Very sad news to hear about David Bowie's death this week. I've found myself quite surprised by how much it's affected me actually - of course he's a huge talent, has written some fantastic tracks, many of which were the soundtrack to my childhood, but I would never have classed myself as a huge Bowie fan. Until now. Because I suppose his death, so dignified in the way he handled it, made me think about him more than I have done before. About how he was so much more than a musical talent. About how brave he was to be the person he was - someone so different for his time in terms of the songs he sang, the clothes he wore, the things he said. Someone who was so sure of himself that he felt no need to conform and be like everyone else. Who steadfastly took his own path and never compromised who he was. Who celebrated being individual. Someone whose individuality inspired others to be brave and be themselves too. If I've learnt anything from Bowie it's that we should all feel free to do/ say/ sing/ wear/ be whatever we bloody want to.
Because I was thinking - what if Bowie had listened to the people who mocked him for having long hair, or wearing make up? What if he'd lost confidence and not been who he really wanted, cleaned his face, bought a polyester suit and got a boring office job? We'd all have missed out on so much! And what if others with such talent and ideas have conformed along the way and not felt bold enough to stand up and say "this is me". There could be so much more music and magic in the world if we all took a leaf out of Bowie's book and stayed true to ourselves. And as a parent this means more to me now than it ever has - I so want to instill this into Arlo so he feels comfortable in his own self, whoever he wants to be. So let's be brave, try all those new things we keep thinking about, stick up for ourselves and be exactly the person we want to be. And if that includes drawing a lightening flash on your face, then all the better.
This week I've seen and read so many wonderful tributes to Bowie - these are all worth having a little look at:
- Caitlin Moran's wise wise life advice
- This wonderful little ode to Bowie by super fan Adam Buxton. Incidentally, if you're a Buxton fan (or indeed if you're not) (yet) then I really recommend his new series of podcasts which have been making me lol on public transport all week
- This episode of The Flight Of The Conchords, with its perfect Bowie tribute, is worth a watch any day of the year