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This heart-wrenching but ultimately uplifting video about China’s ‘leftover women’ needs to be seen

  • 20
  • 08
  • 2016

The Chinese government defines any unmarried woman in the country over 27 as “leftover”, with marriage and motherhood seen as a priority and these women failing at both. But more and more women are embracing single lifestyles, and choosing for themselves the path they want their lives to take.

After watching Japanese beauty giant SK-II’s latest documentary-style advert, which follows a number of unmarried women deemed “sheng nu”, or leftover women, a few more might gain the confidence to have a conversation about how they see their future.

SK-II president Markus Strobel told the BBC the advert was part of “a global campaign to inspire and empower women to shape their destiny”.

The video has been shared over 25,000 times on SK-II’s Weibo, with the advert’s positive ending drawing a large amount of praise.

A scene from the SK-II advert

(SK-II/YouTube)

A scene from the SK-II advert

(SK-II/YouTube)

A scene from the SK-II adbvert

(SK-II/YouTube)

But are things truly changing in China? Leta Hong Fincher, author of Leftover Women: The Resurgence Of Gender Inequality In China, who had a role to play in the short film, told the BBC: “Chinese women today are more educated than ever before and they are increasingly resisting marriage.”

She added that the “incredible angst, personal torture and societal pressures”, all depicted in the advert, are prevalent across the country.

“Marriage in China is extremely patriarchal and women need to see that being single is something to be celebrated, not to be ashamed of,” she said. “But I believe that this trend of women who choose to be single and independent is going to increase and this is the beginning.”

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