Dark hair and pale skin as an indication that a character is beautiful. In western culture, this is a once-dead, now reviving trope, thanks to the Goth and Retro movements bringing an increased awareness of this and the 1950s pin-up style regaining popularity. In addition, the vampire fad and the rising fear of skin cancer have helped with the resurgence of this trope. It has started to fade away again with the tanned and bleached look making a comeback. This is also quite popular in Eastern media, being the traditional standard of Asian beauty, and the fact that most of the population has black or very dark brown hair helps. The high contrast also makes for a striking and visually appealing appearance. Accents of pink or red, usually on the cheeks and lips, can also (eerily) heighten the appeal.
If the heroine of a European fairy tale doesn't have golden hair to emphasize her innocence, she will probably have gorgeous black hair and pale skin to emphasize her beauty. Many tragic heroines in 18th-century Gothic Horror novels are described this way. Commonly a requirement for the Yamato Nadeshiko type and is also known as the Yamato Nadeshiko look. In fact, a Raven Haired, Ivory Skinned Yamato Nadeshiko is a stock character for the Harem Genre.
There might be a crossover between this look and Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, in the form of attractive goths, beautiful vampires, and other characters who manage to be both creepy and beautiful. Sometimes this look can be seen as too eerie, and emphasized as But Not Too White. May overlap with Pretty Boy if male. Somewhat contrasts with Tall, Dark, and Handsome, which is traditionally understood as a handsome dark-haired man, but often connotes more of a "healthy" complexion showing the man to be more "active" or "outgoing" than pale skin would. May overlap with Aloof Dark-Haired Girl if female.
Contrast Dark-Skinned Blond, its visual inverse.
Please note that for a character to qualify for this trope, they need to fulfill two criteria:
- They must have black hair and fair skin.
- They must either be considered attractive (in-universe and/or by Word of God) or be accompanied by The Beautiful Tropes or Attraction Tropes.
- 7 Seeds: Mitsuru from Team Winter is described as having dark hair next to her pale skin and is described as being beautiful by her fellow team members.
- Attack on Titan: Mikasa Ackerman is half-Asian among a Germanic population, and as a result, her black hair and fair complexion are quite striking. The first time Jean sees her, he's momentarily struck speechless by her beauty and can barely manage to ramble awkwardly about how pretty her black hair is.
- Black Butler: Sebastian has pale skin to contrast with his black hair and attire, and that's part of the reason why he has so many admirers.
- Black Clover:
- Yuno has black hair and pale skin, and is noted to be handsome by many people. The Volume 12 Questions Brigade states that he's the most beautiful man among the characters.
- Nero/Secre Swallowtail has very pale skin and black hair (dark blue in the anime) complimented by her black minidress. Noelle notes that she's adorable even in her human form, and Finral refers to her as a "cool beauty".
- Black Jack: one episode featured a strong example of this — Souno, a young girl from an old and rather traditional Japanese family, who had been kept indoors all her life due to suffering from a debilitating disease that would cause her life to drastically shorten if she was exposed to sunlight (as well as killing her off before she turns 18 even if she avoids it). She's spent most of her life in a sealed room, practicing Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) under the close watch of her well-intentioned but very severe Overprotective Dad; and thus, Souno is perfectly pale, with perfectly black hair, and a perfectly exquisite face...a beauty in a bottle. note Fortunately, Doctor Blackjack is there to help — along with his lively assistant, Pinoco, who strikes a really cute Inter Generational Friendship (sorta) with Souno and gives her the courage to get the treatment she needs.
- In-universe, Unohana appears to be and is viewed as the perfect example of the Yamato Nadeshiko. She has raven black hair that is always neatly bound, pale, flawless skin and carries herself with quiet grace and dignity. Word of God has confirmed she is Soul Society's most beautiful woman. When she lets down her hair to unleash her inner Ax-Crazy Blood Knight personality she transforms into an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette instead. Word of God indicated she was deliberately designed to display a shocking contrast between the two faces of her personality.
- Byakuya Kuchiki is one of the highest ranked noblemen in the story and has the classic looks to go with it: perfectly groomed raven black hair and pale, flawless skin. The Shinigami Women's Institute regularly voted him as the Mr. Fanservice of Soul Society.
- Yumichika Ayasegawa, with his pale skin and raven hair, is well-known, notorious even, for both his beauty and his obsession with beauty. Although he is genuinely one of the best looking and most fashionable male shinigami in Soul Society, his biggest fan is actually... himself.
