Powerful Video Tells the Story of China’s “Leftover Women”

“Maybe I should give up on someone I love for someone who’s suitable.”

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  • It can be easy for people to see feminism and women’s issues through a Western lens, so this moving video about brave women challenging the culture of marriage in China is especially important.

    Skincare company SK-II created this moving video about “leftover women” in China — women over 25 who aren’t married yet and seen as outsiders by society. “People think that in Chinese society, an unmarried woman is incomplete,” one of the featured women explains.

    Even more than that, in Chinese culture respecting your parents is seen as the most important quality, so for a woman to remain single when they want her to marry the first suitable man is seen as a sign of disrespect.

    “Maybe I’m being selfish,” another young woman says, breaking down into tears. “I want to tell them I’m sorry!”

    In a powerful and moving response, the unmarried daughters meet their parents at the Shanghai Marriage Market in People’s Park, where parents post their sons’ and daughters’ profiles as if they’re selling a house or a car, and post their own messages declaring their independence and sense of self-worth.

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