While most Indian magazines still resort to having Bollywood actresses or models doing basic things on their cover on a regular basis, a Malayalam magazine called Grihalakshmi has changed the game and how! Published fortnightly by the Mathrubhumi group, Grihalakshmi was the fifth largest regional language magazine in India as of 2013. In this month’s issue, they have put a breastfeeding woman on the cover. Considering that public breastfeeding is still taboo, it’s a bold move for a Kerala based magazine to take such a step.
Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi, from @mathrubhumieng, has this new cover. It says, "Mothers tell Kerala, "please don't stare, we need to breastfeed"".
WOW. Unusually bold. pic.twitter.com/Nwz6nAF0Fk
— Vivek S Nambiar (@ivivek_nambiar) February 28, 2018
Quite brilliant and very relevant ??
— Subhash Pais (@Subhash_ati9) February 28, 2018
— ॐSanjana Sundrarajan (@Sanjana_Emerald) February 28, 2018
Not an expert on gender but this thread opens up new debate. https://t.co/Jp58GpCwmw
— Shubhendu Deshmukh (@ssdkkr) February 28, 2018
Phenomenally done and boldly treading on a topic that many won't in the prudish times that we live in.
Kudos @mathrubhumieng ???
Let the outrage happen…it's not more important than the health of our newborns. https://t.co/984JNZSPoe
— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) February 28, 2018
To some it's gross, to some it's a free show. To a child, it's unquestionably simple and necessary. To anyone smart in enough, it's natural. Good work, @mathrubhumieng #breastfeeding #changeyourmind https://t.co/YG5lqPvbXJ
— Shreya (@ShreyaTeresita) February 28, 2018
In an interview to Indian Express, she spoke at length about being on this landmark cover:
It is a problem to interpret this (breastfeeding) sexually. Isn’t it a beautiful thing, friends? Why do you think it is wrong? Which god will be angry if you feed your child On being asked if she had any apprehensions before saying yes to this campaign, the 27-year-old said she had none of that sort. I am extremely proud of my body and only I exercise rights over it. I only do things that I think is right for me, which is why I had no qualms in taking up this project.
This is the first time an Indian magazine has featured a woman breastfeeding. Internationally, a breastfeeding woman has been featured in the famous TIME magazine cover in 2012 (which sparked a controversy because the child was considered too old for breastfeeding), Elle Australia in 2015 and a magazine called Redbook way back in 1997 which featured former James Bond – Pierce Brosnan and his girlfriend.
We think it’s remarkable that an Indian magazine has taken a step to be more inclusive and begin a discussion on public breastfeeding. Something that is so natural and important for a baby’s health should not be considered taboo. What are your thoughts?