Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in October 2021. A social media sensation has defended herself against criticism after sharing photos of herself posing beside her father’s open casket.

Jayne Rivera, 20, from Florida, stirred controversy by posting images on Instagram showing her standing near her father’s coffin, draped with an American flag, wearing a black one-sleeve blazer dress. In one snapshot, she clasped her hands in prayer. See the image below:

Addressing the negative feedback, Rivera acknowledged the controversy but insisted that the photos were taken with good intentions, as she believed her father would have appreciated.

“People cope with loss differently; some stick to tradition, while others find solace in unique expressions,” Rivera explained in a statement on Wednesday. “For me, it was about honoring my father’s memory by celebrating his life as if he were right there with me, just as he often was in joyful times.”

Rivera shared the photos on Instagram the same day they were taken, over a week after her father’s passing on October 11. Alongside the images, she penned a heartfelt caption bidding farewell to her beloved father.

However, the photos sparked a swift backlash on social media, with some users accusing Rivera of indulging in narcissism and insensitivity.

In response, Rivera staunchly defended her decision to share the photos, asserting, “There’s nothing wrong with what I posted, and I stand by it.”

While Rivera faced criticism for her actions, some pointed out the irony of condemning her on the same platform, arguing that the outcry was equally insensitive.

One Twitter user commented, “While it may not have been my choice, grief is a complex emotion. Perhaps publicly shaming this young woman on the day of her father’s funeral was unnecessary.”

Photo Credit: Mac Mccann/X

Photo Credit: Mac Mccann/X

Explaining her rationale, Rivera, who identifies as a full-time influencer, revealed that her father frequently featured in her Instagram stories, making it pertinent to inform her followers of his passing.

“I’ve spent eight long years building my audience,” Rivera stated. “People often judge quickly without pausing to understand the true intentions or significance behind someone’s actions.”

Rivera also alleged that Instagram had inexplicably disabled her account following the controversy. She reached out to the platform for clarification, maintaining that she had not violated any community guidelines with her posts.

Photo Credit: Mac Mccann/X

Photo Credit: Mac Mccann/X

As of Wednesday afternoon, Rivera’s Instagram account remained inaccessible, though her TikTok account, boasting over 300,000 followers, remained active.

“People will always have differing opinions, but I know my dad would be proud of me,” Rivera affirmed. “His memory will endure.”

Jose Antonio Rivera, Rivera’s father, passed away on October 11, just two days after celebrating his 56th birthday.

Sources: NBC News Opposing Views

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