One Mom's Viral Christmas Photo Has the Internet Outraged

December 22nd 2015

Laura Donovan

Rebecca Dunbar, a 40-year-old woman from Ontario, Canada, is gaining a lot of attention on social media for her Christmas photo, which shows her breast-feeding while sitting on a mall Santa's lap.

RELATED: What Happened When a Woman Gave This Breastfeeding Mother a Stare Down

Mom breastfeeding in Santa photo

Dunbar told Canadian publication, the Global News that she decided to breast-feed in the portrait because she was already breast-feeding her child while waiting in line at the Niagara Square shopping center in Canada.

"[M]y little guy, who has the patience of nothing, decided he was hungry in about two seconds,” Dunbar said. “He would have just screamed the entire time so I started nursing him. And we were next in line.”

At first, she joked with the staff about the prospect of breast-feeding in the Santa picture. The photographer and Santa said they were comfortable with the breast-feeding photo idea, so Dunbar ran with it, and ultimately posted the image on Facebook. While her friends were supportive of the image, she said she's received a lot of negative feedback on social media from commenters who called the picture “trashy” and argued that she merely wanted attention.

RELATED: The Problem with the Way We Talk About Breastfeeding

Here are some of the negative responses to the photo:

Rebecca Dunbar backlash

Dunbar pointed out the hypocrisy in shaming breast-feeding mothers while taking a blind eye to hyper-sexualized ads that show breasts in a seductive manner.

“I think breastfeeding should be made more acceptable in all ways,” she said. “It shouldn’t deserve a comment one way or another because it shouldn’t be seen as abnormal. I think breastfeeding is absolutely beautiful and I was very positive about it. The fact that people have been so negative is a little upsetting. But everyone has an opinion.”

RELATED: What Happened When a Photographer Put Breastfeeding Photos On Instagram

She also has a right to breast-feed wherever she pleases. The Ontario Human Rights Code, an equal rights law in Ontario, asserts that every breast-feeding woman has a right to breast-feed in public and no one has the right to tell them to cover up or move to a private place.

Dunbar's viral photo comes at a time when many women are shamed for breastfeeding in public. Florida mom Ashley Kaidel recently made news after writing a Facebook post about dealing with a breast-feeding shamer at an undisclosed restaurant. At the time, Kaidel posted a photo of herself breast-feeding her child and staring off to the other side of the crowded room. Kaidel wrote that she was glaring at a woman who appeared offended that she chose to breast-feed in public.



Earlier today I posted this picture of my son and I breastfeeding uncovered in a public restaurant. In the picture, it...

Posted by Ashley Kaidel on Tuesday, November 24, 2015


RELATED: What Breastfeeding Mothers Think of Your Stares

"She is looking at me with disgust and shaking her head with [judgment] in an attempt to shame me and indirectly tell me without words that I am wrong and need to cover myself," Kaidel wrote. "[T]he reason I post these types pictures is for the mother that tried breastfeeding uncovered once and she got shamed, she got stared and pointed at, she got nasty comments, she got asked to leave the room, she got asked to cover up."

Earlier this year, YouTube user Kristina Kuzmic made a hilarious satirical YouTube video titled, "4 Reasons Women Should NEVER Breastfeed in Public," which highlights ridiculous arguments against public breastfeeding.

"We don't live in a society where it's OK to just show part of your breast and cleavage in public," she said before cutting over to footage of a woman breast-feeding her baby right next to an ad of a woman posing in underwear:

Breastfeeding hypocrisy

Learn more about how women around the world are talking about public breast-feeding:


Our society has a ridiculously hypocritical view of breasts.Here's exactly why: http://bit.ly/1MpZDcgLike ATTN: on Facebook for content that promotes feminism.

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RELATED: YouTuber Kristina Kuzmic Nails the Problem with Treatment of Breasts