SK-11 Ad Highlighting China’s “Leftover Women” Goes Viral

SK-11 Ad Highlighting China’s “Leftover Women” Goes Viral
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

An advertisement for beauty brand SK-II, which focuses on so-called ‘leftover women,’ is making waves in China and around the world.

The issue relates to the widespread social and family pressure facing unmarried women in China, particularly as they get older.

The video details the stigma of being one of the ‘leftover women’. In the ad, one father says, “If she can’t find the one, it will be heart disease for me.” A mother says, “We always thought our daughter had a great personality. But she’s just average-looking, not too pretty. That’s why she’s leftover.”

It also shows a ‘marriage market’ in Shanghai, where men and women are listed in the hope of finding someone to marry. Later in the film, the area is turned into a site of empowerment, where women write messages of hope to their parents.

Voices heard

The video has received more than 4,000 likes and was shared close to 20,000 times on SK-II’s official Sina Weibo account in four days. It has been viewed more than one million times on YouTube.

It has also drawn praise from netizens and prompted a serious discussion online.

“Every woman’s choice should be respected in civilized society," commented Weibo user Lotus Seed Core.

Another user commented, “I am a single girl and I needed to see this ad, to tell me that I am not alone and I am not wrong for my choices. One can be happy without a man, and we shouldn’t be punished for our choices in life when we have not wronged others."

When asked to comment on the video, SK-II President Markus Strobel said the advert was part of “a global campaign to inspire and empower women to shape their destiny."

“The film brings light to the real-life issue of talented and brave Chinese women feeling pressured to get married before they turn 27, for fear of being labelled ‘sheng nu’," Strobel said.

The company therefore was adopting “a positive approach in helping women face pressures."

Edited by Edward White


The Telegraph