Instagram influencer sparks outrage after having photoshoot in front of father’s open casket
Miami-based influencer Jayne Rivera claimed her photos were "with the best intentions in a manner my father would have approved with had he still been alive.”
A popular Instagram and TikTok influencer is learning a painful lesson about discernment after she was dragged all over social media this week due to a post of her posing for a photoshoot in front of her father’s casket.
Miami, Florida-based influencer Jayne Rivera – whose Instagram page was not active as of press time – took to Instagram last week to reveal the tragic news that her father, a veteran, had passed away, Page Six reported.
After receiving messages of condolence from her followers, River upped the ante on Monday by uploading several photos of herself posing in front of her father Jose Antonio Rivera‘s casket in a body-hugging, black one-sleeve blazer dress.
“Butterfly fly away. Rip Papi you were my best friend. A life well lived,” she captioned the post that many speculated looked like a brand endorsement than a tribute to a deceased parent.
Others pointed out how curated the funeral photos looked, with her father’s coffin in the background adorned with an American flag as she posed with her hair perfectly coiffed and her hands raised in prayer. What appeared to add insult to injury is that in some of the pictures she even struck flirty poses that seemed to undermine what would traditionally be seen as a moment of grief.
Thousands of her followers were outraged, slamming the tasteless shoot for being “disrespectful,” reported Page Six.
“Not cool Jayne, ur dad was a decorated vet, a photo shot by his casket should be beneath you. May he rest in eternal peace,” one follower wrote, while another simply chimed in, “Funeral photo shoots? Yeesh.”
“The fact that u would post something like this tells us everything we need to know about you,” opined a third person who seemed to sum up the sentiments of the collective.
Not surprisingly, in record time the 20-year-old who once had approximately 84,800 Instagram followers and 307,300 TikTok followers, has already lost a significant chunk of her fan base following her now-infamous “funeral photo shoot.”
In response to all the publicity this faux pas has received, the model told NBC News in an interview that she “understood the negative reception,” but clarified that the photos were taken “with the best intentions in a manner my father would have approved with 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,” Rivera elaborated in a statement 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.”
The content creator also noted that the pictures were posted on Instagram the same day they were taken, on Sunday. It was more than a week after her father actually died on Oct. 11.
“There is nothing wrong with what I posted, and I stand by that,” she went on, sharing that because she is a “full-time influencer,” and her father was regularly featured in her Instagram stories, it only felt appropriate for her followers to also know he had passed away.
“I have worked extremely hard for eight long years building my audience,” she said. “People from the outside judge a book by its cover without stopping to understand the intentions or underlying meanings of the book.”
She also spoke out against Instagram who she claims had disabled her account “with no reason given,” adding she contacted the photo-sharing app to dispute the decision given she believes “no community guidelines were broken when the photos were published.”
“People are going to disagree, either way, and I’m used to it. I am a Rivera, and I know my dad is proud of me and how things turned out,” she said of her father who died two days after his 56th birthday. “He will not be forgotten.”
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