While the same social norms may be evident across different parts of the world, the way each individual culture approaches them is quite different. A young woman in China and a young woman in the United States might be faced with the same pressures of marriage and childbearing by their family, but how each woman responds, whether through yielding or rejection, varies.
The docu-series “Timelines,” which Katie Couric launched earlier this month with Japanese skincare brand SK-II as part of their #ChangedDestiny series, aims to shine a light on the pressures that women face globally.
“To me, ‘Timelines’ was illustrative of the power of a brand embracing a controversial topic and creating an environment where conversations could take place and cultural change could actually happen,” Couric said of the impact of the series. “None of these things happen overnight, but I think the fact that a short film can really move people to talk about things that are difficult to talk about inspired me a lot.”
The series follows Couric as she interviews women in Japan, Korea, China and the United States, bringing these conformities, felt globally, to light. A particularly poignant interview takes place between a young Japenese woman called Maina, her mother and grandmother about the pressures young women face in Japan.
“In Japan, those who can’t get married by the age of 25 or 30 may be labeled as unsold goods,” Maina told Couric. “In Japan, people set their timeline and impose it onto others.”
The “Timelines” series joins “The Expiry Date,” The Marriage Market Takeover,” and “Meet Me Halfway” as part of SK-II’s #ChangedDestiny series, about women around the world who are overcoming societal pressures in their daily lives. You can read more about the empowering series here.
Couric’s involvement in the series seems like a natural fit, given her global platform on both television and in social media. In particular, the journalist has regularly taken to social media to take a stand against conformity. A no-makeup post last year shared by the journalist discussed her views on growing trend named “Snapchat dysmorphia” by plastic surgeons.
“Plastic surgeons are increasingly getting requests to make people look as good as they do in their selfies after they edit them. Researchers call it ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ and they say it is having a negative impact on self esteem and can even trigger body dysmorphic disorder, which is classified as a mental illness,” Couric captioned the picture.
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