Things don’t always go to plan—but one thing’s for sure, we’re a lot more resourceful than we think. When faced with adversity, as 2020 clearly demonstrated, people have shown admirable methods of pivoting their lives to not only adapt but evolve, with businesses and individuals finding alternative ways to thrive in these unique, unpredictable times. The key? An unwavering sense of purpose and a positive outlook to achieve one’s goals—no matter the odds.
As we venture forth into a still uncertain future, SK-II is taking its #CHANGEDESTINY brand purpose to the next level with its first global film studio division and content hub. SK-II STUDIO will bring together world-renowned film makers, animators, musicians and content creators to tackle the social pressures that continue to impact women today through the power of film and storytelling.
Instead of leaving our destinies up to chance, the brand wants to remind women that destiny is a matter of choice. And we’re all for it.
Defying the Odds to #CHANGEDESTINY
The studio’s debut film, The Center Lane—derived from the rule in competitive swimming where the fastest swimmer takes top honours by starting the race in the centre lane, tells the destiny-changing story of Japanese national swimmer, Rikako Ikee’s return to competitive swimming after battling cancer. Before being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2019, Ikee was one of Japan’s most prolific swimmers, and the first female Most Valuable Player at the 2018 Asian Games.
Directed by award-winning Japanese film director and producer, Hirokazu Koreeda, the docu-drama features in-depth interviews and animation to reveal Ikee’s inner thoughts, struggles and hopes as she makes her comeback.
“I used to think that our life and future was fixed. But now I know that destiny is a matter of choice, not chance,” says Ikee. And though she used to only be known as the Rikako Ikee, the athlete, she now embraces her new title, Rikako Ikee, the survivor. “I know that by just having one thought, one action out of the ordinary, we all have the power to change destiny.”
Ikee’s story is a poignant and relatable one, and through Koreeda’s humanist approach to storytelling, we are able to empathise with her struggles to get back into what she loves—swimming. After all, how many times have we doubted our own abilities? Too many. It also reminds us that while we will face obstacles in life, it doesn’t mean that we have to succumb to them.
Destiny is a choice—it’s all in your hands
The power to decide your own destiny is something that SK-II believes in wholeheartedly. “At SK-II, our core purpose is #CHANGEDESTINY. We believe in using our voice to support millions of women to change destiny by overcoming limitations and pressures placed on them, be it in skin or in life, and take destiny in their own hands,” says Sandeep Seth, CEO of Global SK-II.
Through the #CHANGEDESTINY platform, SK-II has shared stories that have inspired and celebrated women in the changes they’ve created, encouraging them to challenge conventional and societal norms to create their own destinies. Launched in 2016, this award-winning campaign began with Marriage Market Takeover, shining a spotlight on unmarried women, labelled “leftover women”, in China. This was followed by The Expiry Date in 2017, Meet Me Halfway in 2018 and Timelines in 2019, that addressed the evolving and controversial topic of the pressures of marriage alongside societal expectations of women globally, in partnership with renowned American journalist and TV presenter, Katie Couric.
Be the change
Just like Ikee, who has since made a remarkable recovery and is looking forward to not only qualifying but competing in the Olympic games later this year, we too, can write our own destiny-changing story. Nothing is impossible. You decide your destiny.
Show your support for Ikee and every woman who wants to rewrite their destiny by watching The Center Lane and upcoming SK-II STUDIO films. For every view, SK-II will donate $1 to its #CHANGEDESTINY Fund in support of women pursuing their own #CHANGEDESTINY. The goal is to reach US$500,000 within this year-long campaign.