The average age of marriage isn’t much different for women in the U.S. (27 years old) versus China (25 years old), but Chinese women receive a lot more criticism if they remain single in their late twenties and beyond.
With four-in-five women in the country married by age 25, single women past that age are referred to as “sheng nu,” which translates to “leftover woman.”
Those women decided to take a stand in an inspiring new video, that highlights the pressures they face by not being married.
“People think that in Chinese society, an unmarried is incomplete,” says one of the women in a new beauty ad released by skincare company SK-II.
A lot of the stress put on the women in the video is from their parents. You see the “marriage market,” where parents put up photos of their children with personal profiles, hoping someone will contact them about a potential match. One of the single women in the video equates it to be sold like she’s property.
But it’s apparently a sign of disrespect toward their parents to remain unmarried. You can see how that pressure effects at least one woman, as her mother describes her as “not too pretty” and says that’s the reason she hasn’t found a husband.
Although, a lot of this video is sad, there’s a very uplifting moment in the end when some of the so-called “leftover women” tell their parents, and their country, how they feel about being treated as if something’s wrong with them because they’re not married and have found joy in their independence.
When you see their parent’s reactions, you’ll need to grab some tissues.
(h/t Washington Post)