Last week a video advertisement from skincare brand SK-II showed the world why unmarried Asian women over 25 should not be considered ‘leftover’.
The video tells the stories of young women who’ve faced huge pressure (manipulation?) from family and friends to marry, and have been dubbed ‘incomplete’ and ‘leftover’ from failing to marry before 25. These women decide to deliver a personal message to their parents at the ‘marriage market’, which is like a real-life notice board of eligible sons and daughters complete with photographs and personal info on income, jobs and house and car ownership.
Instead of listing all those reasons they’re eligible for marriage, the ‘leftover’ women display those reasons they don’t want to be married just yet. “I have a great career and there is another term called ‘power woman'” one woman wrote, “I want to take the time to find the right person”, another said.
Let’s go one better.
Not only are these single women ‘not leftover’, they’re actually under-the-radar revolutionaries, changing history and reshaping society through their choices to be ‘free-willed’, ‘stubborn’ and picky’ (the words of their parents, not mine).
Or, more accurately, through their decisions to pursue a career, wait to find ‘the one’ and put their individual happiness over the pressures of society.
“The rise of the single woman is an exciting turn of historical events because it entails a complete rethinking of who women are and what family is and who holds dominion within it — and outside it,” author of new book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of the Independent Nation Rebecca Traister wrote in New York Magazine.
Unfortunately not everyone holds the same opinion. The Chinese continue to see unmarried women as ‘incomplete’ and western society holds a similar preconception. Marriages and kids is so often touted as the ‘be all and end all’ of a woman’s journey.
But what about those women who are making a difference outside of these roles? Who are changing how we view women?