Some women want a man to secure their future. And then there's her.

Her name is Minerva and she's very clear about her money, her man, and her future.

Meet Minerva.


She has no problem vocalizing what she wants.

"...to be very independent. I find everything for me myself. My food, my clothes, my shoes... And now I take care of myself alone."


And, she's not afraid to admit that she doesn't need a man.

"I don't have to ask anything of a man. I don't have a husband exactly for that reason. Because I have no need. I had one. But, well, I got divorced because I don't have that thing of needing to be next to a man. I have no need for it because I'm very independent."

I've never met Minerva, but I feel like I know her. Or, at least, women just like her.


Just to be clear, she's not saying that she hates all men. She's just acknowledging that she can support herself without relying on someone else for a meal ticket.

The really interesting part about all of this is that Minerva is not only a single woman, but she's also an entrepreneur living and working in Cuba, one of the last Communist governments.

She runs a small pizza and ice cream shop on Obispo Street, which is slowly becoming a bubbling economic hub.

"Places that were closed are now restaurants, cafeterias — all kinds of things. They're giving people the opportunity to open their businesses. Their own businesses. Before, here, there were no private businesses and now everyone's got one. It's changing a lot and I think it's going to change more."

Transitioning leadership may be one of the reasons behind this shift. Raul Castro made a bunch of sweeping reforms after stepping in as Cuba's president in 2008, due to his brother Fidel's failing health.


His laundry list of changes still has some folks clutching their pearls. That list includes huge economic reforms to encourage small-business growth, and he is even trying to improve relations with the U.S. Getting the 55-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba lifted is part of Castro's goal, which President Obama is all for.

But when it comes to the love that Minerva has for her beloved Obispo Street, she's not interested in politics.

"Politics doesn't have anything to do with it. For me, I like my country a lot. I adore my country. And I have thought about leaving for fun, to run around, to see things, to know things. But not to stay. Because I like what's Cuban."


Today, the new face of Cuba includes clothing store owners, artisans, and female business owners like Minerva.

"It's not as if anybody gets so much out of it, to be rich. Maybe somebody's got more than other people because they're bigger, but it's not like they're going to become millionaires. It's enough to survive. Enough to live. But not more than that."

For Minerva, running a shop out of what used to be her living room isn't just about being in control of her own money, for independence' sake. It's also about caring for her family.

"My grandchildren, I dress them. Their mother works but doesn't make enough for that. She's very young and so I'm the one who supports them. ... My father is now very old and doesn't have much family. I help him and my son."

To check out more of Minerva's compelling story, watch below.

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

SK-II

"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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