Everyday Women: Andrea Bunod on growing confidence

Everyday Women: Andrea Bunod on growing confidence

Andrea Bunod is part of Everyday Women – and in a series during this Summer, we are passing on the word to 24-year-old Parisienne for insights to the city of lights and love, and an honest take on being a young, plus-size woman.

I'm Andrea, a twenty-four-year-old French nurse who moved to Paris just over a year ago. I describe myself as a forever explorer, a food lover and an art lover, so those aspects of myself will obviously stand in my writing. I am also what society calls a plus-size woman.

I feel like it is time for women from everywhere, every shape, every state of mind, every stage of life to embrace their inner strength.

There are a lot of simple things that can help you gain a little bit more confidence every day. It could be dancing wildly in your living room, wearing the lipstick that you wanted to try for so long, saying to people that you love them or even making yourself a nice meal while watching a great movie.

Despite those things, I would like to discuss the entire life journey that involves gaining self-confidence. In this blog post, I will try to explain the elements that have helped me embark upon what I call my “confidence journey” through a few stages.

Growing up as a tall plus-size teenager hasn't always been easy. But through the years, I found a way to make it my biggest strength.

I've built my self-confidence through the way I like to dress, and how I listen to my desires and moods.

A small-town French girl in borrowed plumes

I grew up in the South of France in a medium-sized city. As a teenager, I always felt a bit different, but I didn’t know how to turn that into my strength. I was always taller and wider than all my friends, and always stand out in a crowd.

In my younger days, it was difficult to find the right outfits. There were some places, such as some clothes stores, where I felt that I didn’t belong. Most of the teenage stores I entered never had my size (length or waist size), so as a young teenager I had to go to the women's section.

When I was about 13-14 years old, I already dressed up as a young woman. It was a nice excuse for me to steal my mum’s clothes. I believe that this was the first step of my confidence journey. Dressing up in those adult clothes made me feel important and grown-up. I was perceived older than my age and started to feel like it too, and it really helped me.

My clothes speak for me, without words, but by the emotions and vibes they transmit. I only wear clothes that make me confident and beautiful. Being confident in my clothes is a major key.

The way I dress is in fact a major aspect in my confidence journey.

The nurse syndrome

During adolescence, I always had this status of the “mum” of my group of friends. I was the one taking care of others in every situation. I was the friend that you could call in the middle of the night just to be able to talk to and ease your mind. The trust that my friends offered me was one of the things that made me confident quite early because I knew that I was strong enough for people to rely on me.

As a nurse student, I have had to take care of others. But people relied on me for my professional skills. The efforts that I put in my studies and the personal benefits that it gave me, allowed me to feel more and more confident every day. Then, when I graduated as a nurse, my confidence began to get stronger because I was able to be a part of a team and take care of our patients.

Being a nurse is important to me – I have wanted to do this job since I was 13 years old. And despite the difficulty my job entails, it amazes me every day because I know that I can work in many different fields. I currently work in a critical psychiatric unit for women, but I know that I could work in general hospitals, schools, kindergartens, companies etc. And I believe that the diversity of this job allows me to build so much confidence for having the skills to be used in different fields.

The power of the unknown

The last thing that I would like to talk about is doing things that you never knew you could possibly do. Achieving goals that you thought were unachievable is a magical way to build your self-confidence. I recently did things that I never thought of doing before – just because I didn’t realise my entire strength.

First, I moved to a new environment a couple of years ago: the beautiful city of Paris. I left my quiet southern French town for the French capital. Moving to the city was a massive decision for me and I had to trust myself quite a lot to achieve this. But it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Secondly, I participated in an amazing event by the Zizzi brand. I have been invited by the team with five other beautiful and bold women to do photoshoots and interviews to promote the beauty and authenticity of “Everyday Women”. I felt so honoured to participate in this event. I had to leave France for Denmark to participate in an event, along with other women with different cultures. I could have felt scared or anxious, but I saw this as an incredible opportunity and an adventure, so I just went for it.

I was right in trusting myself on this adventure because it made me feel much more confident and bolder ever since. This event allowed me to discover the unknown world of the authentic fashion industry in a culture different from mine.

The just do it-mentality

In conclusion, I believe that getting to know yourself every day, being supported by people that you love, being able to do a job that inspires you, and achieving goals that you thought unattainable, while wearing clothes that make you feel bold and unstoppable, are the main elements and steps that allowed me to begin and build my “confidence journey''.

Don’t ever forget that you’re the only person who will love you unconditionally and forever, so take the chance to begin this amazing journey with yourself!