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Black Models Become an Increasingly Endangered Species

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Warning: If you are a black lady who has a problem with female genital mutilation, you should probably keep your opinions to yourself for the time being. Waris Dirie, a Somali-born ex-Chanel model who is now a prominent women's rights activist, has officially gone missing in Brussels, according to her manager. The 43-year-old Vienna resident was in town to speak at two conferences on women's rights sponsored by the European Union, including one yesterday that was attended by fellow black female Condoleeza Rice. Dirie's disappearance, however, does come just a week after the body of another African model-turned-female rights advocate, Katoucha Niane, was found floating in the Seine River in Paris.

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Authorities don't suspect foul play in Niane's death, and have no leads as of yet into Dirie's disappearance. Still, we reckon it's a good thing Naomi Campbell spends all of her time throwing personal communication devices at assistants and generally berating the help instead of attempting to speak out against a social evil.

UPDATE: As a commenter has so graciously pointed out, Dirie is doing fine. Apparently, it was yet another case of supermodel-can't-recall-which-hotel-she's-staying-in. Timeless! Nonetheless, we are still on anti-anti-genital-mutilationists watch.

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