With the amount of pressure, negativity and society’s unrealistic standards that we’re faced with daily, it’s so easy to give up on our dreams and shut down completely. Everyone has been there (myself included), and hey – it’s okay! What’s most important is weathering the storm and coming out of it stronger and better than ever, just like how these six Olympic athletes did.

Showing us how to overcome life’s struggles, SK-II teamed up with gymnast Simone Biles (and the world’s most-decorated at that!), world-record competitive swimmer Liu Xiang, table tennis player and two-time Olympic medalist Ishikawa Kasumi, badminton duo and Olympic gold medalists Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo, surfer Mahina Maeda and Japan’s volleyball team, Hinotori Nippon in the brand’s newest SK-II Studio instalment: “VS”. Building on the #CHANGEDESTINY theme, I think that this may just be the best campaign the brand has ever done! Read on to find out why.

SK-II VS Series Poster
Photography: SK-II

“VS”, an inspiring animation-meets-live-action series, dives into the life experiences of the six Olympic athletes as they pursue their goals while defeating strange beasts or kaiju in Japanese. With riveting and emotional storylines set in sci-fi to action genres, each athlete is faced with his/her inner demons such as trolls, perfectionism and society’s burdens and pressure. Sounds familiar? What really roped me into this series was how relatable their issues and battles were and seeing how they took control of their lives and destinies in the end made me feel empowered to take on anything that life throws my way!  

Created in collaboration with Imaginary Forces, Passion Pictures, Platige Image and C3, along with original music from John Legend and Lexie Liu, the athletes’ meaningful stories come to life in the series below:

PS Keep a box of tissues nearby cos these videos may tug on your heartstrings the way it did mine!

1. “Beauty is how you see it, not how anybody else does.” – from “VS Trolls” featuring Simone Biles

2. “Why do we let self-doubt hold us back when we can let courage move us forward?” – from “VS Pressure” featuring Kasumi Ishikawa  

3. “Looks can be judged in one second, but our achievements last a lifetime.” – from “VS Obsession” featuring Liu Xiang

4. “Perfection turns us into machines. Choose to embrace what makes us human.” – from “VS Machines” featuring Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo

5. “Should others make the rules of beauty or should we make our own?” – from “VS Rules” featuring Mahina Maeda

6. “We define our limits. We define our destiny.” –  from “VS Limitations” featuring Hinotori Nippon

To celebrate these short films, SK-II has also created its first-ever virtual city where you can enjoy the full cinematic experience (popcorn not included!) as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. Made to emulate Shibuya Crossing, SK-II City will have you taking in all the sights and sounds of the iconic location and even glimpses of Mount Fuji and Tokyo Tower! Click here to visit SK-II City now.

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