David Bowie showing off his ballroom glad-rags for Labyrinth.
You know what I want to see more of in Labyrinth fanfic?
The fact that Jareth wears HEELS.
There’s this kind of not-talked about thing in Labyrinth fanfic where, with the exception of fairy glitter (the punchline of half the Jareth related jokes
the other half being unnecessary crotch jokes), all of Jareth’s more “feminine” tastes are basically often not talked about or erased.
Like, everybody wants to say that the makeup on him, the eyeshadow etc., are “fae markings” and not…you know… FUCKING MAKEUP.That he probably glitter-magics on himself every morning/every five hours when he changes his outfit.
And it’s not just gender expression and identity that is erased from the picture. I’ve read a fanfic in which non-heterosexuality was totally foreign to the world of the Underground and to Jareth himself. I’ve read fanfics in which only heterosexuality was depicted/represented - in a world full of the fae.
This is actually a fascinating point and something I’ve observed myself. It’s interesting that Bowie is globally famous for defying gender conventions and flaunting sexual boundaries, yet in the pocket universe of the Labyrinth
fandom he’s almost always depicted as a powerful alpha-male who’s only interested in women.
I would speculate that there are several reasons for this:
1. Most Labyrinth
fanfiction is written by girls/women who consider David Bowie to be attractive and like the pairing between Jareth and Sarah. Therefore, they focus on the Jareth/Sarah romance to the exclusion of everything else. Jareth’s being bisexual doesn’t even enter the equation.
2. I think that, to an extent, people are repressing the androgyny Bowie is famous for when they write Labyrinth
fic. This is mainly because the suggestion that Jareth is effeminate or not manly in some way would get in the way of the idealised Jareth/Sarah romances people tend to enjoy writing/reading.
3. The third reason is practical, and is that there simply aren’t any humanoid male characters in the film to pair Jareth up with. You do find the occasional Jareth/grown!Toby fic, but these are very much niche and only appeal to a minority of readers.