Interview with Sylvia Waller
October 25, 2022 • Leave a Comment
Interview with Sylvia Waller
I had the great pleasure of meeting Sylvia Waller, Mrs. Colorado 2022, at the Women Who Soar event last month. She was a guest speaker at the event, and I was moved, inspired and motivated after hearing her speak to some of the most influential women in our community. Her thoughts on beauty were words I felt every woman needed to hear and she was gracious enough to grant me an interview to help spread her word.
Sylvia is the kind of woman that captivates a room, not just because of her outward beauty, but also because of her self-confidence and commanding presence. This is a woman that holds her head up high, with her shoulders back, in the most elegant way. She radiates kindness, and her genuine smile draws people in wherever she goes.
Now let’s get into all the juicy details…
💜 Sylvia’s Background 💜
Can you give us a little background into where you are from, where you have been, and some influential milestones in your life?
Sylvia: My roots are in Shreveport, LA, and I grew up here in Denver, CO as an only child and daddy’s girl. We were a very tight knit family. I graduated from the University of Texas @ Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Marketing. I married and moved to Atlanta and then divorced after 7 years of marriage with a 1year old and a 3year old. Then I moved back home to Denver to live with my parents. I purchased my own home a year later in 1999 after my ex told me I would never make it on my own. I proved him wrong!
I’ve worked in many industries over the years, from a major commercial airlines flight attendant to 20 years of personal and commercial lines marketing insurance underwriting.
My mom passed away from breast cancer in 2005 which was very difficult to accept for my dad and me. I remarried in 2008 and blended a family with four children and a pup-pup. My stress level was high and after a layoff in 2010, I decided to pursue an esthetics license to work in the beauty industry. I currently work as a Freelance Makeup Artist for Blush Now, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics as well as independently as a Licensed Esthetician & Makeup Artist under my LLC, Beauty Runs Skin Deep. The flexibility of freelance artistry provided me the ability to take care of my dad as he fought dementia.
I lost my dad to dementia and heart failure in 2017. This was a very dark and difficult time and I battled depression because of it. My health was failing, and I need to take control. I invested in self-care, workouts, and changed my diet to keep me strong enough to push thru. I ultimately competed in a fitness competition to reach my health and physical goal. This started my health journey to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise in my efforts to age gracefully. Because of my family health history, I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association as a volunteer community educator raising awareness and education on the importance of a healthy brain and body.
I struggle with osteoarthritis in joints. I had hip replacement surgery June 17, 2022 and competed in the Mrs. America pageant August 20, 2022. It was a blessing to recover well enough to walk, dance and stand in heels. Hopefully I inspired someone to push thru as well.
💜 Beauty, Pageants & Advice to Women 💜
What made you want to start competing in pageants?
Sylvia: Someone planted a seed that I could! My first thought was “I don’t look like a pageant girl.” My husband asked me, “What does a pageant girl look like?” And I responded, “I don’t know, someone with lighter skin, long flowy hair and taller.” My husband advised me to change it.
I was motivated to challenge and change the standard of beauty in pageantry. As an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association, and a champion for self-care and mental health, the title of Mrs. Colorado has given me an opportunity to reach more individuals and make a greater impact on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise, and the connection to brain health.
I hope to inspire and empower women of all ages to stay active and embrace the beauty and elegance in maturity, feel confident in their skin at any age, and to always be the best version of themselves and age gracefully.
What’s your favorite part of competing in pageants?
Sylvia: I enjoy the interview process which allow the judges to get to know me. The pageant also gave me the opportunity to challenge beauty standards with confidence by embracing your own uniqueness. This experience gave me the felling of empowerment! Pageantry is a great place to grow and redefine yourself after a milestone, the birth of a child, empty nesters, newly divorced, major birthday or just stuck in life. It also sharpens important interviewing skills, public speaking, and confidence. It’s exciting to meet and cultivate beautiful relationships with amazing women across the country doing great things in their communities. The beautiful sisterhood is a bonus.
What is your outlook on beauty and aging?
Sylvia: Beauty is more than the physical temple you’re in. Beauty radiates from inside out. Physical beauty is very subjective and lies in the eyes of the beholder. This beauty will fade over time. But if a person embodies a fruitful spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, this beauty will radiate for eternity.
Therefore, don’t be afraid of aging. It is important to embrace the beauty in the maturity journey.
It’s also important to take care of your exterior temple through a healthy lifestyle diet, exercise. And through meditation and prayer, protect your heart where the true beauty lies. A fruitful heart will give you a sense of peace and beauty that will permeate your outer beauty. This beauty is everlasting.
