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Do Women Have An Expiration Date?

Attitudes towards aging women haven’t been very charitable in the past here in America, with single females often bearing the brunt of the negativity, being labeled “old maids” and being the butt of jokes in our culture.

Even when our nation is clearly shifting away from marriage as the norm: According to the U.S. Census, the proportion of married adults dropped from 57 percent in 2000 to 52 percent in 2009, and since then, single adult women outnumber married adult women in the U.S.

Although more and more women embrace single life, the side-eye continues. The problem is pervasive around the world, with females being valued for their physical desirability to men. The message has been: Young and pretty is good, but after that – abracadra – ladies, vanish! In China and elsewhere in Asia, single women past 30 (practically children, right?) have been considered “leftover women.”

But fortunately, a new outlook on women and age is taking flight globally. Check out how the beauty company SK-II is combating negative views of unmarried women over 30 in this provocative ad. It challenges the idea that females lose value if not married young by sharing a slightly sci-fi version of life in which women actually have a barcode showing the world when they hit 30, kind of like that 70s movie “Logan’s Run.” Here’s the ad:

It’s a powerful look at how times are thankfully changing and discussions are challenging what was previously prevailing wisdom. Brava—or actually, in Chinese, Bu la wo.

–Janet Siroto

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