Women were so beautiful back before the days of Botox and breast implants – just take Brigitte Bardot as a perfect example.
The French actress and singer shot to fame in Europe during the 1950s – but Brigitte was embraced in America as well.
After she bowed out of the limelight, she invested her money in animal welfare rather than plastic surgery – now try not to smile when you see this icon today…
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot was born on September 28, 1934, in France.
She has always been a gorgeous lady to look at – but thankfully, she’s beautiful inside, too. Brigitte’s love for animals throughout her life has made me admire her, and I will always have a soft spot for this classy woman.
As a 15-year-old, she started working as a model. She was an aspiring ballerina in her early years, but as a teenager ended up on the cover of Elle magazine instead.
One thing led to another, and soon, the talented young woman became an actress and caught the attention of the French intellectuals.
She appeared in several movies in the early 50s, and for the European post-war generation, Brigitte became the sexiest of all the sex symbols. She was hailed a world star after she burst onto the screen in And God Created Beauty in 1956.
The movie became a huge hit all over Europe and made Brigitte an overnight sensation, creating her “sex kitten” persona. In the conservative United States, meanwhile, the film was scandalized and received criticism. Some theatre managers were even arrested for showing it.
Brigitte, who was born into a wealthy family of industrialists, helped redefine the image of the modern woman with her chic and natural style. But as a young girl, she could never imagine that she one day would be considered the epitome of beauty. In fact, as a child she thought she was ”ugly.”
“I’m a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian,” she later said.
Her first sizeable English-language role came when she portrayed the love interest of Dirk Bogarde in Doctor at Sea. In the mid-1960s, she plotted to make it big, setting her sights on an international breakthrough.
The French native featured in her first Hollywood film in 1966, but it wasn’t easy to please the American audience, and the movie (Dear Brigitte) was not a big hit.
With her long blonde locks, flawless complexion, sensory pout and voluptuous curves, it was hard not to notice Brigitte. But her movies in Tinseltown flopped and became box-office disappointments. People had high expectations when she starred opposite Sean Connery in the Western movie Shalako, but the 1968 film received mixed reviews.
In 1973, Brigitte shocked a lot of fans when she announced her retirement. She was still a big star and very much active in the entertainment industry.
But that was also the reason she decided to pull the plug: the sheer weight of celebrity life suffocated her in the end.
“The majority of great actresses met tragic ends. When I said goodbye to this job, to this life of opulence and glitter, images and adoration, the quest to be desired, I was saving my life,” Bardot told The Guardian.
“In the beginning, I enjoyed having people talking about me, but very quickly, it suffocated and destroyed me. Throughout my 20 years starring in movies, each time filming began, I would break out with herpes.”
After her retirement, she shunned the outside world and became a recluse.
However, Brigitte managed to pick herself up and decided to use her fame for something good. 13 years after her retirement, she formed the Brigitte Bardot Foundation.
Her interest in animals started in 1962 when she was only 28.
“She did not get much affection from her parents, and when we started dating, she didn’t want jewels, but a dog,” Roger Vadim, the director of And God Created Beauty and Brigitte’s first husband, told People.
He added: “She was always allergic to fame, power and everything that connoted success. The innocence and honesty of animals reassured her.”
The organization promotes animal rights and has done a lot of good over the years. For example, the foundation supports conservation programs. It has also financed a wild animal hospital in Chile and created facilities for mistreated bears in Bulgaria, koalas in Australia, and for elephants in Thailand.
Brigitte Bardot today
Today, Brigitte Bardot is 89 years old, and her legacy is still intact.
In 2020, Vogue hailed Brigitte as one of ”The most beautiful French actresses of all time.”
The 89-year-old screen legend and former blonde bombshell created new fashion standards with her hair and makeup – and that’s why she’s dubbed one of the most iconic faces, models, and actors of the 1950s and 1960s.
According to reports, she lives in the French coastal town of La Madrague. The former star is married to Bernard d’Ormal, a wealthy businessman. They have been married since 16 August 1992, when the couple tied the knot in Norway.
”The suffering of animals,” she answered.
”You probably know that I find walking difficult these days. I can’t go for long walks any more, or go swimming. But I’m lucky, compared to what animals suffer. The dozens of letters I receive every day testify to the horrors that animals are still being subjected to.”
Brigitte Bardot is still a beautiful, natural woman. It’s hard to think she’s grown old – her particular beauty is timeless.
Thank you for all the movies, songs and for making your voice heard!