With content that is truly eclectic in subject matter and form, it would not be wrong to say that Swati Jagdish has carved quite an inimitable online niche for herself. Her videos and posts cover topics ranging from parenting and sex education to sessions on psychology as well as counselling. Popularly known as ‘Maya’s Amma’, Swati Jagadish has to her credit an Instagram page with over 2,60,000 followers and a YouTube channel, both of which are dedicated to addressing relevant subjects that are more often than not hushed down as scandalous whispers.
Swati is a post graduate in applied psychology, a Certified Behavioural Profile Analyst (CBPA) and the first internationally certified lactation educator and counselor in Coimbatore. She has extensive experience in counselling and support in the fields of psychology, pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting, apart from being a trained sex educator.
She is the Managing Trustee of the Coimbatore Parenting Network, which has over 5000 members. To broaden her work, she founded ‘BondAndBeyond’, an initiative to provide support and sensitise expecting parents on topics like lactation, postpartum depression and other intense experiences which are stigmatised, and often get buried under the excitement and ambiguities of welcoming a new child.
Motherhood, Marriage, Parenting: Addressing the unspoken aspects
In an article published by Womenpreneurs of India, Swati Jagdish expressed her concerns about the lack of discourse regarding breastfeeding and postpartum depression. With these experiences of mothers being shrouded in stigma and sidelined as concerns of just a few, she has always emphasised on the need for greater awareness and support.
It is to amplify this cause that she decided to channel her rich experience and expertise to her social media presence. Her handles foster a safe space that brings together confused mothers and parents for communion and support.
It was her own journey with her daughter Maya that added experiential layers to her social media content with extremely relatable videos and engaging material on parenting which soon found hundreds of followers. As ‘Maya’s Amma’ she deals with subjects ranging from introducing children to topics like consent, open communication, gender sensitisation, sexuality and sex education. She also addresses the other side of the equation by answering queries from mothers on parenting, sex life and embracing motherhood without compromising on individuality.
She has broken the silence on the under explored subject of sex education for parents, and traversed difficult yet important conversations with growing children through her posts, workshops and talks. She takes up discussions on the necessity of normalising children being curious about their private parts and parents introducing exchanges on consent, boundaries and safe internet usage.
Her page opens up dialogue on topics which have forever been disregarded through systemic shaming, thereby rendering them invalid.
Addressing male gaze and female bodily agency
Swati Jagdish takes extra care to address topics surrounding the female body that are usually limited to washrooms, private conversations or misinformed meme pages. This hushing up has contributed to nullifying the sexuality of women unless it caters to the male gaze. Swati engages with such lopsided values through moderated discussions about female masturbation, sex toys, fetishes, faking orgasms and so on. Her page has videos and talks on lesser explored topics related to the female body like insecurity about breast size which is a product of the internalised male construct of beauty, tackling unsolicited images of private parts from men online, and the consumption of porn.
Her attempts not only provide well-informed insights but also subvert the social conditioning that strives to cancel these conversations by classifying them as taboo.
Her social media content has opened up the worldviews of many, while also making her more accessible to those in need of her services. Her Instagram space is always vibrant either with notices of upcoming events or enthusiastic feedback pouring in about one of her recent sessions, which is testimony to how helpful and insightful they are.
On YouTube Swati posts similar content in Malayalam and this fluidity in the use of languages spanning English, Malayalam and occasionally Tamil, goes a long way in increasing the accessibility of her ideas. The use of vernaculars democratises her content and helps more people to make use of her resources across the barriers of language.
In her younger years, she used to be the go-to person for all of her friends when a problem arose. She always knew that she had the skill to converse and create solutions for the problems she identified. This skill eventually turned into a voice which now offers support for children, teenagers, mothers and adults alike. She speaks with a strong foundation of academic qualifications and personal experiences which reinforce the genuineness and authenticity of her content.
Her engagement with issues that are under explored, but relevant strikes the perfect balance between endearing content and critical commentary, thus making ‘Maya’s Amma’ an accessible resource where support, awareness and fun converge with the absolutely welcoming persona of Swati Jagdish.
Featured Image Source: MidDay