“I used to live a libertine life. I’ve changed husbands, lovers . . .  quite often.”

                                                  -Brigitte Bardot


Little Brigitte Bardot grew up in a strict, cold household in Paris, France. When she was just seven, her parents declared that she wasn’t their daughter because she had broken a lamp.  She was starving for attention, which may have contributed to her career in front of the camera. You could say her career started when she modeled hats for her mother’s friend at age fourteen. A burgeoning beauty, the lithe ballet dancer stood out of the crowd even with her natural brunette locks.

That same year she had her first love affair, with writer and director Roger Vadim, who took her virginity after teaching her how to act and model.  He brought her into his erotic world with his extensive sexual prowess. If it weren’t for Roger, she may have never been in the limelight. He found her roles by promoting her to other directors and casting her as the star in his own films, such as 1955’s School For Love. Upon announcing their marriage, Brigitte’s father pulled a gun on Roger and demanded that she not marry until eighteen. Her response was to stick her head in the oven in a languid suicide attempt. Talk about high drama!

At age 24, the sensitive star would attempt suicide again, not long after being drugged by her director and feeling worn down by the pressures of stardom.  She has since turned her depression around and currently fights for animal rights with with her non-profit, The Brigitte Bardot Foundation. She is now enjoying a joyous late in life marriage to film distributor Bernard d’ Ormale.

Looking around today there are major reminders of her influence on beauty and fashion. From the popularity of sexy cat-eye eyeliner, (which she first made popular nearly 60 years ago), to her sex-kitten hairstyles, usually donned by the hippest of girls or recreated on the runway, Bardot’s provocative style remains timeless.

-Amy Haben

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