Just as the age of 20 symbolizes wild vigor and youth, the number 30 is often linked to maturity and wisdom. Though the portrayal of a mature female in television is largely through housewife roles, developments in gender roles and societal expectations on women are broadening the meaning of women in their 30s. Recent mainland Chinese dramas such as Nothing But Thirty <三十而已> show the progressive changes in time by having smart and career-driven female characters. Its popularity and positive reception are proving that viewers are thirsty for more themes of female empowerment and self-discovery. The currently airing drama Love Yourself <他其实没有那么爱你> is filling the gap in that genre with its female-centered story focusing on the concerns of women over the age of 30. It stars Victoria Song (宋茜), Celina Jade (卢靖姗), Zhang Jianing (张佳宁), and Li Chun (李纯).
Love Yourself is a story that follows four good friends who are trying to figure out the best way to enjoy their 30s and make the most out of this important yet confusing period. Their journey to self-love and self-empowerment is slowly discovered through significant romantic challenges that provoke a reflection on their values and perspective on relationships.
Victoria plays Sun Yihe, a TV producer who easily gives others the impression that she lives an interesting and fancy life because she works in Shanghai, a city full of money and opportunities. Yet, unlike what most think, her life is not as glamorous as it seems due to the high pressures of living in such a big city while also having to bear the emotional burdens of unstable romantic relationships.
Meanwhile, Celina Jade plays a gym owner and single mom, Wang Xinyi. Losing confidence in love after a bad divorce with a flirtatious husband, she is hesitant about moving on and creating her own future.
Jianing takes on the rich second-generation character of Dingding, who is the manager of a boy band. She has not been in a relationship for a long time due to work, so her father is constantly worried about her future and repeatedly encourages her to go on blind dates and get married soon. Displeased by her father’s arrangements, she always displays a poor attitude on her dates to scare the men off.
Lastly, Li Chun portrays strong career woman Renran, the general manager of a real estate company. Like the character Gu Jia in Nothing But Thirty, Renran is efficient and successful at work, but her love life is a total mess. Her craving for love is her main weakness, as her naivety for a romantic relationship is exploited by her senior Lu Hao, played by Wang Yaoqing (王耀庆). He perceives her as a white rabbit and takes advantage of her innocence by often leaving her hanging and never fulfilling his promises.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.