In the beauty and pageant industries, what is your viewpoint on the reality of what someone looks like in person verses what the pictures they project of themselves looking like? What can we do as a society to help bridge that gap?
Sylvia: In a world of digital filtering, it’s very easy to create the perfect photo! And before you know it your photo looks nothing like you. It’s very important when you show up for competition your photo looks like you. Occasionally you may run into someone who looks nothing like their IG post. And it’s unfortunate. Most pageant directors will guide contestants to make sure this doesn’t happen. It’s important to embrace your own beautiful uniqueness and walk in confidence. Society tries to display a blueprint of beauty; however, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. So, walk in your confidence and power, by embracing your unique beauty. There is no one else like you! Never compare yourself too others!
What advice do you have for young women in their 20’s & 30’s?
Sylvia: Understand, and embrace who you are and your own beautiful uniqueness. Do not compare yourself to others. You can only be you. Don’t be afraid to be alone to get to know yourself, your likes, and dislikes. Love yourself before you seek to love another. Seek God for wisdom and guidance and strive to always be the best version of yourself! Remember, you are Fearfully and Wonderfully made! And you were created with purpose and intent. Find your purpose. And don’t be afraid to be your authentic self. You are beautiful!
What advice do you have for women over 40?
Sylvia: During this season you will reflect on and assess your life. Be kind to yourself and be realistic and honest with yourself Always remember:
- A grateful heart protects you from negative thinking.
- Be totally present when interacting one on one, listen more, talk less.
- Understand your weakness can be your strength. In your weakness God is Strong
- You’re never too mature to reinvent yourself and go after your heart’s desire. Don’t allow age to change you, change the way you age! Fight through your challenges through a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise, and mental health.
As Mrs. Colorado, I hope to encourage women to embrace their uniqueness and walk in confidence while aging gracefully. Break through your own glass ceiling of fear and self-doubt.
💜 Alzheimer’s Awareness 💜
I know you are passionate about supporting Alzheimer’s and Dementia awareness, can you tell us why it means so much to you, and what people can do to help to support.
Sylvia: I advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association due to my dad and my family history with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s a devastating and heart-breaking blow to watch a loved one deteriorate right before your eyes. One day they are vibrant, wise, smart, and full of life, and at the blink of an eye you start to notice unusual behavior. You blink again and they’re incapable of necessary daily task, you blink again, and they are going in and out of reality. And eventually out of touch with reality and unrecognizable. They have become a vulnerable child and it is your job to now protect the person that once elevated and protected you. Thru prayer, praise and worship, I was able to persevere. God gave me the strength to find some joy in the situation and I learned to celebrate my dad in his new season while he was still here with me.
My Father was invincible in my eyes, and I was his precious little girl. A father daughter love endures the most difficult times life can throw! My dad will always be my pillar of strength because he lives in me. 💜
If you have questions or concerns for yourself or a loved one, please call the 24/7 Helpline 800-272-3900
For more information and/or donations visit Sylvia’s website here.
Images by Castle Rock Headshots, photographed in my clean, modern, and minimal style. Not heavily airbrushed, just polished to accentuate Sylvia’s natural beauty. If you are interested in updating your headshots, check out my headshot information page here.
As I sit here outside my grand baby’s daycare, I’m reading Sylvia’s story. She is so captivating by her smile and show of confidence. I didn’t realize when I saw her photo that she is Mrs. Colorado 2022. Thank you for sharing your story about your father and Alzheimer’s. We recently lost my husband’s step-mom to the disease. One day they are with you and the next they don’t know who they are or you. Sylvia, thank you again for giving your time to Lisa, your story, and to empowering woman no matter our age! Great job Lisa! I love all of your work. I’ve seen where you were in your photography life while in the Military to where you are now. Amazing transformation! You have the desire and dedication to know your self-worth and to know you you want to be. Keep capturing stories and live’s of others that will impact someone out there!❤️
Wow Dana, what a heartfelt comment. I’m grateful to share Sylvia’s story both of her father and her desire to uplift women of all ages. I feel like women everywhere need to see her message and truly believe it deep inside of themselves. I’m glad you were able to connect with her story about Alzheimer’s. It’s a very hard situation to go through and knowing that other people are right there with you can go a long way.
Thank you Dana, I’m so happy my story touched you. Alzheimer’s is such an awful disease, and it takes a toll on the loved ones around. The most important message is to let people know they are not alone in this journey. The 24/7 help line 800/272-3900 has trained professionals to listen, councel and support on the other end. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the services when I was caring for my dad. I pushed through alone. I want to make sure everyone knows you don’t have to go through this alone and your not alone. 60% of caregivers to loved ones are women. So it is so important we take care of ourselves mind body and soul in order to do so.Thank you so much for your comments.💜