12 July Different Coloured Eyes Day

The condition of different coloured eyes is called heterochromia, but Bowie’s was caused by a different condition, anisocoria.

David had two eyes
One was coloured blue
The other chose the colour brown
Different to me and you

One of Bowie’s most unique traits was the difference between his eyes. At first glance, it appeared his eyes were two different colors, but upon closer inspection, his pupils were actually two different sizes. This condition is actually called anisocoria,

David Bowie had different pupil sizes for his entire career, and with so many conditions that result in anisocoria, you may wonder what exactly caused Bowie’s unique eye appearance. Was it a genetic development? Was it caused by a serious condition?

Actually, David Bowie’s anisocoria was caused by a simple fight over a girl. As a youth, Bowie had a good friend named George Underwood. The two of them had been friends since they were nine and remained close over the years. But when they were 15, they both became interested in the same girl, and the two had a bit of a disagreement.

Underwood ended up punching Bowie directly in the left eye. When Bowie retold the story, he said it wasn’t a necessarily hard punch, but it was suspected that Underwood’s fingernail had scratched Bowie’s eye and essentially paralyzed the iris.

He was immediately taken to the hospital and eventually had two different eye surgeries. But for the rest of his life, the pupil remained dilated to give him his signature look.

Bowie had blue eyes, but the enlarged left pupil made the eye appear brown

Don Matthews
July 2021

Published by donmatthewspoetry

I just like playing round with words. And having fun

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