May 11, 1998 12:00 PM

She knows it’s an occupational hazard, but having no flaws, she says, means having no dates. “It sickens some people to hear that,” concedes Halle Berry, 31, who went solo to the Oscars this year. “My friends say, ‘Oh, c’mon, we don’t want to hear that you can’t get a date.’ But the reality is that it is true. Usually it’s the guys who feel like they have nothing to lose, so they go for it. But the guys who you really want to date, they don’t come up to you.”

So even though “she’s just exquisite,” in the words of Carl Lumbly, who starred with her in the top-rated February ABC mini series The Wedding, and “she has a graciousness that transcends her natural beauty,” according to Wedding producer Oprah Winfrey, Berry, who split with baseball player David Justice two years ago, remains stunningly single. She works off steam at the gym (“always concentrating on doing the butt blaster and thigh exercises”) and drowns her sorrows in Diet Coke, which, she says, “I drink all day long. People always say to drink a lot of water, but I don’t. I’m so bad.”

Lately, the 5’6½” actress and Revlon spokesmodel has decided to let her hair down. She wore it straight for The Wedding, wove in dreadlock extensions to play a passionate radical in this month’s Warren Beatty political satire Bulworth and has been spotted around Hollywood in recent weeks sporting curls, waves and alternating red and light brown highlights. “This is the aftermath of having short hair for so long,” she says. “I’m having fun experimenting.”

One experiment, though, will haunt her forever. The small tattoo on her left buttock that once said “David” has been turned into a flower design. “If I could undo the tattoo, I would,” she says. “An untattooed body is the way to go.”

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