Right now, the only part of the trope that is important is the white hair. It sort of alludes to the fact that magical, mystical, arcane characters have white hair, but it broadens it to the point of uselessness. White hair is used in fiction, notably in Western works, to mean a character is mystical in some way. Not just special (although that too), but there's something arcane about them. It's why it's often the only unique extra hair color elves have. My presumption is that we see white most often because of the general association with holiness, purity, goodness, etc, but also because it's not outlandish as a hair color. It's unnatural (humans can't even dye their hair white, so you never see it in real life), but it's not silly looking, like blue or green might look. On a woman it carries the connotations of Mystical Waif
, Woman in White
, White Magic
etc. White on a person often means mysteriousness, which I think is partially what this is about. How many times, in Western works, can you think of a character that's supposed to be magical, mysterious, etc, and they have an unnatural hair color that isn't
This would be related to any number of "mystical" tropes like Mystical Waif
. Sometimes a Mystical Waif
will have white hair, but this proposed trope (I'll call it Arcane White Mane
for now) needn't be a waif at all.
This is basically my thinking in two points:
- Female, pretty, and "special" with white hair is not a trope. No matter what, I'd see that cut.
- White haired and mystical is a trope (and often means a character is female, pretty, and special).
Because of that, I presume what we're planning on (although it must go to an actual vote, first), is that we're essentially cutting this trope (in the sense that this would almost be a complete redefine along with a rename), and replacing it with this. At most, the current name would stay as a redirect while we fixed up misuse. Personally I feel this trope has probably been riding on the idea of Arcane White Mane
as the reason it's stayed around so long.
I mentioned this earlier, but I would by default exclude any works where You Gotta Have Blue Hair
. It's just as likely to be coincidental as those, and I'd think we'd see a lot more misuse, as white hair is more prevalent in anime and people would be eager to make the connection if they could. Only a couple of examples I think would apply, and they'd need a really good reason to. I'd also completely exclude any examples that are platinum blonde. That's blonde hair. Not white.
edited 5th May '13 10:00:17 PM by helterskelter