Between Brigitte Bardot and Saint-Tropez, it's a long love story!
Sex-symbol of the 1950s and 1960s, muse of her time, emblem of the emancipation of women and sexual freedom, Brigitte Bardot revolutionized mores, going from the woman child to the femme fatale, free and provocative, ingenuous and shameless, in a very conservative post-war era.
With 48 films to her credit and more than 80 songs in her 21-year career, Brigitte Bardot, also known by the initials BB, is one of the most famous French artists on the planet.
And it all started in Saint-Tropez!
Her parents owned "La Saravia", a holiday home drowned in vegetation and flowers on rue de la Miséricorde, and Brigitte, as a child, came there to spend carefree moments with the family.
It was at barely 16 years old and after being noticed by posing in the ELLE magazine, that she made the decisive meeting for the rest of her career during her vacation in Saint-Tropez: that of Roger Vadim, for whom she had love at first sight and married in 1952.
And it is still in Saint-Tropez that Roger Vadim will make Brigitte play in a movie, in 1955, by offering her the mythical role that would change her destiny in the film And God created Woman, released in 1956. Brigitte Bardot's career was launched !
The film's outdoor scenes are shot in the district of La Ponche, on its small beach and on a beach in Pampelonne in Ramatuelle where a small hut, transformed into an improvised canteen for the film crew, will become the famous Club 55, a real institution and one of the most popular private beaches on the French Riviera.
In 1958, while visiting "La Madrague", a house for sale on the waterfront near the Canebiers beach, Brigitte fell in love with it and bought it immediately. From then on, the Madrague will be the scene of grandiose parties which made the headlines of the Parisian newspapers.
Sacha Distel, Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo and many others stayed there. From a helicopter, Gunter Sachs poured a shower of rose petals over the garden as a declaration of love… That times are magical, romantic and extravagant.
And will bring a tremendous spotlight on Saint-Tropez all over the world.
But on the eve of her fortieth birthday, “The Very Good and Very Joyful History of Colinot Trousse-Chemise” will be his last film. She announces the final end of her career and the beginning of another life, wise, discreet bordering on the invisible, entirely dedicated to the protection of animals.
In 1962, she was the first personality, in France, to publicly denounce cruel methods of slaughtering animals.
In 1977, she went to the Canadian sea ice to raise awareness of the massacre of baby seals. Shocking images will mark a whole generation. She will obtain a ban on the trade in their fur.
In 1986, Brigitte Bardot created her foundation to which she donated "La Madrague" to ensure its sustainability.
Still today, Brigitte Bardot is actively and relentlessly campaigning from La Madrague against animal abuse and abandonment and her interventions with national and European authorities are not in vain.
The change in mentalities is underway and testifies to her ardor and her commitment to this cause of which she remains a figurehead.