- Mizuiro Kojima is small, dark-haired and pale-skinned. He's considered to have the face of an angel and is viewed by women as incredibly cute. In fact, he's a Chick Magnet. He deliberately exploits this to get older women to fall for him and look after him so that he doesn't have to look after himself.
- Blood+: Diva has pale skin and raven-black hair, and is described by one character as "the most beautiful and dangerous woman." Saya her sister also gets plenty of attention the girls especially with her own similar looks.
- Saya Kisaragi from Blood-C. She has long black hair and pale skin and is noted to be quite attractive. Once she's revealed to be part Elder Bairn her teacher comments on her inhuman beauty.
- Cardcaptor Sakura: Syaoran's mother Yelan Li has pale skin and raven-black hair, and both Sakura and Tomoyo are awestruck when they meet her, commenting on her beauty.
- Cowboy Bebop: Faye Valentine has pale skin and dark purple hair, although it's probably meant to be black. She's also not averse to using her good looks to lower men's guards down before she shows what she can do.
- A Cruel God Reigns: Jeremy has black curly hair and pale skin. And Ian and Greg comment on it a lot when admiring his beauty.
- Dear Brother: Mariko Shinobu and "Mona Lisa" Komabayashi. Both young women are high school students who are considered beautiful by their peers because they're pale, tall-ish and have very dark hair contrasting with their pale complexions. (And in Mariko's case, her cherry-red lips.)
- Nezuko from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has black hair and pale skin. According to Tanjiro, she was a renowned beauty in their hometown as a human.
- Fairy Tail: Gray Fullbuster. He has fair skin and spiky black hair, and quite a few females in-universe, especially Juvia, find him attractive, with the women on Galuna Island flirting with him and audience members having Heart Eyes when he strips. The anime even adds a scene where a waitress raves about how handsome he is.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Lust, like all of the homunculi, has pale skin with contrast her black dress and hair. Despite possessing the abilities to turn her fingertips into extremely sharp extendable blades, her most dangerous attributes is her cunning and beauty which she uses to manipulate men into doing what she wants.
- Ghost Hunt: Naru is this with his dark hair and pale skin, and his good looks are frequently noted by Mai.
- Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics includes a re-telling of Snow White, and logically Snow is a beautiful teenage girl with long dark hair, pale skin, and ruby-red lips. (Though this particular Snow is a bit of a Tomboy with a Girly Streak)
- InuYasha: Kikyo is black-haired and pale-skinned, and many characters consider her to be very beautiful.
- In The Irregular at Magic High School, Miyuki Shiba's appearance is radically close to this ideal with raven hair and pale skin, that sometimes her own brother doubts that they are blood relatives. And even having received proof of their kinship and not seeing her as a woman, he will have to agree that her beauty is divine. This gets its explanation later, when it turns out that she was genetically modified to make her an ideal magician, and accordingly perfectly beautiful externally.
- Kara no Kyoukai: Ryougi Shiki is considered a traditional Japanese beauty. In the novels, she has black hair and eyes, with beautiful pale skin. In the films, they changed it to dark brown, but she still fits the trope. Additionally, she also has an androgynous appearance due to having both a female and male personality within her and has been described both as beautiful and handsome.
- Kill la Kill: Satsuki Kiryuin has pale skin and long, jet black hair. She's considered quite beautiful among the students, but of course, they're probably too afraid of her to say anything. Takarada outright calls her a "babe".
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Negi is awestruck when he accidentally spies on Setsuna in the bath, because of her incredibly pale skin and raven-black hair. Chamo even refers to her as a Yamato Nadeshiko due to her looks! Her hair turns out to be white, but she dyed it to fit in better.
- Maria-sama ga Miteru: Sachiko is described as very attractive and elegant. She has long black hair, light skin, and Icy Blue Eyes.
- Sasuke Uchiha, like his mother Mikoto, has black hair and fair skin. He is also considered by many girls to be very handsome, so much that at the age of 12 he had an Unwanted Harem in the Academy.
- Sai has black hair and very pale skin, and Ino and Sakura consider him to be quite handsome, likening his appearance to Sasuke's.
- One Piece: Boa Hancock has long, black hair and fair skin, and is considered to be the World's Most Beautiful Woman.
- Only Sense Online: In the titular MMORPG where fantastic hair colors are the norm, Yun's long black hair contrasts very well with "her" pale skin, accentuating "her" already beautiful appearance, which is described as "so pretty that any man who's into big boobs would say 'this is a special case', in his heart".
