Life Advice



Friend Posts Unflattering Photos To Social Media

Harriette Cole on

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to an event the other day -- for the first time in nearly two years -- and I saw some people I know there. One friend posted pictures from the event on social media. She included several shots of me that simply are not flattering. She caught me in one shot where my butt is up in the air. I think I was leaning down to pick something up off the floor. In another shot, I'm eating food and you can see me chewing. And in another, I just don't look good. I can't imagine why she would have chosen these shots. All the pictures of her look great. I'm thinking she didn't look closely at the ones of me. I want to ask her to take down my pictures. Do you think that's going too far? -- No More Photos

DEAR NO MORE PHOTOS: We live in a social media world, and that sometimes -- or often -- means that people are snapping photos of you and posting them without your permission. If you are in a public place, technically people can take pictures of you and everybody else who is there. You may not have a legal leg to stand on here.

But you didn't ask that. Of course you should reach out to your friend. Tell her how nice it was to see her at the event. You can reminisce about whatever stood out for you during the gathering. Then pivot and tell her you saw the photos she posted on social. Directly tell her that you do not think that the photos she posted of you are flattering. Tell her what you do not like about them, and ask her to take them down. If she has other photos that are more flattering, perhaps she can replace the photos in question with those, or simply exclude you from the posting. Be clear and strong with your request, but know that she may not comply.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend's dog died, and she is devastated. She is a single woman in her late 40s. Most of her friends have kids. She had her dog. She has decided to host a funeral for the dog. I think that's a bit extreme, but it's what she wants to do. She and I are pretty close, but I don't know how I feel about this. Do you think I should go to the funeral? -- Doggy Service

DEAR DOGGY SERVICE: You are right. Some people think of their pets as their children. Losing them can be a deeply sorrowful experience, and hosting a service to honor them has proven to be helpful for some pet owners. You don't have to understand your friend's motivations in order to support her.

I recommend going to the funeral. Be there for your friend. Let her know that you care about her and that you are sorry that she is in mourning. Be reverent and respectful, even if you don't quite understand the gravity of her pain. That's what good friends do.



(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)






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