Ask Amy: Friend worries about racy Facebook profile pic

March 3, 2014 

Dear Amy: A friend and former co-worker of mine recently changed her Facebook profile picture to a full body shot of herself lying in bed, wearing a camisole and panties and staring seductively up into the camera. Although all the essential things are covered up, the tone is pretty obvious.

This is not the first time she has done this; in fact many of her pictures are selfies in various states of undress. She's the same age as me, and doing well in school for a future career in a highly respected medical field.

Given the nature of the Internet, these photos will almost certainly come back to haunt her later. On a deeper level, I'm concerned this might be a cry for the wrong type of attention. I worry that she must be hurting on some level and correcting for it in an ultimately self-detrimental manner.

It would almost certainly be condescending of me to say this to her; we're not terribly close anymore and haven't seen each other in months. Is there a tactful way I can address my concerns with her, or should I just trust she can take care of herself?

— Not 'liking' this

Dear Not Liking: Facebook is by nature a public medium that invites reaction. I have seen people "comment" about photos: "I can't believe you posted this" or "You should take this down."

Given that you are no longer close with this woman, you are in the perfect position to at least express your views to her, without worrying about the impact on your (distant) relationship. To avoid embarrassing her you could do this through a private message: "I worry about the racy photos you post because I think they could come back to haunt you in unintended ways."

Your analysis of her motivations may be correct, but you should keep this theory to yourself.

Dear Amy: I hope your response to "Not on Vacation" was meant to be sarcastic. You suggested this woman use "passive aggression" to communicate with her mother. What terrible advice!

— Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: Many other readers objected to my suggestion that this daughter should respond to her mother with "a combination of stiff upper lip, passive aggression and humor." I was hoping the emphasis would be on the humor.


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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