China's offensive nickname for successful single ladies: "Leftovers"

Aug 22, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Image: Lane Oatey/Blue Jean Images/Getty Images

In theory, Chinese women should be making it rain when it comes to dating. There are some 20 million more single men than women living in the country of 1.35 billion people.

So, why can't these self-made, successful women find suitors? Few of the eligible dudes are worthy of them, that's why.

China now has the highest population of female self-made millionaires and these lean-in ladies aren't willing to settle for a mate that earns less than they do. The problem? There aren't enough of these über-successful guys to go around, so Chinese women are staying single into their mid-20s and beyond. That's not going over so well with Chinese government — and they're trying to reverse the trend by giving these women a pretty gross nickname: "Leftovers."

"I have a lot of girlfriends that are leftovers," Yi Ru Zhuo, a 25-year-old entrepreneur and former model, told Vocativ. "They're beautiful, successful in their careers, own their own apartments in Shanghai... but don't have love."

Desperate parents are now enlisting the help of matchmakers to find their daughters a mate. A group of parents in Shanghai have even turned People's Park into a "meet" market where they hang fliers that advertise their children's occupations and vital stats in hopes of finding them a mate.

Parents may be desperate, but times are a-changin' — and the younger generations aren't willing to negotiate on their own standards.

"The social structure has changed in China," one matchmaker told the website. "Most urban women work now and very few stay at home. Because of this they have high expectations and refuse to lower their standards."

County Yi Ru Zhuo is one of those women.

"I'm looking for a partner who is at least 5-foot-9, makes more money than I do, owns an apartment and is committed to his family," she added to Vocativ.

Never settle, ladies! Oh, and men of China? Step your game up.

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