Watch: Beauty brand SK-II looks at the ‘Left Over’ Women


Everything is about youth these days, brands market to you telling you that you need more youthful looking skin, or you need to look like that young 18 year old thing who has yet to work a proper day job in her life but has the money to get all kinds of surgery or fillers to look like the supposed beauty ideal. Don’t even start me on the trials of dating when you’re not 18-27 years old.

Luckily for me I am not living in Asia though, with “marriage markets” in China where parents go to post elaborate personal ads for their daughters.

Luxury skincare brand SK-II recently launched #changedestiny, an ongoing global campaign to inspire and empower women to shape their own destiny. This year, they’ve continued the theme with “Marriage Market Takeover,” created by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors in its first ad campaign in China.

As a part of this campaign SK-II has been sharing stories of women who overcame challenges and barriers that were preventing them from achieving their dreams and goals. The success stories of these women have become a source of inspiration to women around the world. A “sheng nu,” or “leftover woman,” is a derogatory term for an unmarried woman over 25. The film shows the pressure these women face from their parents and society to marry young.

Despite living under pressure, these women have advanced and been able to achieve so much in so little time. They are capable, smart, talented and independent, and they are more than their marriage status.

“I don’t want to get married just for the sake of marriage. I won’t live happily that way,” says Li Yu Xuan in the film.

As the film shows, marrying for love can be easier said than done – something many women can attest to all around the world. With this campaign, SK-II is taking a positive approach in helping these women face the pressure and the film shows the marriage market in Shanghai’s People’s Park being taken over. A huge and beautiful installation was made with SK-II’s own ”marriage ads” that were in fact not ads but messages from hundreds of independent women, stating that they want to be in control of their own destiny.

We love this film because it showcases women who face intense pressure from society’s ideals and doesn’t market their brand by focusing on women’s fear of aging and not living up to the ideal beauty presented in marketing campaigns, we applaud SK-II for not only helping women take a stand for their right to marry in their own time for the right reasons and help to change the perception of single women over 25 all around the world (this isn’t an issue in just China alone).


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