Lyra Sprenger, 37
Lives in: Springfield, MO
Owner of Skin Confidence Coach
Charity: Confidence Club
When I was a child, I wanted to be exactly like Vera Ellen in White Christmas. I adored her dancing and beautiful costumes. Looking back though, I can see that one of the most beautiful women I spent time with as a child was my great-aunt Ruthie. She was the epitome of childish innocence. She would build forts indoors on rainy days and play make-believe in the garden on sunny days. Her eyes always sparkled with joy and wonder. What made her so beautiful was her ability to see and share the beauty around her. In her 90s, she told me that she would be doing cartwheels down the aisles of the church in heaven, and I have no doubt that she is.
Beauty is so much more than the world tells us it is. In a selfie and filter culture, it is easy to become disillusioned. It is easier than ever to pretend to be someone you are not or present yourself the way you want to be seen after all the “corrections” have been made. Unfortunately, that is just an empty shell. True beauty starts as a seed and grows within you through confidence, generosity and love until it blossoms on the outside. Without a solid root structure, your true beauty cannot develop, and painted-on beauty will never last.
For someone that built an entire business around confidence, I will be the first to admit that we are all human. In the early years of my marriage I was having one of those ridiculous moments of self-loathing while getting ready for bed one night. I was complaining about my hair, my clothes, my skin—I admit, petty stuff—and feeling altogether frumpy. My husband—bless him—had no idea what to say, so he tried to make me feel like I wasn’t alone. “Yeah, we both have just let ourselves go,” he said. Silence. “Umm... we’re both just big fat slobs.” You can imagine how that went over! Haha! Needless to say, we went to bed without saying anymore. In the morning though, before he left for work, my husband gently kneeled beside me as I lay sleeping. My hair was a mess, I had a huge blemish on my forehead, and I was sleeping with a hideous bite guard in. In a genuine and heartfelt tone, he said, “Lyra, I truly think that you are beautiful.” Knowing that he meant it, I replied through my bite guard, “Schanksch.”
God. I am challenged and inspired to care for others the way that He cares for me. I am reminded of this particularly when I am spending time outside in nature. When I revel in the artistry of a bird’s feathers, it reminds me that there is beauty all around us if we choose to see it. When I see the trees, it reminds me that with determination grows strength. When I watch the sky change colors, it reminds me that every day is a new canvas, and it is up to us to paint our future. I am passionate about helping others see this, too.
There are all kinds of beauty in 417-land! I personally love nature and there are so many great options for outdoor activities here. Another type of beauty are the people. When you really start to get involved, it is amazing what innovative minds we have here. There are people growing the community through art, business and nonprofits that are so inspiring.
I think that a unique challenge that 417-land and the country as a whole is facing right now is the ability to come together with people that you don’t agree with. It is easy to spend time with people that think and act exactly like you, but it is an entirely different story to do the same with people that don’t. While I am a big believer in curating your influences and choosing your closest circle wisely, I also believe that there is great value in hearing opposing, and possibly new, points of view. This is what sharpens us and helps us all grow. It is okay if your mind is changed on a subject, and it is also okay to agree to disagree. Contrary to popular belief, this is actually healthy. It is possible to respect and enjoy the company of someone that doesn’t think just like you. How boring the world would be if we were all the same!
“The Busy One” I am not proud of this, but it is the truth.
Get to know our 10 Most Beautiful even better. Then, watch them walk the runway at 417 Magazine's Indulge on October 3 at Oasis Hotel and Convention Center.