Complaint filed against Kerala magazine, model over breastfeeding cover pic

Case against Malayalam magazine'Grihalakshmi featuring model breastfeeding child on cover

Grihalakshmi breastfeeding cover page

Kerala advocate Vinod Mathew Wilson has filed the case which alleges that the picture is "lascivious" in nature and appeals "to prurient interests and tends to degrade the dignity of womanhood".

The hearing of the case has been fixed for March 16.

Chennai: The Grihalakshmi magazine, a Malayalam fortnightly from the stables of Mathrubhumi Group, has created quite a buzz by its latest cover. 'Why has the magazine given an unrealistic representation using a model with a child who is not even her own?' 'Why is Joseph wearing a vermilion paste on her forehead - a mark of subservience as seen by many - when she is breaking taboos surrounding breastfeeding by propagating body positivity?' 'Would mothers not breastfeed their children fearing being stared at?' These are some of the comments made at the model.

It invited diverse views from netizens where some hailed the act as an initial step towards normalising the act of breastfeeding, while many slammed the move as "indecent". Read interview in Malayalam.

"It is a problem to interpret this sexually. Which god will be angry if you feed your child?" she asks, questioning society's tendencies to shame women. The model also revealed that she received no support or approval from her family for the project.

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"I thought, what would be wrong with me doing this?" she said.

While another Twitterer termed the incident as "commercial gimmick" and said that no mother would do such things for a photoshoot. "People would probably have no problems seeing graphic images of people getting killed in newspapers and television, but can not bear to see a woman bond with her child by feeding it", the 27-year-old actress told The Indian Express.

It is believed that this is the first time an Indian magazine has published a cover image of a woman breastfeeding. Besides the model, the magazine also carries the photos of Amritha, a 23-year-old Keralite homemaker breastfeeding her one-and-a-half-month-old daughter in a similar fashion.

Magazines like Time and Babytalk too have featured such cover pages drawing applause and critic in equal amounts.

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