- Ouran High School Host Club: Kyouya has pale skin and dark hair. Like most of the members of the host club, he is considered extremely handsome by a lot of female students.
- Fenrir, the Princess of Disaster, from the anime/manga Prétear, is a pale and pretty young woman with dark clothes and hair, plus pale skin. As either Takako (her human self) or Mikage (her maid disguise), she's just as lovely-looking.
- Homura of Puella Magi Madoka Magica has silky black hair and pale skin. There's a lot of impressed gasping when she first walks into the classroom, and Sayaka comments on how beautiful she is. Most of her outfits are black and white. There's in-universe symbolism behind this (she contracted while mourning Madoka's first death) but it's pretty clear the animators just wanted to accentuate her complexion.
- Sailor Moon:
- Rei Hino/Sailor Mars has pale skin and dark hair and is often referred to as the most remarkable-looking Sailor Senshi.
- The most beautiful villainess in-story is Nehellenia, who is very pale, has very long black hair and is obsessed with her beauty.
- Hotaru/Sailor Saturn has black hair and a skin tone described as "alabaster". Her first appearance in the manga basically launched Chibi-Usa headfirst into puberty. And that was before she smiled. Furthermore, the first adjective Chibi-Usa ever applies to Hotaru is "beautiful". Usagi and Mamoru agree.
- Sankarea: Rea has pale black hair and pale white skin. The latter being because of her zombification. Despite this, she is considered beautiful by the boys in her school.
- Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai: Mokuzu Umino, a teenage girl considered to be quite the beauty despite her really weird behavior, and who possesses black hair and eyes plus very pale skin.
- The Secret Agreement: Iori is a male example and a Sheltered Aristocrat. He has pale skin and long black hair, and the community in-story regard him as an unearthly beauty.
- Slam Dunk: Kaede Rukawa is incredibly pale with black hair and handsome. Ironically, he tans the easiest out of everyone.
- Wandering Son: Saori has long black hair and a pale skin tone. She grows into a Dude Magnet as she ages. On her first day of high school, she attracted the attention o most of her classmates the minute she walked into the room.
- Yuuko Ichihara from Xxx Holic is an incredibly pale tall Ms. Fanservice with black hair and Hot Witch whose beauty is commented on more than once.
- From X1999 there's Kamui Shirō and Arashi Kishū. Kamui is a very, VERY girly-looking Bishōnen while Arashi is the local Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, and Sorata refers to both of them as beautiful.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Jun Manjoume has spiky dark hair and extremely pale skin along with it. In fact, he's the most pale-skinned character in the series which also makes him a perfect Aloof Dark-Haired Boy.
- This trope is quite popular in 1950s pin-ups (Bettie Page, while not exactly pale, had raven-black hair), and modern women like Dita Von Teese have helped bring the art style back to life.
- In ElfQuest, Winnowill is so pale her skin appears white in the simplified comic graphics, has long black hair, and is exceptionally beautiful even for an elf. She's one of the characters that get most screentime and her beauty is not just taken for granted.
- Death and Desire from The Sandman:
- Death was based on a myth in which the Angel of Death appears to the deceased as a woman so beautiful their soul leaves their body in ecstasy. Death is very pale and has black hair, and nearly everyone in-universe agrees that she is the most attractive woman in the series.
- Desire is the personification of desire and the character is (supposed to be) the embodiment of perfect androgynous beauty. Although it can change appearances as it wishes, we usually see Desire as an attractive androgynous person with dark hair and pale skin.
- Their brother Dream is also black haired and pale-skinned, but in a way that looks more gaunt and listless.
- The common depiction of Catwoman has extremely pale skin and black hair, and her ethnicity is intentionally ambiguous with hints of being Italian-American. As of Batman (Rebirth), however, she was officially made Cuban-American and drawn with more of a tan expected of a Latina.
- X-23 is most commonly drawn with fair skin and black hair (particularly during her solo series). When Miss Sinister / Claudine Renko decides to steal her body because of its Healing Factor, she expresses satisfaction that she'll also be getting a very attractive new body as an added bonus. Later on while masquerading as a waitress to get close to an agent of Malcolm Colcord, one of the other employees at the diner comments on how hot the "new girl" is.
