05/11/2012 03:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Is the Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover Over the Line in Terms of Good Taste?

This question originally appeared on Quora.

By Shannon Turlington, Mother

This photo is designed to be shocking and (pardon the pun) titillating. It is also designed to foster conflict between mothers who follow different parenting styles. The headline implies that you may be failing as a mother if you don't practice attachment parenting, thereby implying that there is a wrong way and a right way to parent. The woman's stance also implies combativeness and defensiveness (hand on hip). Her outfit is deliberately sexy. The pose is unnatural and provocative. It does not portray a mother nurturing her son. It is designed to grab attention, provoke an emotional response, stir controversy and divide women. So it goes beyond poor taste, in my opinion. After seeing it, I became instantly skeptical of the story, the people involved and Time magazine, because the motivations are not to inform or educate, but rather to provoke and divide.

The woman interviewed in the story was quoted in a Yahoo news story on the subject: "There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that's what I want to avoid," she added. "I want everyone to be encouraging. We're not on opposing teams. We all need to be encouraging to each other, and I don't think we're doing a very good job at that."

This photograph accomplishes the exact opposite of her stated goal.

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