Playboy Model's Photo Has the Maori Fuming

It's 'inappropriate' to pose nude on sacred Mount Taranaki, tribe says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2017 11:25 AM CDT
Playboy Model's Photo Has the Maori Fuming
Jaylene Cook atop Mount Taranaki.   (Instagram)

Imagine someone parading naked on the grave of your relative. That's what the Maori of New Zealand accuse a Playboy model of doing atop Mount Taranaki, a volcano that the Maori consider an ancestor. New Zealand native Jaylene Cook, 25—who appeared in Playboy Mexico in January—climbed the mountain on April 26, stripped off her clothes, then posed for a photo showing her looking out over the clouds, reports the BBC. Cook says she and her photographer boyfriend were aware of the significance of Taranaki and "wanted to embrace the mountain in the purest form we could," per Maori Television. She believes the photo, shared with her 300,000 Instagram followers, was empowering. The Maori not so much.

"It's like someone went into St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and took a nude photo," says a rep for the local tribe, calling the whole incident "just very inappropriate." A local mayor agrees, noting it's the location of the photo that's offensive. As a government website explains, "the crater and summit is the sacred head of Taranaki ... Respect the mountain. Do not stand directly on the summit stone." But Cook tells she and her boyfriend "were quite respectful" and specifically avoided that summit. "Being nude is not something that is offensive in any way," she adds. Offensive? Debatable. Chilly? Yes. Cook says the temperature atop the mountain was 12 degrees, but the sun was shining "so it was not too bad." (Jennifer Lawrence messed with a sacred rock.)

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