- Snow White, the "fairest of them all" princess and the Trope Codifier in Western Literature. In the Brothers Grimm version, her pregnant mother was sewing in an ebony window seat on a winter's day when she pricked her finger. Seeing a drop of her own blood on the new-fallen snow, she wishes aloud that her child had "lips red as that blood, hair black as the ebony, and skin white as the snow," a wish that is granted. Snow White is immensely beautiful, So Beautiful, It's a Curse because her jealous stepmother wants her dead.
- The protagonist of Another Life creates an Author Avatar with "shimmering, glittering night-black hair and moon pale skin".
- In The Matrix slashfic Bringing Me To Life Neo is described as black-haired, pale-skinned and stated to be beautiful...this even extends to when he's dead for the second time.
- Lydia in The Bug Princess. One character describes her as "a raven-haired beauty, pale as frost".
- Child of the Storm has a few examples.
- Harry — after an improved diet, Asgardian medical care, and a growth spurt — grows into this trope, being described as Tall, Dark, and Handsome.
- Jean-Paul is described as having long, black hair and pale skin and even the straight and not remotely interested Harry notes that the only apt adjective would be 'beautiful'.
- Diana, who's considered to be very pretty - and her adult self is described as jaw-dropping - has very dark black hair and pale skin.
- In Children of Time, Beth Lestrade describes Sherlock Holmes (The Protagonist) as being feline, graceful, pale, and dark (with the coloring being his canonical look). For her, it's a case of Love at First Sight, and she's clearly not adverse to Eating the Eye Candy.
- Golden Scepter from Codex Equus is described by his entry as a tall, muscular Alicorn god with a black mane and tail, and an alabaster-white pelt, though his true form has hair made of black spatial energy and wing feathers made of holy fire. Temnobog thinks he's incredibly handsome and has lusted after Golden Scepter at one point, but their close friendship means that the Deer God of Evil is constantly restraining his basic urges for the Alicorn Emperor's sake, not wanting to lose Golden Scepter's respect and kindness. And if his past before the Known Ages is to go by, many of Golden Scepter's lovers presumably found him attractive, too, as he slept with both male and female partners and sired scores of descendants as a result.
- Terra from Convergent Paths is described as dark-haired, fair-skinned, and very beautiful.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Japan is constantly mentioned to have raven hair and pale skin. Italy thinks Japan is cute and hot.
- Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way from My Immortal.
- Iowa, from Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls, as described by one US Air Force pilot in an after-action report.
Pilot: "Very pretty with long black hair. A nice looking Sunday hat, blue dress. If it werent for the floating thingies around her youd thought that she was one of your neighbors. I had a sketch of her included with my photographs."
- In Maleficent, Diaval is a male version. He has raven hair (being a shapeshifted raven, that's hardly surprising), pale skin, and, well, the exceptionally beautiful Princess Aurora calls him "pretty bird" - and she would know.
- Amélie from Amélie. She has raven bobbed hair and her skin is very pale (this look is enhanced on posters and media covers). She's treated as a very pretty girl, though her beauty isn't emphasised.
- Quorra from TRON: Legacy. Her combination of dark clothes and hair and pale skin/white Tron Lines emphasize this look. She's also quite gorgeous, as Sam and Clu can attest.
- The main character, Margot, of La Reine Margot is paler than anyone else in the film with very dark hair. Margot is widely considered a beautiful but poisonous woman, enchanting men with her looks even when they know better than to get involved.
- This coloring is a must-have for any live-action re-telling of "Snow White":
- The heroine of Snow White: A Tale of Terror. Monica Keena, a natural blonde, dyed her hair black for the film. Visually, the beautiful princess Lilliana fits the trope perfectly as she's pale-skinned and black-haired. In contrast, her stepmother is a woman with lightly-colored hair.
- Snow White and the Huntsman stars dark-haired Kristen Stewart as Snow White. She's considered the fairest in the story, though some viewers considered it an Informed Attribute. Her Wicked Stepmother, Queen Ravenna, is a tall, impressive blonde beauty with an icy look.
- Mirror, Mirror has Lily Collins as Snow White. The Queen says this about Snow White's looks: "Her hair isn't black, it's raven. And her skin has never seen the sun, so of course it's good.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- Arwen, being the most beautiful woman alive, has dark hair and pale skin (as in the book).
- Frodo is a male version of this trope, as he is a Pretty Boy with pale skin and dark hair as far as the film adaptations are concerned. In the books, hobbits are more pleasant-looking than beautiful. Then again, Frodo is explicitly described as fairly good-looking for a hobbit.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Loki is a male version, as he's raven-haired with pale skin, and the juxtaposition between the two heightens the blueness of his expressive eyes. For an Asgardian male, he possesses an androgynous personality, so conveniently, he's beautiful in a feminine way.
