A woman’s body is a terribly beautiful paradox for the society. Behind closed doors, it is the subject of every fantasy and is desired in its bare naked form. But in public, even a slight glimpse of skin can be condemned. Stuck in between these two extremes is the act of breastfeeding, which despite being a natural, beautiful act, is frowned upon when done in public.
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I've gotten loads of posts asking about life after having my son… esp to do with weight and fitness. Seeing as it's World Breastfeeding Week- time to give some credit where credit is due. Breastfeeding has played such a big part in getting back into shape after giving birth to my baby. Breastfeeding has been challenging+time consuming (literally hours spent everyday trying to stimulate milk supply) but it's such a beautiful way to bond and connect with your child plus all the nutritional benefits that your child gets from your milk. Look out for my blog post on mycityforkids.com on breastfeeding. Happy #worldbreastfeedingweek
Even in the West, which is known to be liberal about most things, women breastfeeding in public have been criticised, sometimes by fellow women! It is looked upon with embarrassment and shamed.
Several celebrity mothers have condemned this shaming of public breastfeeding. Several mothers have even participated in photo shoots to celebrate this beautiful act.
And now a Malayalam magazine, Grihalakshmi, has taken a rather bold step by showcasing a breastfeeding woman on their cover!
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
— V (@ivivek_nambiar) February 28, 2018
On the cover is a 27-year-old Malayali poet and actress, Gilu Joseph. For those wondering, nope, she isn’t a mother herself.
What takes the cake for me, apart from the boldness of the picture, is the caption accompanying it.
The caption is in Malayalam, but in English, it roughly translates to,
“Mothers tell Kerala, ‘Please don’t stare, we need to breastfeed’.”
Surprisingly and thankfully, the reactions to this brazen cover have been predominantly positive. Twitter unanimously speaks about the cover as a phenomenal step by the publication to spread the awareness that breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of.
Twitter is the land of trolls and insults. Praise and endorsement from the Tweeple definitely is a good sign!
1. Kudos! And bring on the outrage, we’re ready!
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 (@TheDeshBhakt) February 28, 2018
2. That cover and caption sure killed it!
— Purnima Menon (@PMenonIFPRI) February 28, 2018
3. Exactly. Enough with the shame.
This is absolutely brilliant. Not only in India but also in UK I have seen woman bein shamed just for breastfeeding https://t.co/95hxANRSnT
— Vishal (@vishaluponzero) February 28, 2018
Quite brilliant and very relevant 👌👍
— Atma-nirbhar (@Subhash_ati9) February 28, 2018
5. It’s natural, you guys.
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 Teresita (@ShreyaTeresita) February 28, 2018
6. The stigma has to stop!
All the outrage points exactly to what the cover aims to highlight. The stigma associated with (feeding) breasts being seen publicly has to stop. #breastfeeding
— Ardra Balachandran (@ardramaanasam) February 28, 2018
7. Do not stare!
Malayalam magazine is bold to have this cover page. Translation – Do not stare at us while we are breastfeeding. pic.twitter.com/08jDXDKxSF
— santhosh babu (@hypnobaba) February 28, 2018
8. Even Bollywood was sending the same message years ago!
Bold & beautiful..Outstanding way of getting across a message.Remember Ram Teri Ganga Maili where the chief protagonist Mandakini was shown breastfeeding her child on the big screen that was a first and this is too. Need to send message across.
— Ajay K. Pathak. (@tirol2001) February 28, 2018
10. Bold and welcome!
— Anant Bhan (@AnantBhan) February 28, 2018
Of course, there are those who have criticised the fact that the magazine did not take an actual mother on the cover, or the fact that not all mothers manage to look this glamourous when breastfeeding. However, the general consensus is that the cover is definitely praiseworthy.
It’s simple really. Would you enjoy it if while having a meal in a restaurant, someone asked you to cover up your face? No, right? Then why should the little child, who is simply having his meal be put through the whole charade?
Breastfeeding is an important part of motherhood and should be equally celebrated in public, in movies and on magazine covers, not hidden behind closed doors and dupattas.