Published on April 14th, 2019 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


The Hype Magazine Interviews Shirley Capaldo

Shirley Capaldo is getting serious attention. She is Miss Jersey City and a Miss Universe contestant. She is in the upcoming feature film “The Fearless Two,” and co-starring in “Neem’s Themes,” an Indie online show. She is creator- founder of Jersey City Fashion Forward 2019, a high profile fashion show coming up, and is now the spokesmodel for #WE, the most extensive women empowerment campaign.

Shirley Capaldo is a first generation American, her mother is Filipina, and her father is Italian and Cuban by most accounts, a global beauty. She is heavily involved in her community from being a mentor for Big Brother Big Sisters to being one of the board of directors for a local health center. A favorite of TV channel Fox 5, Good Day New York in NYC and a Sheen Beauty for Sheen Magazine. ( They are sponsoring her Fashion Forward, and she is a presenter at the Sheen Awards on May 4 in Atlanta.)

She just signed #WE creator/founder, Lowell Beasley, as management and is taking on being a news anchor on #WE News, ( now in pre-production), the first all-women newscast by women, for women, about women.

What advice to have for young girls wanting to become where you are? How do they get there?

I would advise young girls to take the time for self-development. To discover and know ourselves is an essential foundation in this industry. Work hard, stay committed, don’t let rejection scare you away from your vision and stay true to your values.

What was your biggest challenge ” coming up”?

Hah, I am still in the process of “coming up,” but I would say the ratio of rejection in a highly competitive market landing a role or shoot feels as if it is 1:1000.

What are the ” don’t do’s” in ” making it in this business,” according to Shirley Capaldo?

Don’t give up when you’re rejected. Don’t trust everyone, protect your energy and beliefs; you are valuable in your own right. Don’t get in this industry for the “fame” but because you genuinely love it and you can use it as a platform to elevate others in the community.

Tell me about your background, your family & culture?

My mom is Filipino and was born in the Philippines. The Filipino culture is very family oriented and loves to line dance. My dad is Cuban and Italian, but he was born in Brazil. Cuban and Italian I could never get tired of. My grandmother made the best tiramisu!

So people dissed you because of your height or rejected you?

Oh absolutely. It took me eight wonderful years to finally be able to walk in NYFW shows starting last year. Even then I’ve been approached by a person with a terrible attitude “What are you doing here with that height.” Yeah, crazy and rude.

What is women empowerment to you?

Women empowerment to me is helping unlock the full potential of the woman inside of her. It is lifting each other and breaking boundaries through leadership, teamwork, and effort.

Where do YOU want to be in 5 years? Where do YOU see yourself?

Producing fashion shows in Jersey City/NJ area to bring high-quality fashion to Jersey and benefit local non-profits. I also definitely want to land a major role in a couple of action movies or a recurring role in a TV series and have a couple of commercials under my belt.

So how do you describe yourself? Are you a model? Actress? business-woman? Who or what is Shirley Capaldo?

As an actress and model, I am considered my own business. Shirley Capaldo is a Wonder of the World filling myself with purpose and positive energy to overflow into others.

Do you party?

I used to party in my place because I got my own apartment when I was 17. I am not a party person anymore. I was never into the clubs. I prefer actually to stay in and read a book. Hitting a local bar with a couple of friends nowadays is great though.

On behalf of all the guys, are you single? Available?

Sorry guys, I am taken. My man’s name is Jermaine Robinson. He is a councilperson in Jersey City and owns a bar/restaurant called the Light Rail Cafe.

Any marriage plans?

No marriage plans yet. I am focused on excelling in my career.

So is your family involved in your career? Do they support you?

My family is big supporters of my career. My mom is the cutest…she is my number one fan.

Politics. Are you political? Does politics fit in?

I am involved in some local politics. In 2017 I was one of the campaign managers to the Council President of Jersey City. I believe politics has transferable traits; it builds tough skin, improves networking, teaches you to face rejection, working with the community, the dog eat dog world.

Religion. Are you a God Girl? Where do you stand on all that?

I am not a religious person. I do believe in a higher power such as God. I would say I am more of a spiritual person — a citizen of the Universe.

So how did you get from the Philippines to where you are? Can you walk us through your story?

I am a first generation American born in NYC. My mom came to the US to attend a wedding she met my dad; they fell in love and boom, the rest is history. It was tough growing up with immigrant parents who didn’t know much about America except they made it here.

Do you think you are beautiful? Rate yourself.

I believe I am beautiful and that beauty starts within. If this were a rating out of 100, I would rate myself 1000.

The #WE Girl; Shirley Capaldo
Official #WE Spokesmodel

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