- Hela is very beautiful and gothic looking with pale skin and glossy raven black hair, rather fittingly, considering she's the Goddess of Death. In fact, she looks so similar to Loki (as well as the aforementioned pale skin and black hair, they also share Icy Blue Eyes and skyscraper cheekbones) that it's become popular in the MCU fandom to joke about how blonde and tanned Thor is clearly the adopted Odinsibling rather than Loki.
- Fool: in this Perspective Flip retelling of King Lear, Pocket describes Lear's daughter Regan:
... there she stood, raven-haired and violet-eyed, snowy fair and finely fit, as if carved by the gods from a solid block of desire.
- Fuchsia Groan is described as a "sulky-sweet" and sultry Unkempt Beauty with masses of messy black hair, lush and beautifully shaped lips, and fair skin (most of the residents of Gormenghast are extremely pale since they spend their whole lives within the confines of the city-sized castle).
- Fuchsia's brother Titus has raven-black hair, pale skin, and unusually striking purple eyes—as a child, he's considered ugly, but he grows up to fit the role of a princely adventurer.
- Isa, from Only Echoes Remain is a gorgeous goth girl despite being homeless on the streets of an alternate-universe version of Chicago. This is entirely the result of her being a mystical being created by a precocious teenage sorceress who designed her to meet or exceed her own standards of beauty. White-pale skin, very, very long night-dark hair, and a flawless face and body were her gifts to her creation, along with a true form that is effectively a demonic manifestation of darkness and death.
- Agatha, one of the two point of view characters in The School for Good and Evil is described as having pale skin and very dark hair. That is, once she and the people around her accept that she should be in the Good school after all.
- In Dragon Bones, Oreg is dark-haired, with pale skin and violet eyes. Ward notices that he's the kind of pretty boy who's likely to be sexually molested by unsavoury adult men.
- Pippa of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is renowned for her beauty and has dark hair with "an ivory face that could be from a cameo pin".
- J. R. R. Tolkien's use mixes Author Appeal (his wife Edith was a fair-skinned brunette) and, presumably, Celtic notions of beauty, since the ancient Celts (flanderized as Fiery Redheads) were actually mostly dark-haired and regarded this as the ideal — thus most of Tolkien's most important beautiful characters are dark-haired and pale-skinned, with gray eyes. For one thing, most elves look this way (or at least most Noldor,the High Elves of Middle-earth), and elves are always tall and more beautiful, more healthy, and more physically perfect than is humanly possible. Then some characters stand out for their especially emphasized dark-haired-pale-skinned beauty:
- Lúthien in The Silmarillion is the most beautiful woman in the world who also happens to be half-angel.
- Lúthien's part-human Heinz Hybrid descendant Arwen in The Lord of the Rings, who's reportedly the second-most beautiful woman in the world.
- A male example would be Túrin Turambar, who has black hair, pale skin, and is more handsome than any other mortal man.
- The Wheel of Time:
- The "Daughter of the Night" Lanfear is dark-haired, pale-skinned, 6 feet tall, Evil, and frequently described as the World's Most Beautiful Woman.
- Berelain, the Femme Fatale ruler of Mayene, is a pale woman whose raven hair is frequently mentioned and who is generally presented as the most gorgeous non-legendary woman in the world.
- Eve Orcaczy from the rather obscure short story Each Man Kills. She's also an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette since she's a vampire, but she is described as exceptionally beautiful.
- Scarlett O'Hara, the heroine of Gone with the Wind, has black ringlets (in spite of her name) and keeps her delicate skin magnolia-white, as befits a Southern Belle. Though she is explicitly stated to be not particularly beautiful, she is so charming and vivacious that her many suitors consider her the most attractive woman they've ever met and constantly praise her appearance.
- Several of the characters from Twilight sport this combination (naturally, considering that vampires have skin so white it literally sparkles). Alice Cullen is possibly the stand-out example, having explicitly black hair and delicate white skin that underscores how dainty and adorable she is, but lead character Bella Swan also has dark hair and describes herself as pale enough to stand out even before she's transformed.
- Kushiel's Legacy.
- The protagonist Phèdre nó Delaunay. She describes her skin as being "a perfectly acceptable shade of ivory" and her hair as "sable-in-shadows". Being D'Angeline, she is automatically beautiful, However, even among D'Angelines, Phèdre is a highly desired courtesan.
