I come from a pretty patriarchal culture and community. People my age got married young. Really young. Like 18-years-old young. And in a lot of cases, the guys getting married were the same age as the girls. But more often than not, they weren't.
Sometimes the girls are younger, much younger. And for the most part, dudes aren't really pestered by their family to "settle down" until they were nearing their 30s. But for girls, once they hit 25, their parents seem to go into panic mode and try their damndest to find a suitable match for their baby girl.
And although I have no idea what it's like to have an entire generation of people above me, breathing down my neck and asking when I'm going to get married, I do understand the girls' struggle.
Which is why SK-II's video about Chinese women who are pressured into marriage hit me so hard.
In the video, several "leftover women" speak, which is a term applied to any female who is 25 years old and unmarried.
"Sheng-Nu" (leftover women) are often made fun of and looked down on in Chinese society.
Women are expected to listen to their parents and approve of their match for a husband.
And if women aren't married by the age of 25, they're perpetually shamed by their family for it.
In fact, women in Chinese society are seen as "incomplete" unless they have a husband.
There's even a "marriage market" where parents post property, income, age and other info about their sons and daughters in the hopes of finding a match.
What's said is that parents seem to quantify their own daughters' worth by the same "bullet points" on the marriage market.
And said that the reason her daughter is "leftover" is because she isn't pretty enough.
Some women showed extreme guilt for still being single.
And the desire to "just settle" due to constant pressure from their families is all too real.
As a response to this cruel social standard, a few women went to the marriage market and left messages for their parents.
“Even if I’m alone, I will be happy, confident, and have a good life. As opposed to the term ‘leftover woman,’ I have a great career and there is another term called ‘power woman.' I don’t want to get married just for the sake of marriage. I won’t live happily that way."
Many parents were receptive to the positive messages their daughters placed in the marriage market.
Watch the entire heartbreaking (but it has a happy ending!) video here.
Hands up to all the single, independent ladies who don't marry someone just because society pressures them to.