Social media influencer faces backlash after posing in front of father’s open casket

‘Butterfly fly away. Rip Papi you were my best friend. A life well lived,’ says the caption to her post

Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 28 October 2021 10:04
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<p>Social media influencer Jayne Rivera faces massive backlash on social media after posting photos posing next to her father’s open casket </p>

Social media influencer Jayne Rivera faces massive backlash on social media after posting photos posing next to her father’s open casket

A social media influencer from Miami, Florida, has defended herself after she posed for photographs next to her father’s open casket, facing backlash.

Jayne Rivera posted the photos on Sunday, over a week after her father Jose Antonio Rivera died on 11 October.

In the photos Ms Rivera can be seen posing in a black dress at her father’s funeral next to his open casket. “Butterfly fly away. Rip Papi you were my best friend. A life well lived,” said the caption to the photo.

Ms Rivera pushed back, saying she did nothing wrong and that she stood by her actions, adding that she did nothing her father would not have approved of, had he been alive. She also said that her father had regularly featured in her social media posts.

“Everyone handles the loss of a loved one in their own ways; some are more traditional while others might come across as taboo,” the influencer said in a statement to NBC News.

“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,” she added.

Ms Rivera claimed her Instagram account was disabled even though she had not violated any community guidelines with her post. NBC News had reached out to Instagram for comment on Wednesday.

The photos caused an immediate uproar on social media, with many calling out Ms Rivera for using her father’s death for a photoshoot.

One Twitter user said: “When Jayne Rivera’s father passed away, she, enterprising model that she is, saw in his open-casket funeral an opportunity to showcase a sexy mourning dress. Way to put the grrr back in grief, Jayne.”

Another Twitter user chided the social media influencer for thinking this was a good idea.

“I watched the Youtubers Aba and Preach talking about this and I spit coffee all over my table from laughing so hard…how is #jaynerivera a real person and how did she actually think this was a good idea. The future is looking very bleak,” he said.

Ms Rivera said that while she understood the negative feedback around the photos, her intention was not wrong.

“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.”

Some Twitter users did come out in her support, saying Ms Rivera should be allowed to process grief the way she wants to.

“Not what I’d have done, though grief is a weird thing and maybe putting this girl on blast on the day of her dad’s funeral is a thing you could have chosen not to do,” wrote political and cultural commentator Bethany Mandel.

“I dunno, maybe I would’ve. At my mother’s funeral I danced joked and laughed with friends. Her death straight crushed me for years,” she said in another tweet.

Ms Rivera said she knew her father would have been proud of her, despite the backlash she was facing.

“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.

“He will not be forgotten.”

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