"This is not a Tamil Bride!!!!!" said one reader, unhappy with the image.

Social Society Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 08:21

The latest cover picture of a Toronto-based magazine has riled up quite a few on social media who feel that the image disrespects "Tamil Culture", while others defended the artist's freedom.

Jodi Bridal Show, which is published annually and especially caters to Tamil Canadians, has the photograph of a woman in a traditional saree on the cover page of its latest issue.  

However, a slit in the saree that reveals model Thanuska Subramaniam's legs seems to have irked some.

"Please show me somewhere where a legitimate tamil bride dresses like this.... way to make a mockery of our culture," one user commented below the photograph that was posted on the magazine's FB page.

"When your art kills my culture, yea i have a problem with that. Fashion is forever changing culture has been past down. It's embedded in my religion and my language, customs values is what we leave behind. Im for equality but this has nothing to do with that. Wear what you want nobody cares until you target an ethnicities beliefs. Thats where the difference lies. What yall talk about is being tamil canadian. Remember to save this convo when your kids ask u what is tamil and what is our culture? Maybe then, just maybe? Yall will think not all change is for the better! (sic)," another wrote. 

One called it "Pathetic". "You can bring out many excuses and all kind of silliest reasons in the world ......facts and truth are stubborn! This is not a Tamil Bride!!!!!."

The publication told Now Toronto that they in fact wanted the issue to be a celebration of whatever way women wanted to drape their saree.

"Every bride has their own sense of individuality. And this issue was a celebration of whatever way they can drape the saree or wear their jewellery," Thadsiga Jayaseleen, creative director, told the site. 

Several other users though spoke in support of the photograph saying they felt there was nothing offending in it. 

"It's just a cover photo and I see it as a piece of art. It's so beautiful put together by a talented team..." one person wrote.

"Are people forgetting photography is an ART? Of course no tamil bride will dress like this on her wedding day. Do you see white people walking on streets with what we see on the runways? It's only an ART.. If you look at legs you will see legs. If you look at it in the perspective of art and expression - you will see CONFIDENCE, COURAGE, GRACE and POWER. I think that is what the team was going for!." said another. 

One FB user hit out at the critics saying, "The very people whom speak of culture have no idea to what our culture is, for they can not speak of anything, with evidence but only if what there opinion of culture is!"

Thanuska told Now Toronto that she was "shocked" at the response the picture has received. "I love it. I didn’t even think I could look like that."

"There is so much Tamil female talent that was behind this cover. It’s sad that all those people who had negative things to say about the cover, didn’t want to acknowledge that aspect behind it. People should be proud of that. They should encourage that," she added.