Anisocoria

David Bowie has a condition called anisocoria, which is the medical term for unequal pupils. In 1962, aged 14, he got punched in the eye by his schoolfriend George Underwood, during an argument over a girl named Carol Goldsmith. George’s fingernail caught David’s eye and dislodged something. David was admitted to Farnborough Hospital, where it was found that the sphincter muscles of his left eye were badly torn and he
underwent two eye operations. He has an enlarged pupil that remains permanently open, giving them an unusual appearance. Contrary to popular belief David doesn’t have two different coloured eyes – they are both the same colour. The enlarged pupil only gives the “effect” of two different coloured eyes.

Saw another piece of fan art with heterochromia!Bowie and I’m annoyed.

This is not, never ever, correct.

His eyes were the EXACT. SAME. COLOR.

The dilated pupil makes one eye appear darker than the other, that’s all.

And creative colorists over time have helped not one bit. There’s even a biography with a color splash photo that infuriatingly displays the blue/brown error. A BIOGRAPHY. WHY.

Just putting this out there because it’s still important.

At age 14 David Bowie was punched in the eye during a fight leaving the sphincter muscles of his left eye severely ruptured. He underwent two eye operations however he was left with an enlarged pupil that remains permanently open giving them their unique appearance, which is also known medically as ‘anisocoria’

Anisocoria is a condition where the pupil of one eye differs in size from the pupil of the other. Affecting 20% of the population, it can be an entirely harmless condition or a symptom of more serious medical problems.

Josh has a congenital form of anisocoria. This means that his right pupil is larger than his left one and although it’s almost unnoticeable in dark and/or shaded areas in any other lighting it tends to make his gaze look uneven. Josh has a tendency to avoid eye contact if he can help it because he’s self-conscious of it; he’ll look at people when they’re talking but he’ll avoid direct eye contact with them unless he’s comfortable with them. 

You can typically find Josh shielding his eyes with his hand from bright lighting because his left pupil doesn’t constrict like it’s supposed to. All in all, Josh prefers dimly lit areas (like low lighting and candles) because they’re easier on his eyes.

Although he’s a good student and fairly intelligent, Josh struggled in school due to both emotional disturbances and frequent headaches caused by the fluorescent lighting in the classrooms. In fact the altercation that led to the discovery of Josh’s mental health issues occurred when one of his classmates called Josh (who had a borderline migraine that day) a freak. Word to the wise, a headache-y Josh is a cranky Josh who already hates himself - don’t poke the hornet’s nest with a stick.

Long Story Short: David Bowie’s Eyes

So, what’s up with his eyes? 

The music legend had anisocoria - an acquired condition in which a person’s pupils are unequal.

In his younger and more vulnerable years, Bowie got into a fight with a school friend and future collaborator, George Underwood, over a crush. 

Underwood punched Bowie right in the eye and scratched its surface with his fingernail. This damaged the tiny muscles responsible for iris contraction (ciliary muscles) and left Bowie with a permanently-dilated left pupil. 

Click here to find out more awesome biology stuff!

I bet whenever somebody says nerdy stuff like “David Bowie’s eyes used to be the same colour, but he got anisocoria which makes his eye appear more darker AND also the injury gave it a brownish tint which got more apparent over the years and still depends a lot on the light” he knows it and sends you a kiss on the cheek for being the great fan that you are :D