Video Shows the Shame Unmarried 'Leftover Women' Feel About Being Single

leftover womenIt's safe to say that women in every culture feel an increasing pressure to get married as they get older, but for single ladies in China, that weight is almost unbearable. Known as "leftover women," females over the age of 25 who haven't yet tied the knot are shamed and isolated to the point where many consider marrying men they don't even love. 

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That's a pretty soul-crushing compromise for someone who's not even 30 to make, but these women feel as if they have no choice -- and when you hear them speak, you can understand why. A new video from the skin-care line SK-II features these so-called "leftover women" opening up about their experiences, and the stories are just heartbreaking: From feeling "incomplete" to being plagued with guilt for "disrespecting" their parents by not marrying, these women make it clear that being unmarried is a huge burden in every area of their lives.

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So sad. I don't think I'll ever get the image of that woman crying while her mother called her "average looking" out of my head -- and I won't soon forget the sight of all those parents "shopping" for potential sons-in-law, either. It's easy for us to ignore this kind of thing, living in the US, and this video is such an important reminder of what life is like for some women in other countries. Which is not to say, of course, that we've achieved some level of utopian gender equality in America (we have not) or that unmarried women of a certain age have an easy time of it over here (they do not). But at least there are no actual "marriage markets" here, and at least we've come to accept single mature women from a cultural standpoint, for the most part. 

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It's encouraging, however, to see that there are some "leftover women" who are beginning to stand up for themselves and challenge this ridiculous notion. And it's encouraging that people are taking notice. Hopefully, the more support these women get, the more women will be inspired to join them -- until a time when no one would dream of calling any woman of any age a "leftover" for any reason.

 

Image via SK-II/YouTube

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