British Poet Shreds Attitudes On Breast Feeding In Stunning Short Film

Created for U.K.’s Channel 4, Hollie McNish’s “Embarrassed” poses the question, why is titillation accepted and sustenance rejected?

British Poet Shreds Attitudes On Breast Feeding In Stunning Short Film

WHAT: Short film, “Embarrassed” with British poet Hollie McNish expressing the ongoing battle mothers face around breastfeeding.

WHO: Channel 4, Hollie McNish, Jake Dypka

WHY WE CARE: McNish tamed up with old school friend Dypka, who directed this tirade about the shaming of mothers who have the audacity to breastfeed in public places. The film was part-funded by U.K.’s Channel 4 for Random Acts, its platform for original creative short films. The remainder of the funding was raised via a Kickstarter campaign.

The poem, “Embarrassed”, first released in 2013, is based on McNish’s personal experience and covers the bewildering hypocrisy of attitudes to breast-feeding in, as she puts it, “this country of billboards covered in tits.” It also touches on how many mothers give up breastfeeding because of other people’s reactions, and the impact this might have in poverty-stricken regions, or where clean water to make baby formula is scarce. A performance of “Embarrassed” caught the attention of Unicef and McNish, whose topics often relate to taboo areas of motherhood, spoke at the charity’s 2015 conference on infant feeding and mortality, The Baby Friendly Initiative.

About the author

Louise Jack is a London-based journalist, writer and editor with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written for several titles including Marketing Week, Campaign and The Independent.