This Look At The Pressure on Single, “Leftover” Chinese Women Will Make You Cry

WHAT: “Marriage Market Takeover,” a powerful four-minute documentary/ad (documadtery?) that seeks nothing less than to evolve the paradigm of how unmarried women are viewed in China.

WHO: Skincare brand SK-II, who last year launched a campaign to empower women called #changedestiny.

WHY: Being that life is not a fairy tale, which it definitely is not, we don’t all find our perfect romantic counterpart in a time period convenient for all concerned. In America, this has become pretty standard and also the source of a bottomless trough of hilarious and affecting movies, books, and TV shows. However, in China, an unmarried woman over the age of 25 carries a stigma. She is called “Sheng nu,” which translates to “leftover woman,” and this viewpoint is apparently shared by each such woman’s family along with most of her surrounding society. The point is illustrated here, when a woman says of her unmarried daughter: “She’s just average looking; not pretty. That’s why she’s leftover,” which is in the top 10 saddest things that have happened all year. (And in 2016, that says a lot.) This ad was created as part of a greater movement by SK-II to empower women to flip the script, own their selectiveness, and turn “leftover woman” to “power woman.” Sure, there’s a profit motive lurking in a skin care company spreading this message, but the message itself is undeniable.