Three Things We Can All Learn From Freddie Mercury

The recent release of Bohemian Rhapsody served as an ode to Queen's legacy and most notably, the fiery, groundbreaking, and revolutionary life of frontman, Freddie Mercury. In addition to its commemoration, the movie has exposed an entirely new generation to the trials and tribulations that the band faced in a much more conservative time period. We can use this movie as a point of comparison to see how society has progressed since Queen's hayday in the early '70s to the early '90s, and how it makes Mercury's impact that much more significant.

As we learn throughout the movie, Mercury must overcome significant barriers throughout his life that many would find difficult not to succumb to. However, he handles these obstacles with more than just grace and dignity, but with incredible showmanship - which solidifies his title as one of the greatest rock singers and performers of all time. After learning a more detailed account of his life, here are Three Things We Can All Learn From Freddie Mercury:

1. Your Uniqueness Works to Your Advantage

Much of what made Mercury unique served as a potential hindrance to his career. For starters, he was born with four additional teeth in his mouth, which contributed to his recognizable overbite. Since the entertainment industry is notorious for dulling the individuality of performers, many people wondered why he never fixed his teeth. According to Mercury, his unique four-octave vocal range may have suffered if he had done anything to augment his teeth.

With a voice capable of reaching the highest of highs and lowest of lows, Mercury's is one that remains one of the most unique and distinguishable in history. It's incredibly inspiring to think that he placed his innate talent over the need for vanity because this is ultimately what allowed him to become the best in his craft. Considering how the world looks now, this idea is something to consider, because many entertainers would argue that vanity surpasses skill. At the end of the day, owning your uniqueness is what makes you stand out from the rest. If Mercury ended up fixing his teeth, we could have lost one of the greatest voices of all time. From this, we learn that whatever makes us different should really be celebrated, because it can be used to our greatest advantage.

2. Confidence is Contagious

If you know nothing else about Freddie Mercury, you can easily pick him apart from the rest by his effortlessly theatrical onstage presence. He would dance his heart out, tease the crowd, and show everyone up with his ostentatious outfits. However, behind this presence was a gentle and understated man, who many would describe as shy. Rami Malek, who played Mercury in the movie, commented that he even saw bouts of loneliness in his life.

Despite the fact that Mercury had his own personal struggles, he made the gallant effort to put himself out on stage and sing to the masses. In Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen is shown to be the band that appeals to the outcast in the room - they're the voice that unites people together. The band's performance at the charity concert Live Aid in 1985 is a testament to that, as it went down as one of the best performances of all time. Queen got 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium to clap, sing, and participate in their set, and this is largely due to Mercury's incredible capability to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand. Very few performers have that kind of talent, and this shows how being confident can improve not only your own life but the lives of those surrounding you. Mercury teaches all of us that believing in yourself and what you're good at can actually be revolutionary.

 

3. Being Yourself Goes A Long Way

Mercury's theatricality on stage did more than just entertain; it ignited speculation about his sexuality. Throughout his life, many wanted him to confirm his sexual orientation and believed that he owed them an explanation due to his status as a public figure. Although he was speculated to be bisexual, Mercury never officially confirmed anything to the public. He had fulfilling relationships with both men and women throughout his life and died of an AIDS-related virus in 1991.

As we reflect back on Mercury's career, we learn that he did more than just change the course of history with his vocal capabilities. The androgyny he displayed on stage during the '70s and '80s was incredibly significant for that time period. He had so much courage to express himself like that in front of the public, and his efforts paved the way for others to express themselves wholeheartedly as well. Mercury has shown everyone who attended a Queen concert or saw Bohemian Rhapsody in theaters that being proud of who you are can inspire a sea of change in the future.

Whether you're a huge Queen fan or know absolutely nothing about them, seeing Bohemian Rhapsody is a smart move, because it will leave you feeling inspired and overcome with goosebumps as you exit the theater. Freddie Mercury lived a short but vibrant life, and those of us who weren't lucky enough to see him perform live are still reminded today of how incredibly courageous it is to simply be who you are, find passionate work, and love whomever you choose to love. And, if you're still not sold on Mercury being a class act, here's a picture of him with his beloved cat:

Photos courtesy of Bustle, 101.5, and BHW.