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View Poll Results: David Bowie's Personality Type?

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  • ISTJ

    0 0%
  • ISFJ

    0 0%
  • INFJ

    4 10.81%
  • INTJ

    2 5.41%
  • ISTP

    2 5.41%
  • ISFP

    13 35.14%
  • INFP

    5 13.51%
  • INTP

    2 5.41%
  • ESTP

    1 2.70%
  • ESFP

    2 5.41%
  • ENFP

    1 2.70%
  • ENTP

    3 8.11%
  • ESTJ

    1 2.70%
  • ESFJ

    0 0%
  • ENFJ

    0 0%
  • ENTJ

    1 2.70%
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Thread: David Bowie?

  1. #31

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    ENFJ, EIE - strong Ni subtype enneagram 3w4 sx/so

  2. #32
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I love how everyone thinks he's a different type. Ah, mbti.

    I don't know enough about him to comment.
    It just goes to show how well he blended.

    I would say he is a dominant Nx type.

  3. #33
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    He was an aesthete primarily, strongly interested in art, taste, culture and ways to express himself. I will say he was a pretty clear xSFP. I find him to be ESFP more than ISFP, although both are distinct possibilities. His chameleon-like ways and penchant for showmanship makes me think he was an extrovert. You also get the sense he was someone who very carefully observed trends and the cultural landscape and navigated effortlessly through it (Se). He definitely had an intellectual side as well and a brilliant mind, but none of this should contradict him being ESFP in my opinion. It's very clear to me that he was a sensor rather than an intuitive. xSTP is also a possibility of course, but I find him being a feeler to make more sense given his musical material and somewhat feminine persona (especially in his early years).
    xxFP - 6w7/4w3/9w1

  4. #34

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    Most likely ISFP. He fits the type description perfectly.

    I think much of this thread is about intuitives not getting ISFPs rather than it being likely that Bowie is another type.

  5. #35
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    He's really hard to type. From seeing various interviews and documentaries about him, I don't think he was an ISFP like many put him down as. I personally think he was an INxx of some sort, maybe an INFJ, but it's just a vibe I get. He was a deep thinker and into esoteric subjects, so that could be why I see him more as an intuitive. His lyrics also don't seem ISFPish to me. I would say, though, that his enneagram is 3w4, as his image seemed to come second after making it into the music business. But it's all up in the air at this point.
    "If only every generation would realize that the time for greatness is right now when they’re alive…the time to flower is now."

    – Patti Smith
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  6. #36
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargaze View Post
    He's really hard to type. From seeing various interviews and documentaries about him, I don't think he was an ISFP like many put him down as. I personally think he was an INxx of some sort, maybe an INFJ, but it's just a vibe I get. He was a deep thinker and into esoteric subjects, so that could be why I see him more as an intuitive. His lyrics also don't seem ISFPish to me. I would say, though, that his enneagram is 3w4, as his image seemed to come second after making it into the music business. But it's all up in the air at this point.
    I think people make a lot of first-glance mistakes when typing Bowie. He had different personas for public and private life. He was extremely charismatic and good at coming across as a warm and amiable person, but there is a disconnect and a coldness underlying that--this disconnect is pretty evident in lyrics spanning his career, and that cold, alien-like quality is always right beneath the surface of the warm Bowie we see in footage. Read the lyrics for "Loving the Alien" for instance, and you can see a certain bemusement and curiosity with humanity--some critics of this song mistook this for the musings of an out-of-touch, rich white man, but I think this detached fascination with humanity is evident in his early, pre-fame work as well. His lyrics also frequently deal in past and future, but not necessarilly on the specific details so much as they do on impressions and big picture foreshadowings. He read people well and could understand their motivations, but simultaneously I think he felt completely different and estranged from humanity.

    He also spent a good chunk of the 70s loaded up on cocaine, so it's pointless to type him based on video footage or interviews from that period.

    I know the Fi doms would love to claim him but I think INFJ is the likeliest fit.

    I could see 4w3 for enneagram. Although I could just as easily see a 5 wing.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
    I think people make a lot of first-glance mistakes when typing Bowie. He had different personas for public and private life. He was extremely charismatic and good at coming across as a warm and amiable person, but there is a disconnect and a coldness underlying that--this disconnect is pretty evident in lyrics spanning his career, and that cold, alien-like quality is always right beneath the surface of the warm Bowie we see in footage. Read the lyrics for "Loving the Alien" for instance, and you can see a certain bemusement and curiosity with humanity--some critics of this song mistook this for the musings of an out-of-touch, rich white man, but I think this detached fascination with humanity is evident in his early, pre-fame work as well. His lyrics also frequently deal in past and future, but not necessarilly on the specific details so much as they do on impressions and big picture foreshadowings. He read people well and could understand their motivations, but simultaneously I think he felt completely different and estranged from humanity.

    He also spent a good chunk of the 70s loaded up on cocaine, so it's pointless to type him based on video footage or interviews from that period.

    I know the Fi doms would love to claim him but I think INFJ is the likeliest fit.

