An Ode to Ziggy Stardust
Bowie inspired me in numerous ways. He was androgynous, versatile, and very talented. My love for Bowie began, perhaps unremarkably, with the song and video for Space Oddity. The song is impressive on its own however the video is visually stunning as well. From there, I began discovering more of Bowie’s discography, such as Ziggy Stardust and Rebel Rebel. Bowie was fun, vibrant, mysterious, and interesting! He was weird.
I was wrapped up in the beauty of the song Starman. I often played the spirited Moonage Daydream and Oh, you pretty things on bike rides. I understood his simultaneous disenchantment and earnestness in Modern Love. When he sang “oh babe, you're not alone..”, it was like an old friend singing to me from the CD player.
He captured the often frustrating generational gap in the song Changes with the lines “And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultation. They're quite aware of what they're going through..”
Another personal favorite was the single Just Dance released in later in his career. Bowie inspired me to “put on my red shoes and dance the blues.”
There were times throughout his career where Bowie could be extravagant, but he also spoke with such authenticity and with a deep love and wisdom for people and life. And most of all, he was still incredibly humbled. He was continually touching on experiences that were universal and transcendent with keen insight, ultimately probing for deeper understanding.
When I was twelve, I was enthralled with the definitely pretty weird classic Labyrinth. It was the last movie Jim Henson made before he passed. David Bowie stars as Jareth, the Goblin King complete with dance numbers. Jennifer Connelly makes her way through the labyrinth designed by the Goblin King, in an attempt to retrieve her baby brother. She meets magical creatures, encounters obstacles, and makes friends along the way. The protagonist’s journey ends when she discovers that Jareth has “no power over her.”
Although Labyrinth is a children’s movie unlike anything you've ever seen, it also has a lot of depth and charm.
Another interesting part of Bowie’s career was his ability to easily slip in and out of many different styles. He wasn't afraid to reinvent himself and pursue a new and genuine approach. Bowie was one of the pioneers of the 70's glam rock movement. He thoroughly and unabashedly explored, and expressed, himself. He embraced what was viewed as both feminine and masculine aspects of his personality by wearing makeup and elaborate costumes. His sexuality was also openly fluid. It was refreshing for people that did not fit the mold of the popular media at the time. This legacy has remained throughout his career and continues to resonate now. Bowie’s boldness inspired others to proudly experiment and embrace themselves as they were. His attitude and style declared that it's okay to be weird- in fact, your differences make you beautiful!
And glittery and spectacular too, just like Ziggy Stardust.
By Catherine Trevino
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