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This video documenting the pressure China’s “leftover” women are under to marry will kick you squarely in the feels.

“It’s probably the last thing you want to hear right now, but the best advice I can give you is to stop looking so hard and focus on making yourself happy.”

This was the advice I gave to a friend of mine who, a few months ago, took to her Facebook page to vent about how defeated she was feeling after trying for so long to find Mr Right. I could completely understand her desire to find someone who would love her for who she is—someone with whom she could share herself entirely—and knew that what I was telling her might sound completely counterintuitive, but I stood—nay, stand—by my belief that there are few things more attractive to a man than a woman who is going about her life happily and doesn’t give a crap what anyone else thinks. Besides, “watched pots” and all that…

In my friend’s case, the desire to find someone to settle down with came mainly from within, but what happens when the pressure to find a partner comes from one’s own parents? Most of the people reading this will be fortunate enough to have been raised by people who legitimately love and want the best for them. Our parents clothe us, feed us, send us to school and hope that we’ll get the best possible job and be happy and successful. And in their minds, especially in cultures like China’s, finding someone to settle down and start a family with is one of the pinnacles of success. To not marry, then, would feel like the ultimate betrayal.

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The following video, which comes from Japanese beauty brand SK-II, explores the concept of China’s “Sheng Nu” or so-called “Leftover Women” and the tremendous pressure they come under from both their families and society in general to settle down and marry, regardless of whether they have found a person with whom they legitimately want to spend the rest of their days.

Taking over a section of one of China’s infamous “marriage markets“—wherein singletons’ parents will post information about their son or daughter in a public place in an attempt to find a “suitable” match for them—SK-II helps a group of women to send their parents a simple but incredibly powerful message: that they don’t want to marry just for the sake of it. And it’s profoundly moving.

It’s hard to be too critical of these women’s parents, especially when one considers that China is only just coming out of its one-child policy and that couples will, naturally, want their sole son or daughter to have what society defines as a mark of success, but hopefully videos like this will encourage a few more people to consider that maybe being happy in ourselves is more important than doing what society tells us we should.

Source/screenshots: YouTube/SK-II