    I could see 4w3 for enneagram. Although I could just as easily see a 5 wing.
    Yeah, I kind of feel ridiculous when I claimed he was a 3w4 before. I used to think he was one after speculating about his chart-topping 80s persona, but as you mentioned the lyrics to many of his songs and his self-proclaimed alienation say otherwise. Plus I remember reading somewhere about how he regretted ‘selling out’ in the 80s because he wasn’t being true to his art, so he started making less-commercialized music in the 90s. And in his later years he pretty much became a recluse from the public eye because he just wanted to be left alone to raise his daughter. The whole flamboyant, attention-seeking Ziggy Stardust persona was mainly advocated by his ex-wife Angie. He also was an avid reader. That's interesting you say the 5 wing could be a possibility because I didn't see it before before, but I actually can believe it now. INFJ would make the most sense for MBTI and the 4 enneagram with either wing could easily make him appear as a Fi-dom.
    "If only every generation would realize that the time for greatness is right now when they’re alive…the time to flower is now."

    – Patti Smith
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargaze View Post
    Yeah, I kind of feel ridiculous when I claimed he was a 3w4 before. I used to think he was one after speculating about his chart-topping 80s persona, but as you mentioned the lyrics to many of his songs and his self-proclaimed alienation say otherwise. Plus I remember reading somewhere about how he regretted ‘selling out’ in the 80s because he wasn’t being true to his art, so he started making less-commercialized music in the 90s. And in his later years he pretty much became a recluse from the public eye because he just wanted to be left alone to raise his daughter. The whole flamboyant, attention-seeking Ziggy Stardust persona was mainly advocated by his ex-wife Angie. He also was an avid reader. That's interesting you say the 5 wing could be a possibility because I didn't see it before before, but I actually can believe it now. INFJ would make the most sense for MBTI and the 4 enneagram with either wing could easily make him appear as a Fi-dom.
    Angie Bowie has made a pretty successful career of spinning gossip about Bowie's life. It has always seemed a little pathetic and petty, although I guess I feel a little bad for her.

    She was the one who confirmed Bowie slept with Jagger in her autobiography/tell-all book. Nothing wrong with a little man on man love between friends, but I remember reading an interview with Ava Cherry (one of Bowie's backing singers and his girl-on-the-side for several years in the 70s) and she said, having spent a lot of time hanging around both Bowie and Jagger, she doubted the truth of that story--though she herself was previously quoted as saying she witnessed them having sex firsthand. My point here isn't really to focus on details like this, but to say that I think a lot of the narratives around Bowie's life are from sources around him, and some of their stories may have been embellished or distorted by the mountains of drugs being ingested by everyone and the effect of the passage of time on their memories. So we get this image of the flamboyant attention whore, when he was actually known by his closest friends to be a very shy and reserved person, and I would argue his public personas and onstage characters allowed him to play to massive crowds and live a public life without having to feel the lens of the public eye focused directly on the real David Jones. This may in part tie in with his near mental breakdown in the late 70s, when he retreated to Europe and made the most personal albums of his career.

    I wouldn't entirely rule out 3w4 either, just a hunch on my part. I think he cared about image and success to some degree, but he craved critical success over financial success. I read that he cried when he read a bad review of Never Let Me Down. And as you alluded to, he disowned his most successful phase (Let's Dance era) when he realized he had lost some credibility as an artist in the eyes of some fans and critics. I think a part of him always wanted to regarded more an an Eno or Scott Walker type of figure in the world of music. Although I think it's safe to say he stands shoulder to shoulder with Eno and Walker in terms of his lasting influence.
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  9. #39
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    IFP for sure. N or S, hard to tell with celebrities, particularly role players like bowie (RIP).

  10. #40
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    I think Michael Stipe, John Lennon and Bob Dylan are better examples of IFPs. (Though Stipe could be an ENFP)

    I think a Fi user might see the reliance on "masks" and personas as not genuine. You look at a lot of Fi singer songwriters, and although they can play a part, they tend to be driven toward authenticity in their expression.

    You can see this in Lennon, where although he was always a bit of a jokester, it may have partly been his way of dealing with the the phoniness he saw in maintaining that public Beatle persona in the early years of the group. So his only way of playing the mopheaded wholesome rocker part was to do it as a total smartass, as that was sort of natural for him. It let him be authentic whilst putting on a fake persona.

    Or Dylan, who more or less shrugged and told the hardcore folkies to fuck off when they lambasted him for going electric in '65. Being authentic for Dylan was never about being a folk singer and staying a folk singer, it was about playing whatever style of music he wanted to play with his lyrics, whatever he felt was the best vehicle for his words at any given time.

    With Bowie, I think there's a more Fe slant to his lyrics. Although he feels an outsider and an alien, he still is somewhat beholden to values as determined by the collective, even if those values occasionally rub him wrong or confuse him; he is still a slave to Fe more than he is to Fi. Not to mention his obsession with messiah-like figures throughout his songwriting history. That strikes me as very INFJ for some reason.

    Not to say Bowie wasn't authentic, just that it wasn't necessarily a driving force behind his songs. He was more of a sagelike NiFe type. Notice how society is. Notice how fucked up it is that society is like this. Call society out on this whilst simultaneously trying desperately to fit in and feel at home in society.
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