Saturday, April 9, 2016


By Eva Fydrych

Change Destiny
A global campaign by SK-II

Photos courtesy of SK-II

How many women do you know that are above the age of 25 and not married? We might not think twice about it, but these women are labelled “Sheng Nu” in many parts of China. The literal translation of the term is “leftover woman”, denouncing women who are not yet married at this age, and associating them with being undesirable and desperate.

As part of SK-II’s ongoing global #changedestiny campaign, International Prestige Skincare Brand SK-II captured single women speaking up against this negative societal stigma and the pressure that comes with it. The video has gained immense traction, making the “leftover woman” an inspiration to all and a reminder to society of the power of a woman’s right to choose her path and take control of her own destiny.

In a new film by SK-ll, Li Yu Xuan, a 33-year old single Chinese woman, and others are voicing their concerns, asking for better understanding.

SK-II: Marriage Market Takeover

Sharing some of their most personal feelings requires the women to be strong, as they have experienced an increase in pressure from both society, family and friends ever since the phrase Sheng Nu came into use. For many, being unmarried is a great source of anxiety because of the social stigma. This is especially true for women of the growing middle class, whose focus on education, career and independence makes them more inclined to wait and marry for love instead of necessity. A lot of the women SK-II has interviewed have shared stories of how happy and fulfilled they are, but they have failed to convince their parents and friends to see them in the same way they see themselves. 

"Being independent is a great lifestyle and it’s the life I want", says Wang Xiao Qi in the film.

The marriage market in Shanghai’s People’s Park (Photo courtesy of SK-II)

With this campaign, SK-II is taking a positive approach in helping these women face the pressure. In addition to taking a stand for their right to marry in their own time, the women are asking for support to help change the perception of the word. They want to reconstruct the mutual respect between generations, increase society’s understanding of women’s right to choose their paths in life freely and take control of their destinies.


SK-II (pronounced S-K-Two) is a luxurious beauty brand owned by Procter & Gamble. It is sold in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

The Change Destiny Manifesto by SK-II (Click to enlarge)



  1. Great article, Eva. As women, we know too well how difficult it is to be single, although not everywhere there is a stigma attached to it. I got married at 22 but am lucky to be in a happy relationship. My sister on the other hand, has been divorced for 20 years and many times she is not being invited to couple get-togethers because she is single.


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