There was one moment in the emotional Girls finale that left fans furious.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the final episode of Girls’ Season Six.

HBO’s Girls has concluded its six season series with one of the most dividing episodes ever screened.

The finale offered fans no romantic hope and little sense of what the future would hold for its characters. What it did offer was a tired look at the breast milk vs. formula debate.

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The episode begins five months after the birth of Hannah Horvath’s (Lena Dunham) child, Grover. Hannah and Grover are living together in upstate New York. They are soon joined by Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams) and later, Hannah’s mother Loreen (Becky Ann Baker).

Marnie steps in as the glowing mother. (Source: HBO.)

Marnie spends the majority of the episode schooling Hannah in what's best for her new son. She instructs her on how she should position her nipple when breastfeeding, she micro-manages her swaddling and she repeatedly lists why she believes breast milk is "liquid gold".

Formula is largely portrayed as a kind of maternal failure. A last resort. Marnie looks disdainfully at babies in a doctor's waiting room before deciding they look "formula-fed."

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Even Hannah referring to her nipples as feeling like "iguana skin" is drowned out by Marnie's monologue of 'breast is best'. Hannah struggles. Grover refuses. Marnie moans.

It is one of the most brutally realistic depictions of motherhood to be placed on television this year and yet fans have little good to say about it.

Fans have been flooding social media channels since the finale aired with the sentiment it was a true disappointment.



Hannah takes herself out of the house for a long walk. (Source: HBO.)

Mothers are especially upset with how Hannah handled her struggles to breastfeed.

"I thought, Hannah of ALL women would have welcomed the formula and taken a more progressive approach to the situation," one fan wrote on the Girls official Facebook page.

"I felt as though we were put back into a time where women were expected to sit home with a baby attached to their breast - not embrace the reality that SO many young women work and either chose not to, or simply can't breastfeed.”

Hannah and Grover. (Source: HBO.)

One fan disliked how the topic had been pulled into the fictional series.

"If she wanted to make a comment on breastfeeding she should have found a different platform," they wrote on Facebook.

Other fans were touched by Hannah's struggles and shared their own difficulties as new mothers.

And although the episode ends with Marnie informing Hannah that Grover had settled after being fed powdered milk, “We gave him formula, and he liked it," the win is short-lived.

The temporary success is placed as a kind of gateway to the final victory where Hannah is able to breastfeed her son.

The message this scene sends is that breastfeeding is a trophy earned by persistent mothers. It is unrealistic and it is unfair.

Many mothers choose not to breastfeed and many are simply unable. It is disappointing that a show as progressive as Girls chose not to reflect that.

Do you agree? How do you feel breastfeeding was used as a topic in the final episode?


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