Nathalie Simard

Singer, actress, host, columnist, speaker, and entrepreneur

“I’ve been a part of the Quebec landscape since I was three years old, and now I’m 54. People are used to seeing me with a full head of hair. Les Audacieuses is also an opportunity for me to show them something else. Beauty isn’t just physical. You need to see a person’s soul to really appreciate them.” 

Nathalie Simard, whose career began over 50 years ago, was one of the most recognized and talked about young performers of her generation. She was the recipient of many prestigious awards, including young artist of the year, performer of the year, most successful artist outside Quebec, song of the year and album of the year. But stardom also had its dark sides. Nathalie is a singer, performer, host, columnist, author, speaker and entrepreneur, but above all she embodies the definition of courage. This loyal, genuine and outstandingly resilient woman has a big heart. To show everyone just how daring she can be, she said YES to Leucan’s Les Audacieuses. 

For Nathalie, Les Audacieuses is about ticking off an item on her bucket list while making a meaningful gesture to support a cause. “I’ve always wanted to shave all my hair off! Now, I want to do it and support an important cause at the same time. Life is precious and can vanish in an instant. Now’s the time to do the things you want to do. And this challenge comes at a time of reawakening in my life.” 

Nathalie’s participation in Les Audacieuses will definitely have an impact on the public. What is most important to her is the thought of raising money to support Leucan’s mission and children with cancer. “I’m going to shave my head in solidarity with these children and out of respect for their courage, determination, enduring spirit and resilience in the face of the illness. What I’ll be doing isn’t all that difficult . . . life goes on for me. But these children are fighting non-stop. It’s a way for me to hold their hands throughout all the uncertainty. And if my gesture can inspire others to give, so much the better.”  

She’s also taking on this challenge to inspire and encourage her daughter to never give up. “My daughter helped me to grow and take responsibility for myself. I’ve evolved so much because of her.  She raised me in every sense of the word. I want her to know that anything is possible.” 

Prisoner of her image for the past 50 years 

Nathalie’s public image was built over the years without her having full control over it. Today, she’s showing us her most beautiful side—her soul. “I’ve been a part of the Quebec landscape since I was three years old, and now I’m 54. People are used to seeing me with a full head of hair. Les Audacieuses is also an opportunity for me to show them something else. Beauty isn’t just physical. You need to see a person’s soul to really appreciate them.” 

Genuine to the core, Nathalie has conveyed some important messages in the past. She wants to do it again. “I was the prisoner of a certain image for far too long. When I went public about my abuser in 2004, that image was shattered. I showed that the world of showbiz isn’t as wonderful as many people think. I like the idea of shaving off my hair. It’s a great way to show that women are just as beautiful with or without hair. You don’t have to denounce a crime to send a message from the heart.” 

Being able to teach others in a humble way while sharing one’s life journey and challenging society’s perception of beauty . . . that takes a special quality. For Nathalie Simard, Les Audacieuses is first and foremost a message of hope and solidarity, but it’s also one of self-acceptance. “I want to take boldness to the next level and talk about body image. There’s no hiding from it, I’m a curvy woman. When people tell you ‘You’re too fat to be on TV,’ and you only weigh 125 lbs, it scars you forever. I want to tell everyone that being slim or having long hair isn’t a beauty standard. I want to show that beauty can be found anywhere.” 

Speaking out and becoming a role model for change 

After everything she’s overcome, Nathalie knows who she is and what matters most to her. “Loyalty, authenticity and honesty are my core values. I don’t like liars or hypocrites. I hate anything that’s false. I lived a lie for so long in order to serve and protect others. Denouncing and confronting those awful acts was the best gift I could have given myself. First it was to help me, but I quickly saw how it affected the public.” 

Nathalie wasn’t fully aware of the impact she would have in coming forward. “I think it was my relentless determination to be happy and get past it that inspired others. People often say to me, ‘You saved my life.’ They had hit rock bottom and my actions influenced them to speak out. That’s a huge accomplishment.” 

She’s learned so much along the way and has a big enough heart to help others. “Now, I give talks and encourage people who have a dark secret to break the silence. To regain control of their life. Taking part in Les Audacieuses will help me pursue my mission, which is to encourage women and men to (re)gain control of their lives.” 

No longer afraid to dream . . . this is what Nathalie has learned. “I often said that I didn’t have any dreams—I was so broken inside that I didn’t dare dream anymore. I was scared and had no self-confidence. I had lost control over my life. But now I’ve learned to dream, and I tell anyone willing to listen: dare to dream, set goals and break down those self-imposed barriers. Get a taste of your own power.”  

Proud and courageous 

Courage is about standing tall in the face of adversity, confronting danger and exposing cowardice. It’s about being brave. Nathalie is a living embodiment of this definition. “I’ve been courageous many times in my life without really knowing it. I kept going even when it was difficult. I took bold actions even when I was scared. I’m also daring because at times I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. A combination of courage and audacity!”  

It takes an indescribable amount of courage to report abuse. But lifting the gag order in a lawsuit against your abuser and saying loud and clear, “This is my story,” takes a completely different kind of courage. “Yes, it took a lot of guts to go public, but I had to do it, I had to speak out. It was a matter of life or death. I summoned up the mental and moral strength to do it, despite all the risks.”   

Nathalie has a rare kind of strength and resilience. “It’s in my DNA. I’m extremely proud of never having given up, of listening to my inner voice. I’ve stayed true to myself and stayed genuine. I’m completely at peace with myself.”