“Leftover Women” of China

I don’t often identify myself as a person of Chinese descent, because there’s such a complicated history between mainland China and Taiwan. To be completely honest, I spend very little of my time thinking about being an “Asian American” because of how little that identity actually influences me, yet I feel that having spent my formative years growing up in Taiwan probably makes me “more Asian” than most Asian Americans I know. However, I can definitely understand a lot of the pressures and struggles that surround a culture deeply rooted in familial honor and pride, and how conflicted and unwanted these single women must feel for defying those expectations to pursue other things. It’s the pressure of being caught between feeling guilty and selfish for not being able to achieve what your parents hope the most for you, and the desire to prove your ability as an independent woman, what you actually might be most comfortable with.

The short video created by skincare brand SK-II reveals the painful reality a lot of single women in China faces. Before the 21st Century western world goes bashing on China for being outdated and traditionalist, we have to realize and understand that wanting and desiring those things for your children is not inherently a bad thing. I don’t believe an emphasis on individualism as it is so prominently promoted in the States is something we should praise either; that’s just a means to encourage selfishness. I do believe that the pain and pressure the “sheng nu” of China feel, sheds light on the fact that no one person’s worth is defined by their marital status. As a follower of Christ I don’t believe anyone’s worth is found in any person, place, or thing apart from Jesus, but that’s just me.

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