Movie Stars: Sex Goddesses Are 80 This Week–Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren

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Two of the greatest sex icons of world cinema are celebrating this week their 80th birthday: French Brigitte Bardot and Italian Sophia Loren.

Loren was born on September 20, 1934, and Bardot on September 28 of the same year.

Over the next week or so, we will disexxed (read dissect) their respective screen persona, specifically their erotic and sensual appeal. When and what made them international sex symbols?  Were they good actresses or just gorgeous women to look at?  Objects of desire for the male gaze (to be a bit more academic)? What were the highlights of their careers?

What was their impact on the film world and on global popular culture.

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In fact, Bardot and Loren became internationally famous at the same time that our own Marilyn Monroe defined and redefined norms of sensuality and sexuality in American society.

Marilyn was older than Bardot and Loren by eight years, and unlike the two European stars who began their career in late adolescence, Marilyn was well into her twenties when her career finally took off.

I am very intrigued by the 1950s, a decade that’s considered to be simple, homogeneous, and conservative, and yet when you dig a bit under the surface, you can see elements oof socio-economic tensions and racial and sexual conflicts.