Hefei Marriage Market (03:02)
Billie J.D. Porter will investigate China's obsession with marrying young. At a government sponsored matchmaking event, she interviews young men and women about their dating prospects. A man asks her on a date.
Marriage Requirements (04:39)
Marriage is a family obligation in China. Women prioritize wealth and housing in a partner; men want attractive and obedient wives. Porter interviews a woman looking for a match for her son; at 28 he is already considered old for marriage. Billie has no responses to her personal ad.
Competition for a Wife (02:35)
There are 20 million more men than women in China; young people are under parental pressure to marry. Porter attends a dating seminar for men and shocks the audience by not requiring a potential partner to have a house and a car—standard requirements among Chinese women.
Desperate for a Partner (04:08)
Gordon, 34, has a good IT job but is shy around women. He gets a haircut to boost confidence. A dating coach helps him approach women on the street; finally he gets a number.
Cosmetic Surgery Industry (02:40)
Some Chinese women alter their appearance to increase marriage potential. Porter interviews 22-year-old Yan Yo about her decision to get nose and double eyelid surgery; she is under parental pressure to marry by 25.
Double Eyelid Surgery (02:13)
Yan Yo believes making her eyes look more Western will increase her marriage potential and gain her respect in the workplace. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic; Yo is pleased with the results.
Chinese Wedding Industry (03:55)
Couples have special status in Beijing, and wear matching outfits at Lover's Lane. Porter visits the marital apartment of Faye and Ansen, days before their wedding. Silk bed sheets symbolize a colorful and fruitful union. A photography studio offers under water couple's portraits.
Chinese Wedding Photography (04:19)
Porter assists a photographer shooting couples against faux European and Japanese backdrops. Brides compete for the most romantic fantasy photo album as a matter of reputation. Wealthier couples fly to Europe for their photo sessions.
Female "Leftovers" (04:20)
Self-made female millionaires are resisting social pressure to marry by 25. Despite career achievements, lawyer Virginia Tang and architect Fu Shin are seen as shameful by their families. Fu no longer goes home for the Spring Festival.
Expensive Weddings (03:20)
China's older generation suffered from poverty and hardship, but young people today will spend several years' salary on bridal accessories. Faye and Ansen discuss their long courtship. Porter uses social media to follow a man who rejected her.
Modern Chinese Wedding (03:49)
Faye and Ansen hold their ceremony at a Beijing Hotel—costing the middle class couple around $50,000. Faye compares the event to a show. According to tradition, Ansen has to pass a test by answering questions about his bride.
Chinese Wedding Ceremony (02:08)
Porter stings from a rejection. Faye and Ansen exchange rings and offer tea to their parents—showing respect, duty, and gratitude. Marriage represents social status and family reputation.
Budget Wedding Package (03:47)
Porter flies to Hainan to attend a group wedding providing couples with a beach ceremony and resort. Entrepreneur Mrs. Liu leads brides and grooms on a tour of the island.
Group Wedding (04:07)
Mrs. Liu recruits Porter to be an usher. After delays and a last minute venue change, couples exchange vows by a resort pool. Afterwards, they take photos at a nearby beach.
Marriage in China (01:36)
Porter visits the Great Wall. She found that the national wedding obsession reflects social and familial pressure to marry.
Credits: Desperate for Love—Secrets of China: Meeting a Nation’s Young People to Discover Its Future (00:35)
Credits: Desperate for Love—Secrets of China: Meeting a Nation’s Young People to Discover Its Future
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