Françoise Hardy;… “In Love with The Ultimate Pin-up Girl”

“I was for a very long time passionately in love with her, as I’m sure she’s guessed. Every male in the world, and a number of females also were, and we all still are”. David Bowie

Françoise Madeleine Hardy (born 17 January 1944) is a French singer and actress. Hardy is an iconic figure in fashion, music and style.

There are so many dreams beyond our nights,and so much sunshine beyond our gray walls. But we can’t see it when we stay at home. There is so much sky above our roof. Is the door so old that it won’t open, or are we at home because we’re afraid of catching a chill?” Françoise Hardy

“I thought at first my parents were divorced — at that time it was not a good thing, it was a kind of shame. My father didn’t help much financially my mother, and all the other girls, little girls, were dressed differently than I was — their parents had more money…I didn’t enjoy at all everything, the trappings, when all of a sudden you become very famous… [on being taken up by the fashion houses] it was work, things I had to do, a chore – I didn’t enjoy it at all…It is quite impossible to stand — to be admired too much — it is not a normal situation…I don’t like that at all…I am not comfortable with my professional life really, so the word ‘icon’- it’s as though you were talking about someone else, it’s not me really…I feel happy when I’m on my bed, in my room with a good book” Françoise Hardy – When asked about her shyness in an interview with John Andrew, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011

“Tous les garçons et les filles” (literally: “All the boys and girls”) is a song by Françoise Hardy, released in 1962. It recounts the feelings of a young person who has never known love and her envy of the couples which surround her.

“In France, the image I had was of a shy girl – a poor lonely girl and not too good-looking. When I went to England, I had another image. I felt the journalists were much more interested in my looks than in my songs”. Françoise Hardy

Hardy is mentioned in a poem by Bob Dylan, “Some other kinds of songs“, which he wrote on the cover of his album Another Side of Bob Dylan, released in 1964

for françoise hardy

at the seine’s edge

a giant shadow

of notre dame

seeks t’ grab my foot

sorbonne students

whirl by on thin bicycles

swirlin’ lifelike colors of leather spin

the breeze yawns food

far from the bellies

or erhard meetin’ johnson

piles of lovers



lay themselves on their books. boats.

old men

clothed in curly mustaches

float on the benches

blankets of tourists

in bright red nylon shirts

with straw hats of ambassadors

(cannot hear nixon’s

dawg bark now)

will sail away

as the sun goes down

the doors of the river are open

i must remember that

i too play the guitar

it’s easy t’ stand here

more lovers pass

on motorcycles

roped together

from the walls of the water then

i look across t’ what they call

the right bank

an’ envy




“L’amour s’en va”, with lyrics by Hardy herself, is based on the music of “se telefonando“, a song sung by the Italian singer Mina.

It is in the chanson style, popular in the early years of the Contest. Hardy sings about a relationship which is conducted in the knowledge that love is a fleeting thing – however this does not seem to matter to either of the lovers involved, as they “chase after it”.

“When I write, it is always the melody that comes first, and it just happens to be the case that the most beautiful tunes are sad, and the lyrics follow the mood of the melody”. Françoise Hardy

Hardy makes a cameo appearance in a scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s film Masculin, féminin.

“Mon amie la rose” is a poem written by Cécile Caulier and Jacques Lacombe, originally performed in song by French singer Françoise Hardy in 1964. It became one of Hardy’s most popular songs, and was collected on her album Mon amie la rose.

She played a minor role in the 1965 film What’s New Pussycat? and also acted in the 1966 film Grand Prix.

La maison où j’ai grandi” was performed famously by Françoise Hardy and it appears on her album La maison où j’ai grandi. The album was released without title and is identified chiefly by the song it carries, its major success.

Hardy had admired Celentano‘s autobiographical song “Il ragazzo della via Gluck” having seen him perform it at San Remo in January 1966.

“I never get bored. There isn’t enough time in the day for me”.Francoise Hardy

“She was the ultimate pin-up of most hip, Chelsea, beat bedroom walls, and I know for a fact, many of the groups who were notorious and slowly becoming successful, such as the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger, the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and many other groups all were desperately interested in having Françoise Hardy become their girlfriend in some way”. Malcolm McLaren

Pin-up Girls

A pin-up girl, also known as a pin-up model, is a model whose mass-produced pictures see wide appeal as popular culture. Pin-ups are intended for informal display, e.g. meant to be “pinned-up” on a wall. Pin-up girls may be glamour models, fashion models, or actresses.

As early as 1869, women have been supporters and protestors of the pin-up. Women supporters of early pin-up content considered these to be a “positive post-Victorian rejection of bodily shame and a healthy respect for female beauty.”


Conversely, women protesters argued that these images were corrupting societal morality and saw these public sexual displays of women as lowering the standards of womanhood, destroying their dignity and harmful to both women and young adolescents

In Europe prior to the First World War there was the likes of Fernande Barrey (aka “Miss Fernande”), arguably the world’s first pinup as is known in the modern sense. Unlike America, Europe was not held by sanctimonious restraints and Miss Barrey displayed ample cleavage and full frontal nudity. Her pictures were cherished by soldiers on both sides of the First World War conflict.

Other pin-ups were artwork depicting idealized versions of what some thought a particularly beautiful or attractive woman should look like. An early example of the latter type was the Gibson girl, a representation of the New Woman drawn by Charles Dana Gibson

“Because the New Woman was symbolic of her new ideas about her sex, it was inevitable that she would also come to symbolize new ideas about sexuality”.Charles Dana Gibson.


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