The misadventures of an ex-model.
Shawni Baldwin feels like nothing but a paper doll—sick of “smiling, pouting, sashaying, and defining style.” Never mind that she’s in demand throughout the fashion world, internationally famous, the queen of designer runways. Or that the king of haute couture, Ricci Malone, is ready to offer her an exclusive contract. Shawni is compelled to say no, though best friend Ernie, a gay hairdresser, thinks she’s crazy. Her mother, a former model (back when black models were few and far between), is troubled by her daughter’s hubris, but her refrain of you’re breaking my heart doesn’t seem to bother Shawni. Yo, she’s got other things to do: her younger brother Duran wants her to pull together some hot styles for a hip-hop group he’s managing called the Gentlemen. They’re basically poor boys from the ’hood, but Shawni is attracted to their singer, Zin, even though she has a lover, Bo, an entertainment attorney who’s all that and rich. Bo makes waves in her waterbed but he can tell Shawni has someone else on her mind. Shawni ain’t exactly sure she wants Zin or not—until she catches Bo with an unknown woman and throws a tantrum. Then, egged on by Ernie, she puts sugar in the gas tank of Bo’s SUV and smashes the window. Arrested, she spends a night in jail. Musing over trite insights (whores have it tough, jail is boring), Shawni still just doesn’t know what’s got into her. Ernie sighs and clucks over her wild ways, but the charges are dropped and life goes on. Will Shawni ever get over her need for a man? She picks up a pamphlet for Eternal Hope, a women’s self-help group, and shares her not-exactly-tragic story with the other attendees.
Kid stuff. Barely-there plot and shallow heroine make for a meager first outing.