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‘Split Ends’ Story Makes Investigative Journalist From Glamour Magazine Fear For Her Life

NEW YORK CITY–  An intrepid journalist from the beauty magazine Glamour has “gone dark” after revealing the top ten beauty products that lead to split ends. Rebecca Serengel, who has been labeled a “crusader of freedom” and a “champion of first amendment rights” by PEN International, has been receiving multiple death threats, according to the FBI. “There are a lot of people within the beauty products industry who don’t want the things that she’s writing about to be made public,” said an official within the FBI. “And based on her history, it should come as no surprise that she’s doing it anyway.”
   She is indeed, but not everyone is impressed by Serengel’s muckraking. “Her refusal to comply with these radicals puts me and the rest of our colleagues in danger,” said beauty writer Cassie Felder. “I wish that she would just apologize and move on.” Felder is no stranger to the controversies that have engulfed Serengel. In 2007, she lost her left arm and spent three months at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital when a car bomb crashed through the lobby of Glamour’s office building following the publication of Serengel’s controversial article “The Biggest Blush Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them).” The perpetrators of that attack have still not been identified, but the FBI strongly believes that it was someone who took umbrage with Serengel’s claim that “too much blush can lead to nasty breakouts.” Serengel walked away from the bombing unscathed, but started wearing a bulletproof vest immediately after. And even though she‘s never been shot, the same can’t be said for an unfortunate look-alike who was murdered outside of Serengel’s apartment in Chelsea.
   “Do I like being in such close proximity to someone who is targeted by so many? No, I don’t,” said Glamour staff writer Kristen Pelfrey. “But, at the same time, am I in awe of her courage and fortitude? You better believe it. When I look at her and what she’s been through, I can’t help but to compare her to  Anna Politkovskaya. Or to Jiang Quisheng, the Chinese pro-democracy activist who was arrested in May of 1999 for distributing an open letter commemorating the tenth anniversary of Tiananmen Square.” She added, “In 2010, when she wrote the article “Hello Spring! 5 Ways to Work Color Into Your Beauty Look,” I immediately thought of Burmese writer and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi who spent seventeen years in a Rangoon prison, most of it in solitary confinement.”
   It would be a mistake, however, to automatically assume that Serengel writes with governmental impunity in the United States. In 2009, after publishing the article “Are Gluten-free Beauty Products a Gimmick?” she was jailed for ninety days after refusing to name her source. The scandal became known as “Gluten Gate,” and when Serengel was Interviewed days later by the New York Times, she quoted Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn by saying, “For a country to have a great writer is like having a second government. That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.”

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