Thursday, January 21, 2016


I've seen this photo of David Bowie and La Liz a lot since his passing, and I don't understand the fascination. Yes, she's stunning and I've always appreciated her iconography.  But I find this photo profoundly disturbing. He died at 69 of cancer. As I understand it, life expectancy for non-smoking males is 83.

Isn't it time that we stop pretending smoking is glamorous? According to the CDC, "cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body" and can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body, including but nowhere near exclusively the lung. When you consider that Miss Taylor died of heart-related illness, you realize that we're watching these two new friends bond over the very thing that will help kill them.

To me, looking at this picture is like watching Kurt Cobain cuddle a rifle, or Princess Diana getting into that dark blue Mercedes.

Have I ruined this photo for you? I hope so.


  1. Yeah, but back then it was looked on as glamorous and worldly. I hope we've come a long way (baby!) from believing that it's cool or whatever now. Interesting photo and definitely a product of the times (like Mad Men). IMO.

  2. Back then? How old do you think this photo is? The Surgeon General began warning us all of the cancer/cigarette connection in 1964. Put in British rock terms, that's when the Beatles appeared in black and white on Ed Sullivan, and David Jones was still in school and Taylor had yet to marry Burton (the first time).

    Considering that Miley Cyrus and Rihanna seem to feel they make some kind of statement by being photographed smoking (cigarettes), I'm not sure we've come such a long way.


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