The innocent, sometimes naive childlike “baby-doll” character has always been a popular one in cinema, certainly amongst the male audience. With the 1956 film “And God Created Woman” that gave Brigitte Bardot her breakthrough, Roger Vadim invented a modern version of “the eternal female” and launched a new type of eroticism.

Simone de Beauvoir explained the interest in this new “child-woman” in her book “Brigitte Bardot and the lolita syndrome”:

The adult woman now inhibits the same world as the man, but the child-woman moves in a universe which he cannot enter. The age difference reestablishes between them the distance that seems necessary to desire.

— Simone de Beauvoir

Brigitte Bardot is a perfect example of the merging of the “green fruit” and “femme fatale” type in the film “And God Created Women”. She is playing the 18-year old ophan, Juliette who is very sexual and attracts all men – young and old. Juliette knows that all men find her attractive and play along with them. But the only one she really loves doesn’t love her back, so she is never quite happy.

Brigitte Bardot is the most perfect specimen of these ambiguous nymphs. Seen from behind, her slender, muscular, dancer’s body is almost androgynous. Femininity triumphs in her delightful bosom. The long voluptuous tresses of Mélisande flow down to her shoulders, but her hair-do is that of a negligent waif. The line of her lips form a childish pout, and at the same time those lips are very kissable.

— Simone de Beauvoir

Photo by Kary Lasch

We see the popularity of “the lolita syndrome” in cinema many times for example with Audrey Hepburn, Leslie Caron and Francoise Arnoul amongst many others. Not to mention in the hugely popular book “Lolita” by Nabokov.

Audrey Hepburn


Leslie Caron


Francoise Arnoul

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