A young black woman decides to stop fussing with her hair, and changes her life in the process.
Venus Johnson has a successful career in cosmetics advertising, some great girlfriends, and a live-in love who’s (yes!) a doctor. But pediatrician Clint has been content with their relationship just as it is and doesn’t seem any too interested in ever making a real commitment. He likes her just as she is, too, including her long, straight, processed hair. Fed up, Venus asks her very surprised hairdresser to cut it all off—and promptly kicks Clint out, just like that. The handsome doctor is baffled, but there’s another woman ready and waiting, of course: Kandi, whose hair is equally long, soft, and processed. Venus has second thoughts about her impulsive action, but she’s got a few other things on her mind at the moment: a lecherous colleague and the poison-pen letters someone’s been sending her at the office. Her friends, family, and coworkers weigh in with comments, mostly negative, about her very short hair, but Venus is thrilled to have put an end to her tedious hours in beauty salons and her general obsession with her appearance. Let Clint marry his sweet Kandi, Venus decides; she’s found herself—and freedom. Irresistibly cheerful, feel-good feminism underpins this pleasant little tale, although the men are in no way villainous, and the talented author writes just as sympathetically from a male point of view. Lively dialogue and fresh characterization enrich the barely-there plot, which is all Thomas needs to make her point: It’s what inside that counts.
A slight but winning debut.