I understand where the OP is coming from. I had my first experience with this not to long ago. After I had listened to a woman threaten her child with a spanking, belittle her in front of me, allow her to bawl her head off during a time out for asking a question, demand obedience (she used the word obey) in the form of a "yes, mommy" and generally be disrespectful of her child, she turned to me as said that being an AP parent was hard.
It surprised me. I will admit.
I think there is some confusion about the term, what it means, what it entails, how being attached and responsive to your child usually means not hitting them, or disregarding their feelings. I do think that it has become a buzz word - a way to embrace a popular parenting philosophy which is touted as being good for the child.
I have also met moms who said they exclusively breastfeed - when in fact that last for the first two weeks of life, and then they began supplementing with formula because their doc told them too. Again, and adoption of the term that embraces the idea, though not the actual practice in order to be seen as doing what is best for the child.
I think that the need to do what is right, or perceived as right by society at large, for your child will drive you to label yourself as something you may not entirely embrace and understand so as to fit in. Especially with moms, who are constantly barraged with new studies and new info and
Labels aren't inherently bad - they are a way of categorizing information. All humans do it. It is the way we figure out where we stand in the world.
Discriminating due to a label is bad.
I find that the same sort of adoption of what is "cool" happens with "popular" religions. Think of all the celebrities who are into Kabbalah, or Buddhism....and all the people who then do something to label themselves as such, even without knowing what the heck they are doing.
People hear a term, hear some brief descriptor that may or may not be correct, decide they like the sound of it and label themselves as such. Not always correctly, not always respectfully or wisely.
Can the mama label herself that? Sure. Does it make me
? Yep. Makes me scratch my head when someone says they are converting to Judaism, and yet have never met with a Rabbi too.
Is it a problem? Not really. The only real problem I see is if the person labeling themselves erroneously begins to teach others about this fabulous new parenting philosophy (or whatever) that is based on doing whatever you want really. Then it becomes an issue I think. I mean - AP has ideals for a reason. You can embrace the ideals, and do what works for you and your baby, even without doing a dreaded "checklist" of parenting. We all have ideals we wish to live up to - that isn't a bad thing. We all also stress out when we don't live up to them on occasion.