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Model’s nude Instagram at a sacred site did not get a ‘like’ from the local people – A N I T H
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Model’s nude Instagram at a sacred site did not get a ‘like’ from the local people

Model’s nude Instagram at a sacred site did not get a ‘like’ from the local people


Mount Taranaki, also known as Mount Egmont, is more than just a big volcano, it’s a culturally significant mountain.

Image: David Rowland/REX/Shutterstock

Playboy playmate Jaylene Cook is a native of New Zealand (or Aotearoa) but her latest Instagram post was not very sensitive to the Maōri people of her home country. 

The model summited Mount Taranaki — a 8,000-foot tall peak on the country’s North Island — last weekend. To celebrate the achievement after 12 hours of hiking, she had her partner, filmmaker Josh Shaw, take a picture of her butt-naked, save for her sneakers, gloves and a hat.

She wrote along the photo, “This climb has forever changed me. I proved just how far I could push myself and I am truely [sic] proud of my accomplishment.”

But the derrière-flaunting photo is raising eyebrows among Maōri Taranaki people who see the volcano a sacred space that was seized by the New Zealand government for more than 100 years.

In a BBC interview, a local Maōri academic, Dennis Ngawhare, said, “It’s like someone went into St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and took a nude photo.” 

A similar situation with tourists stripping down for an Instagram photo disrespected the local religion at a sacred spot in Borneo, back in 2015.

A local New Zealand mayor told the BBC the photo of Cook itself is not the issue — it’s where it was taken. “It is just inappropriate to take on top of Mount Taranaki because it is a place with great deal of importance for the Maori community,” Neil Volzke said.

It’s not clear if Cook understands how inappropriate her photo is or the spiritual and cultural importance behind the mountain. 

In the four days it’s been up she’s received more than 15,400 likes and hasn’t edited her caption to acknowledge the disrespect commentators believe she’s shown the Maōri community.

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Anith Gopal
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