Skincare company SK-II has released a video on their official YouTube account sharing the stories of China’s “leftover women,” and allowing them to talk openly to their nagging parents.
The video follows several single women over 25 years old and the parents they disappoint by being independent and unmarried, as well as successful in their careers. These busy women’s lives are contrasted by images of traditional China: families, parading dragons and the marriage market.
“Leftover women” (剩女) is a term that has become popular in Chinese culture in recent years to describe women who are of marriageable age, but aren’t married yet. This age standard seems to get lower every year as more and more young women start to feel societal, as well as parental, pressure to get hitched quick. Check out our interview with author Leta Hong Fincher for more on this subject.
In the video, the parents of these women complain that their daughters are too stubborn, urging that “You are too picky” or “I won’t die in peace until you are married.” Even as their daughter stifles her tears, one pair of parents wonders if the reason their daughter is still unmarried is because she isn’t pretty.
After these family interviews, the video returns to the marriage market, but in place of parents searching for suitors, there is a moving collection of portraits in which these single women explain their hopes and dreams to their parents. The event brings a complete change-of-heart to these parents. “If she feels it’s ok to be single, we will still respect her.”
Watch the video below:
It seems that many young people are beginning to get fed up with the “leftover women” stereotype. Back in February, an unusual advertisement popped up in the Beijing Metro, telling parents to get off their kids’ backs about getting married.
“Dear father and mother, don’t worry. The world is so big. There are so many different ways to live. A person don’t have to be married to be happy.”
By Matthew Patel
[Video via SK-II // h/t Mashable]