ADvent something Better CampAIGN

A parody of the Love Advent 2017 - Day 3 (Originally featuring Emily Ratajowksi) Featuring Cultural Curator Ryan Lanji. 
This film was co directed by Ryan Lanji, Shimmy Ahmed and Julia Brown.
DP and edit : Julia Brown

Two teenage girls (Poppy + Elise) from Hackney were filmed watching the The Love Advent Calendar - Day 3 submission featuring Model Emily Ratajkowski #StayStrong - here are their responses.
Directed by Shimmy Ahmed
Edited By Julia brown

Words from Shimmy Ahmed,

"Recently I stumbled across an offering from the annual Love magazine Advent Calendar. For those who aren’t familiar with it, LOVE Magazine is an Industry led magazine that prides itself on being fashion forward and forward thinking. Every Christmas, Katie Grand (their Editor in Chief) creates a LOVE Advent that usually bring together some of pop cultures ‘of the moment’ women. So naturally, like any other woman who follows social media and these personalities, I clicked to see what the fuss was about. 

The film that caught my eye was model Emily Ratajowski unveiled for DAY 3. I expected to see her opening up a Christmas stocking and singing a Christmas carol, but instead was greeted with her intro of ‘carb overloading’, writhing around seductively in spaghetti, in an empty studio wearing nothing but her smalls, some fingerless woollen gloves and a scarf. 

The video is pretty saucy (lol excuse the pun) but that was not what felt unsettling - Emily was indeed scantily dressed and behaving overtly sexually but to be honest her main body of work consists of her taking her clothes off and revealing herself, no real surprise there, and if she feels empowered by that then all power to her. But to suggest that other women should feel the same about it - is quite frankly ludicrous and in my opinion not putting your head above the parapet. 

What confused me most about the content was the suggested message - reinforced by the many publications (Forbes, The Sun, among others) who shared the content - stating that it was somehow ‘Empowering’ to be sultry and hyper sexual. I was confused - am I abnormal to not feel in the slightest empowered by the film - and in actual fact felt quite sad and deflated by the fact that it was shot by men in their 50’s (Would other female filmmakers agree with this?). The hashtag accompanying this year advent is #staystrong an ode to empowerment for women - but the execution sent us back to a decade of objectification and voyeurism we have only recently begun to gain agency against. 

In anything that meets the public eye, we as messengers need to understand the message we are sending. We need to deliver better content and send empowering campaigns that are rooted in a clear and understandable message. LOVE magazines decision to include it in their end of year 'gift’ has regressed us by thirty years AND whilst trying to jump on the feminist themes that have been so prevalent this year - messages of which include equality, female empowerment and realistic body ideals. 

A staggering 84 million people are due to see these films after all is said and done, so I began to wonder what would happen if we created a film that would have a more positive meaning, a more collective inclusivity and pointed 84 MILLION people to charities that are deserving of our attention. 

If you can’t give to charity, you can at least give a damn… We owe it to ourselves to #ADVENTSOMETHINGBETTER 

- Choose Love:
- Help Refugees:
- Shelter:‎ "