In 2011, research conducted in the US found that the average marrying age has gone up. It was found that the average age to settle down was 29 years old for men, and 26 and a half for women. For reference, the average age for tying the knot in the ‘60s was 23 for men and 20 and a few months for women. There are several factors why more and more people decide to get married later in life, their career and finances being one of the top reasons.
In China, however, there is still a stigma for women who are over 25 years old and unmarried. They are called "Sheng Nu", a term that literally translates to "left over woman." The term is used to denounce women who, for whatever reason, want to put marriage on hold until they’re ready or simply want to marry for love and love alone.
In this powerful video launched by international prestige skincare brand SK-II, different Chinese women explain what it’s like to be labeled as a Sheng Nu. "You become a subject to talk about and you get so much social pressure," one of the participants said.
We also get the perspective that in Chinese society, unmarried women are considered incomplete. This is why Marriage Markets are popular—they're places where parents bring profiles of their unmarried children and give details about their incomes, jobs, properties, and more.
"In Chinese culture, respecting your parents is the most important quality. And not getting married is like the biggest sign of disrespect," one woman said. "I just wish my parents would understand my way of living," said another. "I don’t want to get married just for the sake of marriage. I won’t live happily that way," added one woman.
In its campaign to help women change their destiny and not let pressure dictate their future, SK-II gave the women makeovers and printed photos of them that they hung in a Marriage Market for their parents to see. Each portrait had powerful words from the women. "Even if I’m alone, I will be happy, confident and live a good life," one said. "As opposed to the term 'left over woman', I have a great career; and there is another term called 'power woman,'" said another.
"I’m confident. I’m independent. I love life. I’m a pretty outstanding woman," was the statement of another.
Watch the powerful video and share it to help women #ChangeDestiny:
Follow Retty on Instagram.