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David Bowie had different coloured eyes, here’s why


David Bowie has made an impact with his eccentric career and it will never be forgotten.

His unique style of course will be something that instantly comes to mind, but one part of his iconic appearance was something that was out of his hands.

The mismatched colouring of his eyes was something that became one of his instantly recognisable characteristics when he broke onto the scene in 1969 with his album Space Oddity – the title track of which reached number one.

For years it had been thought that Bowie suffered from a condition known as heterochromia.

Heterochromia is when someone has different coloured irises – the coloured bit around the pupil.

Notable sufferers of this include Mila Kunis, Christopher Walkin and Alexander the Great.

However, Bowie’s condition was the result of something a bit more serious.

When he was in school at the age of 14, Bowie was punched in the face by his childhood friend George Underwood over an argument about a girl.

He told music writer Mark Spitz: “When I was 14 I fell in love with a girl. I was crazy about her.

“Only trouble was, my best mate had a bit of a soft spot for her too, but I was the winner. I moved in before he’d even made up his mind about how to approach her.

“Next day I was at school boasting to my mate about what a Casanova I was and he became terribly annoyed. In fact he threw a punch at me.

“It caught me in the eye and I stumbled against a wall and onto my knees. At first he thought I was kidding. It wasn’t a very hard punch but obviously caught me at a rather odd angle.”

The friend later came out and said that his fingernail caught Bowie in the eye for which the singer was hospitalised.

This caused Bowie to develop Anisocoria.

Basically, this is when one pupil permanently dilates leaving it looking much bigger than the other.

This means that Bowie did in fact have two blue eyes, but one looked darker because of the enlarged pupil.

While his anisocoria eventually turned out to be harmless, the self-esteem repercussions were more serious.

Bowie: “For quite a while I was very embarrassed about it. Although I could see very well out of the eye, it made me self-conscious.”

Around a fifth of the global population suffer from the condition and although it doesn’t usually lead to anything more serious, it can be a symptom of a life-threatening illnesses such as brain tumours.


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