October’s cover girl Sheila Sim knows a thing or two about living life to the fullest. The star shares her get-happy formula with us in time for our 22nd birthday!
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The Moncler Richard Quinn daisy-adorned catsuit is created for one woman: Sheila Sim. Standing at 1.73 m, the model-actress bears no qualms when asked to slip into the figure-hugging onesie. On the rack it looks… childish almost… but as she emerges from the dressing room, the outfit evolves, coming into full bloom in front of the camera on a star who is confident and completely in charge of her body.
“It’s the daisy outfit!” Sheila declares with a grin when I tell her that I love her enthusiasm at our cover shoot. Despite the early morning call-time, the star is full of vitality from start to finish. “I’ve got to customise something like that for when I’m unhappy, I’ll wear it in the morning when I wake up,” jokes the 35-year-old.
Stylist Neo Lirong, who selected the clothes for our cover shoot, says, “I only picked this outfit because it is Sheila we’re shooting.” It says it all – not only is the statuesque beauty able to carry off the slinky suit with her lean and long body, the vibrant, come-alive prints reflect her positive, enthusiastic approach to life.
Finding Her Happy Place
While many celebrities aim to project a happy demeanour at all times, it’s apparent that Sheila’s infectious vibes are genuine, but she admits it has taken her some time to find her happy place.
The last time Sheila was on The Weekly’s cover was in April 2018. Then, she was revelling in post-wedding bliss, having just been married to banker Deon Woo. “I had just got married so I was happy because I was in love.” But Sheila’s journey to self-understanding has led her to find joy even in the small things.
“A little over one year on, I’ve realised that happiness comes from really simple things like spending quality time with the people I care about and love. That makes me the happiest.”
Her transformational journey has helped her mentally and emotionally. To look inwards, Sheila is also a believer of retreats, where she gets to meditate and disconnect from the world. “The silent retreat I went to in 2016 was life-changing. You can’t look at anyone, no eye contact; you can’t utter a word; you’re on your own. You learn to look within yourself. I realised it was the first time that I had consciously chosen self-love.”
She explains how that self-discovery has benefitted her. “Being mindful has helped me manage my stress. I’m quite good now at managing my stress levels because I’m on a spiritual journey that involves daily meditation.”
And as if she can’t contain this fountain of joy she’s tapped into, Sheila wants to do more. She shares, “I started a one-year part-time positive psychology course last July. I’ve always been intrigued by the science behind happiness and how the brain works. I’ve also always believed that to be able to help others, I need to first help myself. So, I am excited that I get to go back to school to study something I am passionate about!”
That doesn’t mean Sheila is leaving her day job behind. The dedicated thespian has buried herself in work with projects including Taiwan-Singapore co-production, All Is Well, along with her first major leading role in Daybreak, which premieres on Channel 8 on October 21.
Loving Life and Work
“Daybreak is my first lead role after five years. I play a divorce lawyer so the drama deals with a lot of emotional topics and my character is interesting because she doesn’t believe in marriage. After 100 days she ends any relationship she’s in, because she’s afraid of being in love and she doesn’t know how to love,” Sheila explains.
“I’m not very good at technical acting, like I can’t cry on demand because sometimes on camera I feel like I don’t dare to be vulnerable but somehow, I don’t know how, I was bawling when filming yesterday.
“I was overwhelmed with emotions, crying on camera and I couldn’t stop. But things like that excite me. Not everyone gets to go to a job where they get to explore their entire range of emotions but I do, so I’m very, very thankful for that.”
As much as she loves her work, Sheila confesses she’s longing to take a break after almost a year of back-to-back filming. Part of her plan to recoup from the demands of her job include going on a meditative retreat that will take her away from her husband for the first time.
Putting Herself First
“To be frank, he wasn’t very accepting of the idea of me travelling without him because he’s a traditional man,” she reveals. “But then I told him that even though we’re a married couple, we should also spend time alone. I’m really excited to spend time with myself because as much as I feel that it’s important to set aside time for the people you love, it’s equally important to make time for yourself.”
She’ll have plenty of quality time to get to know the inner Sheila when she heads to Nepal for her big break, which will last about two months. “Being by myself helps me get a deeper understanding of what life is really about because I’m not busy with everyday things. The way I see it, when Deon and I come back together after both are allowed to do our own thing, we’ll be better people and we’ll be stronger as a couple.”
Perhaps that strength will lead to an expansion in the family? Sheila doesn’t discount the idea of adding one more to her brood, which already includes two adopted kitties. “It’s always been in the pipeline but, like all things, it can’t be forced, so we’ll take each day as it comes,” she says. “If we do get pregnant, then we’ll celebrate. If we don’t, we’ll still celebrate, but with each other.”
Art Direction: Barbara Koh
Photos: Joel Low, assisted by Alfie Pan & Instagram (@sheila_sim)
Fashion Styling: Neo Li Rong, assisted by Reyme Husaini
Hair: Dexter Ng, using Fudge Professional
Makeup: Clarence Leeusing ALBON ELEGANCE