National Singles Day… isn’t it about time?
If you’re not single now, you’ve no doubt been single at some point. We’re all born single, after all, and we all have friends, family members, co-workers and others in our lives who are single. Singles are all of us, everywhere. And yet we don’t acknowledge singles or singlehood the way we do couples and romance. That is, we haven’t until now. National Singles Day is here, and it’s a day for all of us to give thanks and say, “Hey, all you single people out there – you’re awesome!”
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that singles are 45.2% of U.S. residents 18 and older – that’s 110.6 million U.S. taxpayers – up 1.6 million from 2016. National Singles Day recognizes and acknowledges our single population and celebrates their contribution to the fabric of our daily lives.
No longer a minority, much less the lonely, downtrodden bachelors and spinsters of yore, today’s singles are vibrant, active contributors to their communities, workplaces, families and to our economy, culture and vitality as a nation.
Whether by choice or circumstance, single lifestyles are growing in acceptance and popularity. Younger generations are choosing to stay single longer, living solo or cohabitating. Some singles choose to raise children out of wedlock, others focus on their own self-development, marrying at a much later age, or not at all. National Singles Day recognizes this growing segment of society, and with an eye toward a more equitable future in which being single is held in as legitimate a light as coupling up, we encourage everyone to join us in celebrating singles!
I thought Singles Day was a Chinese thing?
National Singles Day was inspired in part by China’s Singles Day, started in the 90’s by a group of college students and catapulted into a global retail phenomenon in 2009 by Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant. Generating sales in excess of $9 billion in 2014, China’s Singles Day has become the largest retail sales day in the world, more than doubling the U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
China’s Singles Day is celebrated on Nov. 11th, the solitary one’s of the date – 11.11 – evoking “bare branches,” the common slang for singles in China.
Singles Day, also known as “Double 11” or “11/11 Shopping Festival,” has become so successful that it’s propagator, Jack Ma now seeks to make Alibaba the “gateway to China” for brands worldwide. American brands like Adidas, Costco, The Gap, Macy’s and Microsoft are already on board, just to name a few.
Michael Evans, President of Alibaba, was recently quoted as saying, “Over the past decade, we measured ourselves by how much we changed China. In the future, we will be judged by how we change the world.”
What has the U.S. done in the past to recognize singles?
Here in the homeland, the adoption of a holiday for singles has been slow to take hold. In retaliation to Valentine’s Day, February 15th has become Singles Awareness Day for many people. Rumor has it, this day was begun by a student at Mississippi State University, seeking to create a day for singles to call their own. However, and with its “S.A.D.” acronym, it’s become as much a day of spite and lonely heart’s lament as a day of acknowledgement and celebration.
In the 1980’s, The Buckeye Singles Council of Columbus, Ohio started National Singles Week (also known as National Unmarried and Single Americans Week), compelling the U.S. Census Bureau to begin publishing statistics on singles in America for the very first time! National Singles Week is observed during the third full week of September each year and receives its share of media attention, though it has waned over the last few years despite an increasing single population and cultural influence.
Our goal is to bring National Singles Day to every city and town in America and to expand the Singles Day retail experience to include national and global brands that offer specials both in-store and online, benefitting not only singles, but everyone!