The Guardian celebrates Brigitte Bardot's 75th birthday with a short film in which people qualified to speak of serious things speak a few seriously gnarled truisms. My favourite is A.C.Grayling who seems to have been caught during dinner, about 2.35 from the end (the Guardian film counts down). He says something like this:
She represents the power of woman. The way she occupies space. If you look at the sculpture of classical antiquity, especially Greek sculpture, you look at these beautiful men and women, especially the athletic young men, you notice something extraordinary about them. These are wonderfully muscular men with beautiful proportions but they have very small genitalia, and the reason they do is that represents continence, so the shape represents something: it has a moral as well as a physical meaning. And Bardot has a moral and physical meaning, except that the moral meaning, of course, controverts conventional morality, so [and this is my favourite bit] she is a vivid, standing invitation to experience, inhabit, and acknowledge one's own lust, the sexual side of one's own nature because she is the imago, the actual perfection, the perfect shape of an attractive, erotic, desirable female.
Good God! Bardot was an attractive, erotic, desirable female! I always knew there was something about her but could never quite put my finger on it. And putting my finger on it naturally reminds me of those Greek gods. As I understand it now, there are all these Greek gods with their small genitalia calling us to be moral, and there was Bardot, occupying space, with her, vivid, er, standing invitation, calling us to be, er, moral but in a different way, and that is all about being erotic, attractive and, er, liberated.
He certainly nails it. I knew I should have gone to university instead of art school. The years of reason, scholarly method, acuity and sheer profundity I missed can never be recovered.
Though, admittedly, it sounds rather like a kind of Hugh Hefner Playboy philosophy. You see, they are so liberated they even take their bras off.
Meanwhile Bardot? Oh yes, The Guardian again, Bardot's right-wing rant shocks France, back in 2003. But hey, it's six years on. All is forgiven.
Note to self: Must get pictures of Bardot and Grayling. Always confuse the two. Or is it Hefner and Grayling? PICS NOW IN PLACE.