The Ultimate Sex Kitten and Bohemian Genius
By Danielle Goreski
“I am really a cat transformed into a woman. I purr. I scratch. And sometimes I bite.” – Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot, nicknamed BB, is one of the world’s most iconic fashion and sex symbols. Born in France on September 28th in 1934, Bardot is a former fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1960s.
Starring in over 50 films, performing in several musical shows, recording over 60 songs, popularizing the bikini, not to mention a romance with Serge Gainsbourg, her millionaire playboy husband and a bedroom scene with Hermès icon, Jane Birkin, made Bardot the only one to watch.
Brigitte Bardot set the standard for top notch personal style during the 60s and 70s with her perfect combination of bikinis, floppy hats, pantsuits and simple dresses with shockingly short hemlines. When it came to fashion Bardot had a happy-go-lucky, simplistic and highly feminine take on style. Brigitte let her figure and beauty make the impact and when it came to fashion, less was more, almost quite literally. She opted for scantily clad fun but tastefully done. Her sex appeal didn’t depend entirely on low-cut tops and shorter-than-short skirts. She also revamped gingham, popularized the two-piece swimsuit with her film The Girl in the Bikini, and brought the tousled, low beehive (choucroute) hairstyle into fashion. Cannes and St. Tropez became ‘go-to’ destinations after her ongoing love affair with these sun kissed vacation spots.
After Bardot exited from the entertainment industry in 1973, she established herself as an animal rights activist. In 1962 she was the first person in France to publicly denounce barbarian methods of slaughtering. In 1977 she went to see for herself the massacre of baby seals. In 1987 she auctioned off her jewelry and personal effects to create an animal foundation in France, a year later she transferred the headquarters of her foundation to Paris.
FBB (Fondation Brigitte Bardot) was created in 1986 and is the leading animal protection NGO in France, with its own sanctuary in Normandy, Mare Azou, and alliances throughout the world to which FBB lends its considerable expertise and resources, to protect animals from exploitation and cruelty: from beagles in Croatia to baby harp seals in Canada.
Today, Bardot has been mostly confined to a wheelchair and rarely gives formal interviews or meets with journalists. Her foundation work and taking care of her own animals takes up much of her time. Bardot has nearly 50, including horses, donkey, ponies, goats, sheep, pigs all saved from slaughterhouses. There are also some hens, geese, ducks, 20 cats, and several rescued dogs.