Born September 28, 1934
Height 5' 7"
The French Bikini
If anybody must get credit for popularizing the bikini in the world it is French actress Brigitte Bardot. The bikini becomes such an integral part of Bardot's career that she becomes The Bikini Girl, a title which perhaps derives from her leading role in the movie Manina, La Fille San Voiles (Manina, the Girl without a Veil) and later retitled simply The Girl in the Bikini (BB5201). And remember, BB isn't just The Bikini Girl, she's the first to wear that title.
Bardot because modeling shortly after becomming a teen and gathers her first cover, for Elle none the less, when she is 14 years old. The Girl in the Bikini is Bardot's second movie, and the bold 18 year old is strident about taking the bikini to the real beach, somewhat of a revolution in the early 1950s. The following year she gets her wish when filmmaker Roger Vandim brings her to Cannes for a photo opportunity (BB5310) that introduces her as a bikini-clad wild child. She is a sensation and the director marries her.
Bardot develops the roll as sex kitten in movies like the nautical Doctor at Sea (BB5510). The sex kitten is topless but not (BB5540); in En Effeuillant la Marguerite she plays a stripper who never takes all her clothes off (BB5610). But her career leaps forward in 1956 when Vadim stars her in And God Created Woman (BB5630). The movie raises the stakes as a 22 year-old Bardot bares her buns, flashes her breasts, and enacts a torrid rape scene. Bed, buns and varying degrees of cinematic nudity become her movie trademark for the next 10 years. She becomes a favorite of Playboy magazine where her many movies are reported in the "Sex in the Cinema" series and repeated feature articles feature her topless or clenching herself.
None the less, throught this period Bardot's cleavage (BB5520, BB5860), leggage (BB5620), and bikinis (BB5635) all remain a integral part of her stable. She engages in a a dangling shoulder strap embrace with boyfriend Sacha Distel (BB5810), and discovers the string brief (BB5950).
The Sixties and the Topless Beach
Bikinis continue to be an integral part of The Bikini Girl in the early 1960s. She converts from bandeaus to underwire in 1961 for A Very Private Affair (BB6120), and other films (BB6210). and by her 30th birthday in 1964 has fused the string bra with the sidetie string (BB6403). She continues to be a bikini cover girl (BB6406), and sometimes a topless one (BB6650).
Former hubsand Roger Vandim's passions turn to a different starlet, Jane Fonda, who like Bardot, plays a role in the introduction of toplessness into media (JF6610). Two years after the topless maillot meets the fashion magazine, Bardot and her friends introduce topless sunbathing at the famous Byblos Hotel in St. Tropez in the late 1960s (BB6710). France never goes back and the world follows.
Too old to be a flower-child of the 1960s, Bardot can be reserved about both toplessness as well as nudity, but in the early 1970s models topless (BB7110, BB7710) and nudes for men's magazines. It is not until she turns 40 that she poses with full-frontal nudity, in a now famous pictoral in Playboy in 1975, two years after her announced retirement from the movies. In one of her last movies she performs a nude lesbian scene with Jane Birkin. Her new interests turn toward animal rights and a political activism of a different kind. In terms of advancing the bikini, cinematic nudity, celebrity nudity, and the topless beach, her leadership has been assumed by her successors as well as the masses.
The Bikini Girl in some of her many bikinis (and other things).