- The antagonist Melisande Shahrizai is described as having alabaster skin and hair so black that it gleams blue under light. Melisande is regarded as being one of the most beautiful women alive. The kind of beautiful that inspires people to write poetry about her.
- Yennefer from The Witcher books. She is pale with raven black hair and wears only black and white. Like all sorceresses, she is incredibly beautiful.
- Irene/Attolia from The Queen's Thief is one (fair skin, very beautiful, dark-haired).
- In The Dresden Files, all members of the White Court of vampires (who are basically Horny Devils by another name) are black-haired and pale-skinned, which they use to its greatest vampish potential whenever possible. Partly because of their natural beauty and partly because of their inhuman charm, they turn heads wherever they go. Being vampires, they can also cross into the eerie variant with ease.
- Both Coira and Arpazia in the "Snow White" retelling White as Snow alternate between this and Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette depending on how creepy they are at the moment. The mother's flares of temper and the daughter's talent for complete stillness and silence frighten people to the point that their beauty almost isn't worth it.
- Arpazia is black-haired and pale and acknowledged to be very beautiful before she somehow becomes a thirty-year-old crone.
- Coira takes after her mother in appearance (black hair, white skin) and becomes beautiful as she turns eighteen and comes into her own.
- In Harry Potter, Tom Riddle had pale skin and dark hair, and was frequently noted to be very handsome before he started ripping out chunks of his soul and putting them in Horcruxes.
- There's the princess Thayet jian Wilima of the final Song of the Lioness. "Her face-particularly her nose-was strong boned; her hazel eyes were deep-set under even brows; her chin was determined. Her mouth was naturally red, accented by ivory skin. She wore her jet-black hair pulled into a knot." She's considered the World's Most Beautiful Woman.
- Lena, a Greek teenager, of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is told that she is beautiful but she doesn't like it because she feels like that's all anyone notices. She has long dark hair and "celery-green" eyes. The fair-skinned Alexis Bledel was chosen to play her in the movie.
- In Bride of the Rat God, Christine is described as having a "raven coiffure", and a face that can become "a small white triangle" when she huddles into the huge collar of her black sable coat.
- Bridge to Terabithia has the music teacher Miss Edmunds who is described as having long swishy black hair and blue, blue eyes. She was absolutely gorgeous. The fair-skinned Zooey Deschanel was chosen to play her in the movie.
- Jane Fairfax of Jane Austen's Emma has dark hair, eye-lashes, and eyebrows, and her complexion is fair and delicate without being too pale. She is considered a great beauty. Frank Churchill describes her looks as associated with noble ladies.
Frank: Did you ever see such a skin? such smoothness! such delicacy! and yet without being actually fair. One cannot call her fair. It is a most uncommon complexion, with her dark eye-lashes and hair a most distinguishing complexion! So peculiarly the lady in it. Just colour enough for beauty.Emma: [archly] I have always admired her complexion but do not I remember the time when you found fault with her for being so pale? When we first began to talk of her. Have you quite forgotten?
- Summers at Castle Auburn:
- Elisandra has this black and white coloring as dark hair and pale skin in a trait that runs in the Halsing family) It's combined with her mother's delicate features, and she is a celebrated court beauty.
- Corie is Elisandra's sister and also has fair skin and dark hair. She is rougher around the edges, but she also cleans up well and has many suitors when she is old enough for the marriage market.
- For inhuman characters, the aliora queen Rowena is so pale as to be almost white of skin with black hair. Other aliora regard her as being the epitome of their race in beauty.
- Lissar and her mother in Deerskin have this coloring.
- The queen, Lissar's mother, was celebrated throughout seven kingdoms as the most beautiful woman in the world, particularly for her black hair with red tones. Her fair complexion adds to her famous beauty.
- Her daughter Lissar greatly resembles her as she grows older, both with her dark hair and her pale skin. That resemblance is unfortunately her undoing when her father decides to marry her.
- Any time Sano notices a particularly lovely woman in the Sano Ichiro mysteries, he will note her pale skin and dark hair, as he did when he first saw his wife Reiko. This is the standard of beauty in the series, and one that women will go to desperate lengths to achieve and maintain. Older women, most notably the shogun's mother Keisho-in, apply layer after layer of white makeup to their faces and/or dye their hair black to try to maintain a youthful look.
