This New Video About "Leftover" (Unmarried) Women Will Make You Ugly-Cry

Amanda Montell

Skincare brand SK-II's new #changedestiny campaign is encouraging women all over the world to smash gender stereotypes and defy age. The campaign's latest release is this heartstring-yanking documentary-style film, called "Marriage Market Takeover."

A beauty ad hasn't hit home for us like this in quite some time. Delivering a message that's all too real, the video spotlights the extreme pressure placed on women in China to get married. According to the film, most of this pressure comes from their parents, who are holding onto traditional expectations of their daughters.

In China, unmarried women over the age of 25 are often referred to as "sheng-nu," or "leftover woman."

"She's just average looking, not too pretty," one mother says of her unwed daughter. "That's why she's leftover."

"Maybe I should give up on someone I love for someone who's suitable," another unmarried woman offers through tears.

The parents' determination to find husbands for their daughters brings them to a matchmaking market, an even specifically organized to help them arrange suitable spouses. But upon arrival, the parents are met with a crowd of unexpected messages from their daughters—declarations of reclaimed independence.

One woman rejects the term "leftover woman" and proudly renames herself "power woman." Another affirms that her single status makes her feel "free." 

"My daughter is beautiful," a mother finally says after seeing her daughter's message. "Leftover woman should be proud." 

SK-II's ad reminds us not only how important it is to make lifestyle choices on your own terms, but to take independent ownership of your beauty, as well. 

We beauty lovers invest a lot in caring for our skin, hair, and overall wellbeing. Sometimes we're accused of being shallow or vain. People think all the effort we put into our beauty routines is for other people—to live up to society's beauty standards, or to make ourselves more attractive to men. 

But this video serves as a reminder to live your life for you and you alone (your beauty life included). Goodness knows we don't lie around the house in sheet masks and put on layers of glitter and black lipstick for anyone's enjoyment but our own. 

In honor of embracing your beauty independence, tell us a product or ritual that you love to use just for you!

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