Brigitte Bardot Turns 75

Brigitte Bardot was the “locomotive of women’s history”? It sounds like something Roger Vadim concocted to promote a movie. Actually, Simone de Beauvoir said it in a 1959 essay titled Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome. Simone explained, “ She has no idea what her rights or her duties could be. She follows her inclinations. She eats when she’s hungry and makes love as simply… A saint would sell his soul to the devil to see Bardot dance.”

Today the locomotive turns 75. According to a profile by AFP:

PARIS — Brigitte Bardot, the 1950s sex goddess who became a feminist icon and symbol of sexual liberation, turns 75 on Monday with her native France at her feet and a very first exhibition in her honour.

Now a virtual recluse who walks on crutches because of arthritis, Bardot will neither attend the Tuesday launch of the giant exhibit — Brigitte Bardot: The Carefree Years — nor appear on camera.

But in a voiced comment on French television she said: “I am proud to have an exhibition, to be recognised for what I’ve done with my life.”

One of the 20th century’s last living icons, the little girl who loved stuffed animals and ballet dancing grew up to become a cult figure of freedom.

From teen idol to fashion goddess to sex bomb, Bardot wound up embodying the spirit of the times — the empowerment of women and the tide of sexual liberation. Read more.

She certainly had an impact on me at an impressionable age. I’m not prepared to say where memoir ends and fiction begins, but my vocation as poet and orator was inspired by Brigitte Bardot & Her Bikini.

This entry was posted in Imaging Paris and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Brigitte Bardot Turns 75

  1. Jon Erik Kingstad says:

    It’s hard to take one’s eyes off of Brigitte Bardot in this montage. You’ll appreciate how I found your interesting blog. I was reading an article about the Dreyfuss Affair in the September 28 issue of the New Yorker. Here is Adam Gopnik: “This happy merger of intellect and grace, symbolized in Proust by the figure of Swann, the Jewish flaneur with a love for Vermeer, is, as Proust says, “retarded” by the affair.”

    I’ve never heard this word “flaneur” before, even in my reading of Proust, so I googled it with Proust and found your blog archive with the references to Proust’s model for Odette de Crecy, Swann’s paramour and wife. Thanks for educating me about what a “flaneur” is. The tribute to Bardot is quite in keeping with Proust, I think and with flaneurs.

    I also want to say how much I enjoyed your essay on Isle Royale and Lake Superior. I’ve never been to Isle Royale but since I live in Minnesota, I feel close to the sort of wilderness that is Lake Superior. Your essay truly does it justice.

  2. JoAnn says:

    I enjoyed the Youtube celebration of BB’s birthday, but I wanted to find some current footage. Under Brigitte Bardot and Animal Rights, I found this photo montage on YouTube

    She is beautiful forever.

  3. … and now we have Britney Spears.

  4. lindsay mays says:

    brigitte bardot in her prime was the sultriest, most seductive woman i have ever seen. she is one of the greatest beauty/fashion icons the world has ever seen and a living legend! viva la bardot!

Comments are closed.