- Zmeya in The Orphan's Tales. A king who is about to kill her and her fellow priestesses can't help but notice her flawless pale skin, dark hair with green hints, and large black eyes. She is so beautiful that he not only doesn't kill her, but he takes her as his wife, that day, and with the conditions she sets.
- The Mortal Instruments:
- Isabelle Lightwood is very beautiful, with pale, clear skin and long dark hair.
- According to several characters, Isabelle's brother Alec is not far behind her in the beauty department and, being a Lightwood, has the black hair and pale skin.
- Anna Karenina:
- Anna's skin is said to look as though carved in old ivory, and she has a beautiful face, a beautifully-formed throat and shoulders, and rounded arms with tiny, slender wrists. She has black curly hair. She's extremely beautiful, graceful, eager, happy and healthy.
- Anna's brother Stiva Oblonsky has a handsome, radiant figure, sparkling eyes, black hair and eyebrows, and in his white face, there was something which produced a good humour in the people who met him.
- A short story "Persephone Enthroned", written by H. Jeremiah Lewis in Queen of the Sacred Way: A Devotional Anthology In Honor of Persephone has Theseus describe Persephone like this — black-haired, pale and extremely beautiful to a scary degree.
His voice betrayed him: all he could do was stare at Persephone on her throne. Her hair was black like the raven's wing. Her flesh pale as sun-bleached bone. Her lips red and moist like the pulp of a pomegranate - or freshly spilt blood. The curves of her body were barely contained by the thin fabric of her gown. She was more beautiful than any goddess or mortal he had ever laid eyes on - and she terrified him like no monster he had ever encountered before.
- Anita Blake: Anita Blake has dark brown eyes, black curly hair, and very pale skin. Her vampire lover Jean-Claude even comments that she is almost as pale as he is. In Burnt Offerings she mentions wearing bright red lipstick because her appearance is already one of strong, contrasting colors.
- Meaningfully played with in Six-Gun Snow White. Being a retelling of the classic fairy tale, pale-skinned, dark-haired beauty is held up as the ideal. Mr. H wishes for a daughter with black hair and red lips, like his Crow wife Gun That Sings, but he also wants her to be white-skinned, like himself. Snow White comes out copper-skinned like her mother. She is still so beautiful that strange men nearly fall in love with her on sight, but her lack of white skin is a constant refrain through the story and it causes her endless grief.
- A Brother's Price: The entire book has gender-flipped romance tropes, so men are in the position of women from other works. This look is a feature of the Whistlers. The entire Whistler family have black hair and pale skin, and they are considered to be attractive. Concrete examples:
- Their beauty is owed to their ancestor Grandpa Alannon, who was a black-haired, pale-skinned prince and strikingly handsome.
- Jerin Whistler has clear, pale skin, blue eyes, and long black hair, and is regarded as beautiful.
- The Heroes of Olympus gives us the goddess of snow, Khione who has "unnaturally pale" skin and a "lush mane" of black hair. Leo is immediately infatuated with her.
- Cam (Cambriel) from Lauren Kate Fallen has black hair, pale skin, green eyes with golden flecks, black starburst tattoo on the back of his neck and golden wings. And like all fallen angels in the book, he is incredibly handsome - so handsome that female lead Luce initially has problems when choosing between him and blonde protagonist Daniel.
- Trolls in Malediction Trilogy always have pale skin and black hair. And while some of them are disfigured due to 500 years of inbreeding, prince Tristan is described as full of unearthly beauty.
- Sephrenia, the tutor of magic to the Pandion Knights in The Elenium universe, is described as small, delicate, and beautiful, with very black hair and fair skin.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
- When the Pevensie children are grown, Susan is acclaimed throughout Narnia and its neighboring kingdoms as being exceptionally beautiful, possibly the World's Most Beautiful Woman, with fair skin and thick black hair that falls nearly to her feet.
- The White Witch Jadis is said to be very beautiful in a cruel, imposing way. Her skin is paper-white after eating the Fruit of Life, and the book describes her as having sleek black hair and very red lips (though many visual interpretations give her white or blonde hair to suit her Ice Queen persona).
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Lyanna Stark had the typical Stark look, dark hair and pale skin, and was famously beautiful.
- Lyanna's niece Arya Stark is starting to fit the standard of beautiful dark-haired, pale-skinned lady as she grows into her looks. When she was a child, people would notice that she looked like her beautiful aunt — minus the beauty.
