'Time' magazine's new cover is the breast ever -- UPDATE

[Update: We spoke with Time science editor Jeffrey Kluger about the cover — check below for his comments.]

Time magazine — which, like EW, is published by Time Inc. — is making waves with its latest issue, which features a photo of Jamie Lynne Grumet breast-feeding her 3-year-old son. Grumet practices “attachment parenting,” a growing movement that advocates extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping (that’s sharing a bed), and physically carrying one’s children via sling whenever possible.

Twitter users and bloggers have been hotly debating the cover since it debuted yesterday, arguing over whether it’s admirably bold or inappropriate.

Time managing editor Rick Stengel has stood by his magazine’s photo: “I think it’s provocative,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this week. “I think it’s a little whimsical. I think she represents an outlier of women who are breastfeeding beyond one year. The cover is meant to get your attention. It gets your attention. I think this is a legitimate debate.”

Science editor Jeffrey Kluger is also defending the cover. “There’s been considerable heat from a lot of people,” he told EW this afternoon. “Well, Time’s been taking heat since 1923. We’re kind of used to it.”

Kluger added that the magazine didn’t originally plan to feature this particular image — but when their cover photographer snapped it, editors realized the breastfeeding photo perfectly represented their attachment parenting story. Of course, it also happened to be incredibly arresting: “It would be naive and disingenuous to say that we didn’t expect that people would respond with… energy to this image,” Kluger said with a laugh. Still, the magazine didn’t expect a response quite as huge as the one they’ve gotten.

What’s your call on the cover? Gutsy, or just a little too boobylicious for ya, babe?

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