Canada-based South Asian wedding magazine has sparked a debate online with its cover photo featuring a Tamil bride in a saree with a thigh-high split. A photo of the ‘Jodi’ magazine cover, shared on March 13, has provoked wide-ranging views on Facebook. While some have called the cover “a mockery of culture,” others find it “tasteful and beautiful”.
The cover has model Thanuska Subramaniam sitting on a chair decorated with flowers, in traditional wedding attire. The slit in the saree has drawn sharp reactions.
“Please show me somewhere where a legitimate Tamil bride dresses like this… way to make a mockery of our culture,” says one comment on Facebook.
“It’s a mere sleazy skin show affair and they labelled as ‘Tamil bride’. And this never ever happens in reality for a ‘Tamil bride’. There’s no harm if u don’t like to dress or cover your body parts, I mean to flaunt but don’t label any culture for your free thoughts,” says another.
“Ignore and Boycott Jodi Bridal show people if you are a Tamil or South as simple as that,” says one Facebook user.
Many others have defended the magazine and the cover.
“Instead of admiring the beauty and hard work behind this, people choose to focus on ONE THING instead of the bigger picture. So exposing ones legs is seen as not Tamil? This is a gorgeous shot and I’m so happy to know everyone behind this,” says a Facebook user.
Another writes, “A case of some Tamils minding the gap a little too much it seems. Get over yourselves; you can’t freeze a culture in a moment of time like trapping an insect in amber. Cultures evolve and change and adapt and diverge. #factoflife.”
The magazine says the theme of the issue is – “Be bold. Be the change.” And while its editors say they are happy that the cover has started a discussion, they add that bullying of any kind isn’t acceptable.
“This cover stands for more than beauty and Tamil culture. Not only is it art, it’s an expression of feminism,” says the magazine’s team on Facebook. “A princess bride can be bold, regal, whimsical or romantic. In other words, there are no cookie-cutter brides. If baring your legs in a sari is a cultural juxtaposition, then so be it.”
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