Aged 18, Meis decided that she wanted to be a model and was cast for various shoots by casting agencies. After becoming interested in television, she gained popularity through assignments at FoxKids and music station TMF. She hosts several events at TMF, such as presenting the annual TMF-awards, and conducting interviews with international artists such as Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. In addition, she features in video clips and the Dutch TV-series Costa. She also introduced the Pure by Sylvie jewellery line to the Dutch market. Thereafter, she hosted the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year award ceremony.
After being elected the Netherlands’ Sexiest Female in 2003, she started a relationship with then-AFC Ajax footballer Rafael van der Vaart. Due in part to the fame from their individual careers, they soon became the Netherlands’ most famous “football couple”. Their fame grew after their marriage on 10 June 2005 and live coverage of the wedding on SBS6, a Dutch television channel, with the broadcast gaining high ratings in the Netherlands; Sylvie took Rafael’s last name, van der Vaart.
Meis and her ex-husband moved to Germany when he left Ajax to play for Bundesliga football club Hamburger SV. After her husband’s 2008 transfer to Real Madrid, the van der Vaarts moved to Spain. Since 2008, she has been a judge on Das Supertalent, the German version of Simon Cowell’s Got Talent series. She is currently taking part in the third season of the German equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing, called Let’s Dance. On 17 April 2010, Meis replaced the usual Deutschland sucht den Superstar judge Nina Eichinger for the final of the 7th season, after the latter was stuck in Los Angeles following flight restrictions as a result of the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull. In March 2011 Meis was going to host the show Let’s Dance together with Daniel Hartwich.
Following in the footsteps of famous entertainers such as Johannes Heesters and Rudi Carell, Meis is one of the most successful Dutch personalities active in Germany.
Sylvie is of partly Indo-European descent, her father being Indo, her mother being Belgian.
Sylvie was in a relationship with footballer Rafael van der Vaart from 2003. On 10 June 2005, Sylvie married Rafael and on 28 May 2006, their son Damián Rafael was born. Some of the media have described the couple as the “new Beckhams” but both of them denied the claims saying that they prefer to just live a normal life.
On 16 June 2009, she announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and had undergone surgery in May 2009. She has finished post-op chemotherapy and is cancer free. In the summer of 2009, Real Madrid wanted to sell Rafael van der Vaart, but the player decided to stay in Madrid because Sylvie was undergoing cancer treatments there. A year later, upon his move to England, Rafael stated “She had a very serious illness and it is true that she had to be treated at the Clinica Quiron. Last season, they wanted me to leave but I couldn’t leave for that reason. Now she is well and the only thing that happened was that Madrid wanted to sell and I wanted to get back to enjoying playing football, and Tottenham are a great team that are going to give me the football opportunities that I need.”
On 2 January 2013, Sylvie acknowledged their separation after he had struck her in front of their guests. Their divorce was finalized in December 2013.
She is fluent in English and German.