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Modern Ladies, Do You Have “女子力 (Nǚzǐlì)”? Know the Traits of “Women Power”

Jun. 15, 2018

HSK 3 quiz

It’s an exciting time to be in China! The country is changing each year. The role of women in China is evolving and females are gaining skills and qualities that were not common in the past. In many of my Mandarin Chinese classes here in Beijing, we discuss what it means to be a woman now and how gender roles are changing. One term we learned, that has gained popularity recently, reflects this new frame of mind in modern China: “女子力 (nǚzǐlì).”

“女子 (nǚzǐ)” = woman; female.

“力 ()” = means the ability to act or produce an effect; possession of control; authority; or influence over others.

As you can guess, “女子力 (nǚzǐlì)” refers to women who are good at playing their own strengths, such as being gentle, beautiful, elegant and meticulous, among other qualities. Therefore, they impress those around them with their independence and capability. In recent months, “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power” has begun to appear frequently in Chinese media.

Origin of “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power”:
The term has also gained prominence in Japan. Japanese media launched a street survey asking “What kind of qualities are impressive for a woman?” Although people’s responses were not all the same, the following views were most representative: pay attention to personal growth, follow fashion trends, make the most of your time by doing meaningful things, pay attention to the way you look, and most of all, achieve a successful work-life balance. These traits will combine to express your “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power.”

There are many possible traits that represent “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power.” For the most part, they represent a well-rounded female with lots of skills and interests. They are on the rise and we can see more and more of them in China today!

Ladies, you can add these up and see whether you have “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power.” The more of these characteristics you have, the more “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power” you hold.

1. 作息健康 (Zuòxī jiànkāng) = good sleeping patterns and a healthy lifestyle.

2. 会做饭 (Huì zuòfàn) = cooking skills.

3. 经常改变妆容 (Jīngcháng gǎibiàn zhuāngróng) = often change makeup.

4. 擅长搭配 (Shàncháng dāpèi) = match clothes well.

5. 房间整洁 (Fángjiān zhěngjié) = a neatly kept room.

So, next time you are out on the sidewalks in your hometown, keep an eye out for who has “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) women power.” You might see these ladies sipping coffee at a cafe, training in the gym, or even studying the Mandarin language in a Chinese class!

1. Which of the following features is a characteristic of “女子力 (nǚzǐlì) woman power”?

A. 吃饭 (Chīfàn)
B. 房间乱 (Fángjiān luàn)
C. 时尚 (Shíshàng)
D. 不守时 (Bù shǒushí)
See Answer Analysis

― Written by Elena Trevino ―
Elena Trevino is a Mandarin Chinese student in Beijing studying the language to get a head start in international trade. She is most interested in seeing how Mandarin is affecting the fashion industry throughout the world as Chinese shoppers are now such a large factor. She is frequently attending fashion industry events in Beijing and throughout China.

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