The only advent calendar you need this Christmas

Step aside chocolate, and move over beauty products. The only advent calendar you need this Christmas features curvy model Ashley Graham pulling a sled in lingerie and Emily Ratajkowski writhing in spaghetti.

The video "calendar" - does that make it a "valendar"? - is the work of Love magazine editor Katie Grand, who famously launched the biannual tome with a naked Beth Ditto, frontwoman of The Gossip and all round body-positive icon, on the cover in 2009.

Ashley Graham in the Love magazine advent calendar.

Ashley Graham in the Love magazine advent calendar. Photo: Instagram/@thelovemagazine

While Graham, who last month publicly expressed her disdain at the lack of curvy women in the Victoria's Secret show, was day 26 in last year's edition of the Christmas countdown; in 2017 she is numero uno.

Other models expected to feature in the series include Kendall Jenner, sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Teyana Taylor, Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn.

The message of this year's calendar is #staystrong and it's hard not to feel ready to hit an F45 class after seeing Graham limbering up, complete with close ups of every gorgeous bit of her, to pull a sled along what appears to be a freezing cold New York City street.

"Shooting the Advent calendar is a true expression of self love," Graham said of making the clip, which was directed by Phil Poynter. "We are powerful, we are resilient, and we run the world."

Pasta night ... Emily Ratajkowski in the Love magazine advent calendar.

Pasta night ... Emily Ratajkowski in the Love magazine advent calendar. Photo: Instagram/@thelovemagazine

As if that wasn't enough to get our body-positive vibes peaking, overnight, Love released a clip of Ratajkowski writhing around on a table playing with last night's leftover all'amatriciana.

But the big question in watching all of this is: why?

Cue Ratajkowski's own words: "In the wake of the Harvey fallout and women coming forward with incredible amounts of sexual harassment cases, I have been so disappointed to hear women talk about 'modesty' and 'our responsibility,' as if we need to, yet again, adjust to make it 'easier' for the rest of the world.

"I'm tired of having to consider how I might be perceived by men if I wear the short skirt or post a sexy Instagram. I want to do what I want to do. Feminism isn't about adjusting, it's about freedom and choice."

In these Weinstein/Burke/Lauer times, it's important to see women taking back control of the choices they make about their sexuality. Sure, there may be some (Pamela Anderson being the latest) who insinuate this kinda thing courts inappropriate advances, that's definitely not Grand's, er, grand plan.

Grand said the theme of this year's calendar was inspired by her workouts at the New York gym Dogpound when she visited the city for New York Fashion Week in September.

She told The New York Times' Vanessa Friedman that an important distinction was letting the talent choose their scenarios, rather than scripting or contriving scenes for them.

Still, Grand acknowledged it would be impossible to make the calendar this year without framing it in the context of the sexual abuse scandals.

"It would be dumb not to think about it," Ms Grand said. "We're probably in the most heightened time in fashion I've ever known, and it feels very much like the eye of the storm."

Who runs the world ... Ashley Graham.

Who runs the world ... Ashley Graham. Photo: Instgram/@thelovemagazine

???According the Times' report, 84 million people watched last year's advent videos and Friedman makes the point that despite the intentions of empowerment and strength with which the calendar is made, how it is ultimately perceived is beyond Grand's control and may, unwittingly, lead to negative consequences.

For now though, it seems Grand is taking the "haters gonna hate" line, saying ahead of the release of the first video: "It's festive, it's fun and it's everything we love about women enjoying being women, on their own terms." Amen to that.

This story The only advent calendar you need this Christmas first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.