11 Nov 2019

Will Singles' Day take off in New Zealand?

From Morning Report, 8:57 am on 11 November 2019

You may have seen ads popping up for 'Singles' Day', as retailers push for New Zealand shoppers to get on board with what's becoming a new global shopping trend on November 11.

Singles' Day was started by university students in China as an alternative to Valentine's Day, and now retail giants like the Chinese Alibaba are getting on board.

Hannah August is the author of No Country For Old Maids, a book about single women in New Zealand.

She told Corin Dann society may have linked consumerism to singledom thanks to media like Sex and the City, but it doesn't need to be that way.

"I think we've got this idea about the man drought where we think that we're drowning in a single women who are desperate to find a man, my research shows that's a complete myth.

But I think single people don't need a day to celebrate themselves by buying flat screen TVs. That's my opinion."

She is in favour of some kind of singledom celebration though, especially for those who find themselves a bit isolated.

"Perhaps one of the things that we need to think about doing is having a Singles Day where we acknowledge that single people have not just a bank account, but also a network of friends and relations who could maybe just take the day to check in with them.

"Plenty of people are, as Emma Watson was saying recently, happily self-partnered and some however, particularly amongst older people feel lonely from time to time and so perhaps we could reclaim this day as a day where non single people check in with their single friends, maybe buy them gifts."