Yesterday morning my Dad rang me at 6.45am to tell me the news that David Bowie had died. Bit of an early wake up call for the news that someone we don't personally know has died, but I think that just shows the impact the great genius Bowie had on us both.
Seeing the impact his death had on everyone filling up my social media news feeds is staggering, everyone seems to have a personal connection to him which is such an amazing legacy to have left. Whether it's a favourite song or album, a memory or photo, it made me think about my Bowie experience and why he was so important to me.
My Bowie journey started at 13 when my Dad gave me a copy of 'Hunky Dory' on CD after I kept pestering him to play 'Queen Bitch' over and over. Like most teenagers, at the time I felt awkward, uncomfortable and had a serious insecurity over the way I looked. Looking at photos of him in his weird and wonderful creations, embracing himself and looking totally different to anything i'd ever seen, kinda made me feel part of a different world. His world, a world far away from how fucked up my body was from spinal surgery and where being different was cool and interesting not something to be ashamed of.
Over the years I stayed true to Bowie, and whilst I don't think i've ever consciously made a decision to look like him or act like him, I don't think I would be the person I am today if it wasn't for him. I certainly wouldn't have the humungous bleached white hair I love, or wear my thick black eyeliner and sequin jackets. I wouldn't have been brave enough to quit a sensible degree at Uni and focus on Art & Fashion instead, and I probably wouldn't have had all my tattoos and piercings. The influence of Bowie encouraged me to do all that, his influence told me to express myself exactly how I wanted to. It meant I stopped caring if people thought my back brushed hair was a state, or that I should tone down my make up, if anything it made me want to do it more so I didn't conform to someone else's idea of beauty.
Bowie told me to be brave and bold, he taught me that our differences are what define us and that what might fit for some people doesn't have to fit for you. He told us there are no boundaries and no one has to fit into the box that someone else creates, and most importantly who cares what other people think of you?! So cheers David, i'll think of you every time someone tells me I look ridiculous and thank my lucky stars I found you!