Ben Bradlee, one of the great men of American journalism, celebrated his 92nd birthday yesterday, and his daughter-in-law paid tribute by posting a photo of them and saying "it is a dream to be part of his family."
That, however, is only one of the photos that Pari Bradlee has been putting on Facebook.
Her new profile picture, in a Swiss-cheese bra that leaves little to the imagination and long black leather sleeves and briefs, is so revealing that it drew a torrent of breathless comments. In another just-posted photo she is nude, shot from the back, twisting one arm behind her.
Pari Bradlee is a personal trainer and yoga instructor who gives private lessons and whose clients include many Washington A-listers. And she is marketing herself with a combination of Facebook's share-everything ethos and her famous last name.
Do the pictures go too far?
"I have worked so hard all my life and always wanted to feel and be beautiful inside and out," Bradlee writes on Facebook. "I own my sensuality and teach others not to repress it. Femininity for me is a very powerful and beautiful force." She says the bra, which looks like someone took a scissors to it, was suggested by "my beautiful Persian QUEEN Maryam Amirimaidi" and that her mother-in-law, Sally Quinn, "bought me those Louboutins" -- the only other thing she is wearing.
Bradlee did not respond to a request for comment.
The photo shoot took place at Grey Gardens, the fabled, 14-room East Hampton mansion, once featured in a movie, that the former Washington Post editor bought with his wife a quarter-century ago.
Pari clearly admires her father-in-law, quoting him another day as saying: "Pick your fights. Don't duck 'em, but don't fight second-rate opponents."
And while there is a light-hearted aspect to the R-rated pictures, Pari Bradlee is also making a statement. "It's a symbol of overcoming being bullied and told that I would never make it in life," she writes. "A poor girl from the hood that could never afford nice things and take care of herself. A symbol of overcoming pain in general and showing all beings in the world that you can be who you wish to be no matter what."
Pari, said by friends to be a warm and generous person, married Bradlee's son Quinn in 2010. He was born with heart issues, has written a book about growing up with a learning disability and is an activist on the issue. According to the New York Times, she is from Texas and her father was in the Iranian air force before the revolution.
The Hamptons photo shoot, conducted by an old friend, Barry Fidnick, prompted friends to post such comments as "HOTT THANG!!!!", "u look sexual" and "Turning this gay man STRAIGHT!"
And her husband obviously approves: he "liked" the picture on her page.
From one perspective, Pari Bradlee's provocative poses might be viewed as a quick way to grab attention, especially in contrast to Washington's buttoned-down culture.
But she is part of a Facebook generation that lives online (with 1,957 photos in her case) and embraces a more candid approach to sexual matters.
It's a safe bet that she is about to attract a lot more friends.