A US fitness model who copped major backlash after she posed in front of her dad’s coffin has defended her actions.
Jayne Rivera, from Miami, Florida, is a TikTok star who has gained popularity through her fashion, travel and swimwear posts.
Last week she took to Instagram revealing her father, a veteran, had died.
In a separate post shared on Monday, the influencer then uploaded a series of photos of herself posing in front of her late father in his open casket.
The act was immediately slammed by her followers with thousands commenting on her post labelling it “vile”, “sick” and “disrespectful”.
The 20-year-old has since defended the pictures, admitting that while she “understood the negative reaction,” she believed there was “nothing wrong” with sharing the images taken in front of her late father Jose Antonio Rivera’s open coffin.
“There is nothing wrong with what I posted, and I stand by that,” she told NBC News.
Jayne said the photos were taken with the “best intentions” in a manner that her father would have approved “had he still been alive”.
“Everyone handles the loss of a loved one in their own ways; some are more traditional while others might come across as taboo,” she said on Wednesday.
“For me, I treated the celebration as if my father was right next to me, posing for the camera as he had done on many occasions prior.”
In the photos, Rivera is wearing a fitted black suit dress featuring one long sleeve and stockings.
She looks directly into the camera, smiling in some of snaps, while glancing over her shoulder and looking away from the lens in others.
The social media star, who lost many followers in the wake of the post, claims Instagram deleted her account with “no reason given”. She told NBC News. she asked the platform for clarity as “no community guidelines were broken”.
The images, which have gone viral, generated swift backlash, with many describing it as “the most horrific Instagram post” they had ever seen – including outspoken broadcaster and British journalist Piers Morgan.
“This callous young woman’s horrific photo-preen beside her father’s corpse is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on Instagram and exposes a sickening moral vacuum at the heart of like-obsessed young ‘influencers’,” he wrote in a story for the Daily Mail.
One Twitter user wrote: “Have I mentioned the problem of a narcissistic and performative culture?”
Another said: “What is a funeral if not an opportunity to create content?”
While many slammed her decision to share the photos, others noted that the outcry was just as insensitive as the post itself.
“Not what I’d have done, though grief is a weird thing,” one Twitter user wrote. “Maybe putting this girl on blast on the day of her dad’s funeral is a thing you could have chosen not to do.”
Jayne said she has worked “extremely hard” for eight years building her audience, telling NBC News people from the outside “judge a book by its cover without stopping to understand the intentions or underlying meanings of the book”.
She also said that because she was a fulltime influencer, her father was regularly featured on her Instagram and felt it was appropriate for her followers to know he was gone.
According to Jayne’s website, she’s a pro athlete and also has an OnlyFans account.
Her TikTok of more than 300,00 followers,remains active.
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