Holly is the author of the bestselling book ‘Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control.’ The book was released in 2013 and has since become an underground phenomenon.
She is a consulting producer on a feature documentary inspired by ‘Sweetening the Pill,’ which is currently in production. The film is directed by Abby Epstein and executive produced by Ricki Lake (the team behind the paradigm-shifting ‘The Business of Being Born’).
You may know Holly from her Guardian Op-Ed on the pill and mental health side effects, which was ranked as the most-read comment piece of 2016. The story went viral, became a Twitter Moment, and as a result she was featured by the Washington Post and interviewed for NPR (to name just a couple).
Vice has named Holly “the poster girl for a movement of women abandoning the pill in favor of contraceptives that don’t wreak havoc on their body and mind.”
Holly’s work has featured in both American and British Vogue; she has collaborated on an article about the pro-period revolution with Alanis Morissette, and produced a piece on male birth control options with Mayim Bialik.
Holly was a speaker at SXSW and Loom in 2017 where she presented on women’s wellness and femtech. She also leads workshops for women choosing to go off hormonal birth control in Los Angeles and around the US.
In the recent past, Holly wrote blog content, newsletters, and managed social media for Alisa Vitti and the FLO Living company. Holly has also worked with My Moontime, Lara Briden/Period Repair Manual, and Maxim as a marketing consultant, copy writer, and brand stategist. In the more distant past, Holly has worked with Film4 as a movie reviewer, as an interviewer for TV show MovieRush, and as a reporter for a feature news agency (her feature on a rescued pup with prosthetic paws was her first viral story).
Holly is a brand ambassador for Daysy fertility tracker.
About Sweetening The Pill
The book ‘Sweetening the Pill’ is a pioneer of the perspective shift that brought about the growing movement of women choosing body literacy over hormonal birth control. Ahead of its time, the book pointed to the early rumblings of women’s dissatisfaction with their contraceptive choices.
The release of ‘Sweetening the Pill’ was met with controversy (even provoking a petition to have the book banned) and yet, over 4 years on, Holly has seen her outlook and ideas embraced in the mainstream and echoed in current conversations, including those on women’s reproductive health issues, the problem of healthcare gaslighting, sexism in medicine, and male responsibility for pregnancy prevention.
In recent years, Holly’s work has been bolstered by largescale, significant studies on the link between hormonal birth control and depression, suicide risk, and breast cancer.
‘Sweetening the Pill’ was optioned by executive producer Ricki Lake in 2014 who saw it as the perfect follow-up to ‘The Business of Being Born.’ The Kickstarter for the feature documentary raised $120,000 ($20,000 over the goal) from a remarkable 1,750 backers. During this campaign Holly assisted director Abby Epstein on the production of short documentary “Could some birth control methods kill you?” With prescience, the Kickstarter asked if the future of birth control could be in fertility awareness-based femtech, several years before the FDA announced its approval of the first “digital method of birth control.”
‘Sweetening the Pill began as a Blog with the subtitle ‘Who am I when I’m not on the Pill?’ Over a few years, Holly detailed her experience of going off the pill after 10 years as a series of blog posts. She also shared her research (including 100s of interviews) on the medical sociology and political context of hormonal birth control.
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