White Means Innocence YKTTW Discussion

White Means Innocence
The color white on a character can symbolize innocence and purity.
(permanent link) added: 2012-09-09 17:14:57 sponsor: DragonQuestZ edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2013-09-09 09:22:32)

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Note: Should I just limit this to "white = virginity" for now, just to solve a few issues presented?
Whenever a character (often a young girl) is meant to be pure (usually as a virgin) and innocent (usually having a sweet, if naive, nature), and that character is largely wearing the color white (although other colors can be included, especially if they also symbolize purity).

This is because in some cultures, the color is symbolic of purity. So wearing white often was meant to show at least the inherent purity of a person.

This is why European kingdoms decided that winter white ermine should be the fur of royalty, why before Pink Girl, Blue Boy kicked in, children of both sexes used to be dressed in white, since Children Are Innocent, why one of the most common form of Good Colors, Evil Colors is white for the heroes and black for the villains, and why Unicorns and Angels are often shown in white.

And showing white suddenly splashed with another color can also symbolize loss of innocence, such as with a Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress.

This is much rarer today than it used to be, but it's not quite as Discredited Trope levels.

This frequently overlaps with Woman in White (if it's meant to be an innocent lady instead of just mysterious), Princess Classic (especially before Princesses Prefer Pink became a trope), Mysterious Waif. It less often overlaps with White-Haired Pretty Girl and Man in White, but rarely overlaps with Winter Royal Lady (since wearing white for her is usually about being mysterious).

A Sub-Trope of Color Motif.

A Super Trope to Fairytale Wedding Dress (since most are still white, for the reasons of this trope), White Magician Girl (since such characters are usually innocent).

A Sister Trope to Gold and White Are Divine, True Blue Femininity (and a lot of innocent girls are shown wearing white and blue), Heavenly Blue, Shining Goodness, The Ingenue.

Compare Pink Means Feminine, Graceful Ladies Like Purple, Hair of Gold.

Contrast Light Is Not Good, Lady in Red, Woman in Black.

No listing aversions, please.


Anime and Manga
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, Emeraude, who appears as a young girl, wears a white dress, and her duties as the Pillar of Cephiro prevent her from even falling in love. And when she suffers from Love Makes You Evil, her dress is topped by black armor.

  • Belle's peasant dress in Beauty and the Beast is blue, with a white underdress and apron. Although she is shown as strong willed, it's also in the context of a pure spirit.
  • Disney's Cinderella
    • She is shown as a pure and nice person, although she mainly wore other colors, save for her wedding dress at the end.
    • The 1996 Holiday Princess doll for her is white, including the snowflakes sprinkled on it, and the fur trim.

  • In the play, and later movie, Jezebel, Julie spites her fiance by wearing a red dress to the most important dance of the season, when unmarried women were to wear white dresses.
  • The original The Wicker Man had a dark version of this trope, as their virgin sacrifice has to be robed in white.

  • The Farival twins in The Awakening are described as wearing the "Virgin's colors, blue and white, having been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin at their baptism".

  • Jesus is often depicted wearing white robes, and is portrayed as a pure being.

Video Games
  • Fiona of Nostalgia wears a white and gold dress. She is known as the "Bearer of the White Wings".
  • Fina of Skies of Arcadia wears a white and gold dress. Her demeanor is one of the most sweet and nice characters in the game.
  • Flonne, the sweet and naive angel in training in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, wears a white and blue dress. She's also so pure, that she's used as part of a plan to make peace with heaven and hell. Even as a fallen angel, her dress is still mostly white, just with the blue replaced with red.

Real Life
  • Queen Vicky decided to wear white at her wedding for this reason, thus sealing that as the official color for wedding dresses.

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