Malayalam actress Gilu Joseph could drive home a strong message and bust many a taboo surrounding breastfeeding through her bold photoshoot for the cover of the Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi. The 27-year-old is seen breastfeeding a baby on the cover of the magazine.
Gilu said she readily accepted the project and says there is nothing to be ashamed of it. "It is a problem to interpret this 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," The Indian Express quoted her as saying.
When asked if she had any apprehensions in taking up the project, Gilu said she believes in doing whatever she feels is right.
(Mobile users may not be able to see the above posts if they are not logged into Facebook.)
Her mother and two sisters did not approve of it, which she understands why. But the actress makes her point loud and clear: "Nothing can deter me from doing what I feel is right," she told the publication.
"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," she added.
Gilu has been getting a lot of praise for this photoshoot. People have been praising her courage, and strength to go for it even when her own family opposed it.
Nonetheless, some have also been questioning the reason behind her sporting a thick line of vermillion on the forehead. A few of the critics expressed disappointment at a Christian lady being portrayed as a Hindu woman. Some also felt that the picture would have been more inclusive for unwed mothers if the vermillion was not used.
Gilu responded to this saying that the assignment was given to her by the magazine, which wanted to send a message to all the mothers and wives to be fearless while exercising their right to breastfeed.
Check some of the responses on social media that Gilu and Grihalakshmi got for the bold and beautiful cover.
Translation - "Do not stare at us while we are breastfeeding"— The Great Dictator.! (@tittoantony) February 28, 2018
Really glad to see Grihalakshmi a leading magazine is breaking the Society norms without sexualizing it
I love the way Gilu Joseph (Model) stares at the reader straight in to your eyes. The message is a bang on! pic.twitter.com/SFYvNgDQrS
I only wish Gilu Joseph (the model) wasn’t wearing sindoor. It’d have been more inclusive of unwed moms and women who don’t believe in marriage markers.— Ardra Balachandran (@ardramaanasam) February 28, 2018
I’m sure it was a @Grihalakshmi_ editorial decision & it’s okay. One step at a time for any journey. ???#breastfeeding
Here's more: She is a model (not a mother), Gilu Joseph, who was born into a conservative Christian family (one of her sisters is a nun) from the hilly interiors of Idukki district. Her family was opposed to the photo-shoot, as per @IeMalayalam. CC @dhanyarajendran— Nidheesh M K (@mknid) February 28, 2018
Why model gilu Joseph wearing sindoor,or does christain lady wear sindoor ?— prashant (@pk3061972) February 28, 2018