Unwanted Women (China)

Source: Mashable, Apr 2016

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 “marriage market” 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 of these messages. “I won’t be happy that way.”

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’s subjects at the end of the video.

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