A photograph of Padma Lakshmi -- actress, model and wife of writer Salman Rushdie -- that appeared on the cover of the Observer Food Monthly magazine and run as an advertisement in The Guardian has raised the readers' hackles.
The picture shows the Indian-born model in a bikini lying on a metal kitchen surface full of lobsters and surrounded by a group of male chefs. The headline said: Dish of the Day and the text below the photograph was: 'Padma Lakshmi: Salman Rushdie's favourite cook.'
Two Guardian readers were so offended by the picture that they lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Agency saying that the advertisement was sexist and offensive.
The Guardian Media Group, which owns OFM, in its defence said that the picture had been provided by Padma Lakshmi herself.
The ASA, however, dismissed the two complaints on Wednesday saying that it accepted the newspaper's assertion that "the image was relevant in the context of Lakshmi's dual careers as a model and as a presenter of a TV cookery programme," reported The Guardian.
The ASA also went to add that it found the picture 'tasteful' and said that the advertisement was unlikely to cause much offence to readers.
Padma Lakshmi, a polyglot, has also acted in a Bollywood film Boom and modeled for big fashion houses like Armani, Versace and Ralph Lauren.
She has also been featured in magazines like Vogue, Elle, et cetera.
The talented Lakshmi has also penned a book -- Easy Exotic: A Model's Low-Fat Recipes from Around the World' -- and is also the host of a food programme on Food Network in the United States.
Padma Lakshmi. Photo: David Westing/Getty Images