Published On: Thu, Apr 7th, 2016

A heart-wrenching commercial empowers the single “leftover women” of China


Skincare brand SK-II wants to remind Chinese women it’s okay to be single — even if repressive society norms are trying to tell them otherwise.

In a new documentary-style commercial called “Marriage Market Takeover,” the brand shows how traditional attitudes towards marriage can put extreme pressure on single women to find a husband as they reach their late twenties.

In fact, there’s a common derogatory term for older unmarried women in the country: “Sheng nu,” which translates to “leftover woman.”

“She’s not pretty…that is why she is a leftover woman,” one mother theorizes about her adult daughter, who fights back tears.

“If she can’t find the one, it will be heart disease for me,” says the father of one of the other women featured in the video, according to an English translation.

But the parents’ hardline stances appear to soften when they visit a matchmaking “marriagemarket” only to find self-affirming messages of independence from their daughters.

“I don’t want to get married just for the sake of marriage,” says an English translation of one ofthese messages. “I won’t be happy that way.”

The touching four-minute online video is part of a larger campaign for the anti-aging cream makercalled “Change Destiny” that centers on subverting traditional cultural attitudes towards women.

One participant turns “leftover woman” to “power woman” with a beautiful picture of herself.

“I’m confident. I’m independent. I love life. I’m a pretty outstanding woman,” says one of the film’ssubjects at the end of the video.


About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology