find in return? For starters:
1. She's a trained dancer.
"I was trained in ballet and jazz, and I do hip hop for fun. I teach beginner classes at the school's fitness center," she says. But the new man in her life need not necessarily know how to boogie. "That's not a requirement," she suggests. "I don't want him to make me look bad!"
2. She's a showgirl.
Hebert was Maine's Junior Miss in 2002. No wonder she was so at ease posing
for the 2011 Sports Illustrated
3. Fish are not food.
Despite hailing from the land of lobsters, Hebert is not a fan of seafood. "I can't eat it – shrimp, lobster, nothing. I can't get past the smell and the texture."
4. After being sent home by Brad, she found warmth from another.
"When I got home from last season, I adopted a puppy, a teacup Yorkie, and her name is Boo," says Hebert, noting that Boo has become her all-time favorite snuggle buddy. "She's the love of my life – right now."
5. She has a tattoo of a rose on her foot.
"During the season with Brad, a bunch of us got these," Hebert says of the tiny rose on the inside of her right foot, between her ankle and her heel. "Now it has a whole new meaning, right?"