WATCH: Powerful SK-II Ad on China's Leftover Women

By Bridget O'Donnell, April 10, 2016

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A new ad campaign from luxury cosmestics brand SK-II has generated a lot of buzz for its portrayal of China's shengnu (剩女) or ‘leftover women.’ 

The four-minute documentary-style commercial, titled 'Marriage Market Takeover,' went viral last week after sparking debate about single women in China. The ad features interviews with unmarried women and their parents who are pressuring them to settle down.

The term 'leftover women,' adopted into the Chinese language by the government in 2007, refers to unmarried females over the age of 27. While traditional views on marriage continue to prevail in Chinese society, those views are beginning to change among China's young single population, which was said to number 200 million in 2015.

At the end of the spot, the women take their parents to the People's Square Marriage Market in Shanghai, where mothers and fathers typically hunt for suitors for their unmarried children. But instead of personal profiles and bios, the parents find beautiful portraits of their daughters juxtaposed with messages of empowerment. “I don’t want to get married just for the sake of marriage," reads a statement on one of the pictures. "I won’t live happily that way.”

SK-II President Markus Strobel told the BBC that the ad was part of "a global campaign to inspire and empower women to shape their destiny."

Watch below (VPN off):

(VPN on):

[Image via SK-II]

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