Playboy Model in Hot Water after Nude Mountain Photo Offends Maori Tribe

A nude photo taken by Instagram model and former Playmate Jaylene Cook atop a sacred mountain in New Zealand has sparked major controversy while generating debate about artistic expression versus respect for culture and tradition.

25-year-old Playboy model Jaylene Cook is caught up in the midst of a PR mess as a local Maori community is pretty pissed at her nude photo atop Mount Taranaki.

Cook and her photographer partner Josh Shaw scaled the 2 530 metre mountain, snapped a picture and posted it to Instagram, and that’s where it all started to go south.

“[The photo’s] not crude or explicit in any way. We made ourselves knowledgeable on the history of the mountain.

We were quite respectful. Being nude is not something that is offensive in any way.

It’s natural and pure and it’s about freedom and empowerment,” Cook said, as cited by Stuff New Zealand.

After reaching the summit, the couple decided to take a risqué photo to celebrate, waiting for other hikers to vacate the peak before stripping down, of course. Cook, who was featured in Playboy Mexico in January, stripped down to just her trainers and a beanie for the photo.

Playmate Jaylene Cook

“It was Josh’s idea. We thought that it couldn’t be too tough.

So, we went to op shops to get some warm clothes. We started at 2am.

It was tougher than we thought. I’ve never hiked before.”

However, backlash to the apparent disrespect of sacred Maori ground has been rife.

“I’d imagine you will be getting a few comments from people saying ‘what’s wrong with that? Who cares?’

But I also know cousins and relatives who will be quite upset about it. They would consider it as being disrespectful towards the mountain,”said Maori academic Dennis Ngawhare, as quoted by Stuff.

Ngawhare and his family have never climbed to the summit, out of respect for the mountain that they regard as their ‘tupuna,’ or ancestor.

Cook has courted controversy in the past, however, with another image on her Instagram account showing the model wearing a hijab with bikini.

Playmate Jaylene Cook

“I accept people climb up to the summit, but what we do ask is that people be respectful…

It’s the same as when that crew took up a barbecue and a trampoline. It’s a good idea in principle, but in action…” he added, referring to a previous incident in which a Christian group held a barbecue on the sacred ground.

Local mayor Neil Volzke, however, wasn’t happy with Cook’s decision to bare all.

“It’s culturally insensitive and not what I would expect someone to do on the summit of Mt Taranaki.”

“Mount Taranaki has great spiritual significance to local Maori,” says the New Zealand government’s website.

“The crater and summit is the sacred head of Taranaki, the rocks and ridge are his bones, rivers his blood and plants and trees are his cloak and offer protection from the weather…  Respect the mountain.”

Here are more provocative photos of Jaylene Cook:


Playmate Jaylene Cook
Playmate Jaylene Cook
Playmate Jaylene Cook
Playmate Jaylene Cook
Playmate Jaylene Cook
Playmate Jaylene Cook

The debate takes on more significance, however, as nude photos taken by tourists atop Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia in 2015 were blamed for an earthquake which killed at least 16 people.

Well, that says all about some local communities and their backwards traditions and ideas.

This Model is a Direct Threat to Your Browsing History



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  • Mike Hawkslarge

    Too flat for my taste.