- The Hearts We Sold: The Daemon is a male, otherworldly version. He has pale skin and black hair, and Dee describes him as looking like an "absurdly attractive" man in his early thirties. The fact that he's a Sharp-Dressed Man probably doesn't hurt.
- In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, the Lord Ruler is described as very tall and very handsome, with black hair and extremely pale skin, thanks in part to exploiting two Functional Magic systems to sustain his youth. He's also a ruthless nigh-invulnerable dictator with delusions of godhood, so one shouldn't be distracted by his looks.
- The vampires in The Shadowspawn appear this way, or at least those of the Brezé family do: thin, slight, almost elfin, with pale skin and raven hair. Various characters think there is something vaguely odd about their features, but they are invariably handsome, and/or hauntingly beautiful.
- N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy: Nahadoth, the Old God of Darkness and chaos, generally prefers to assume this form:
Face like the moon, pale and somehow wavering. I could get the gist of his features, but none of it stuck in my mind beyond an impression of astonishing beauty. His long, long hair wafted around him like black smoke, its tendrils curling and moving of their own volition.
- Phryne Fisher: The title character has porcelain skin and jet black hair, dresses in the finest 1920s high fashion, and never lacks for admiring male (and sometimes female, although Phryne herself doesn't swing that way) attention.
- The Belgariad: In the Polgara the Sorceress prequel novel, Polgara has an ill-fated Courtly Love with Count Ontrose, whom she describes like this:
"He was tall, slimly muscular, and his features might have served as a model for a statue. His skin was very fair, but, as I mentioned before, his long hair was lustrous blue-black. His large expressive eyes were a deep sapphire blue, and a whole generation of young Arendish ladies cried themselves to sleep over him every night for a goodly number of years."
- The Machineries of Empire: Agent Andan Tseya has waist-length black hair, porcelain-pale skin, and "the kind of face that was calculated to stop hearts". Given the Andan faction's expertise in cultural and political manipulation, as well as its fondness for cosmetic surgery, Tseya may well have invoked the trope.
- Gossip Girl:
- Blair Waldorf is recognized as the most beautiful and glamorous person in the Upper East Side. She has pale skin and dark brown hair.
- Dark-haired, fair-skinned Georgina Sparks uses her looks to manipulate men into helping with her malicious deeds.
- Merlin (2008):
- Morgana, definitely considered beautiful (along with a Ship Tease with Arthur in season one), is very pale-skinned and dark-haired.
- Merlin has dark hair and is eerily pale most of the time, which makes him appear very ethereal and unusually beautiful.
Barmaid: Mmm, you're a handsome fellow.
Arthur: Well, just wouldn't be the first to say it.
Barmaid: Oh. No, sorry. I was talkin' about your friend here.
(Looks suggestively at Merlin.)
Arthur: (shocked) Him?
Merlin: (smirking at Arthur) Thank you.
- Jane Margolis from Breaking Bad. Her pale complexion and black hair contribute to her Perky Goth image, and her beauty is something Jesse definitely notices.
- Lila (Jamie Murray) from Dexter, Dexter's psychotic girlfriend from season 2 has black hair and extremely pale complexion. Angel describes her as a perfect porcelain doll and says that with skin like hers, she should stay outside the beach and sunshine. Dexter's sister Debra offers a different perspective. She says she's pale like a fucking corpse and compares her to a vampire several times.
- Stacie from Hustle, played by black-haired and pale Jaime Murray. Men admire her and a new-comer Danny immediately starts crushing on her. She sometimes plays an exotic beauty in their scheme and she's occasionally required to Show Some Leg in order for them to succeed in the con.
- Downton Abbey:
- The Downton matriarch, Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (played by Elizabeth McGovern) has dark hair and delicate pale skin. Even in her 50s and 60s, she is still very attractive, and (in Series 5) commented that she was considered a beauty in her youth.
- Two of Lady Grantham's daughters (the ones usually regarded as prettiest) take after her:
- Jane Moorsum, the maid, is a brunette with pale skin and piercing blue eyes. Lord Grantham (possibly responding to the similarity to his wife) likes her looks and personality so much that he starts an (ultimately unconsummated) affair with her.
- With her dark brown curls and fair skin, Fiona Coyne is referred to as a princess and one of the hottest girls at Degrassi school.
- Chloe in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 tends to wear dark clothing and blood-red lipstick to accentuate her pale skin and jet-black hair. She is a very attractive young woman and an "it" girl in New York society, though at least borderline sociopathic.
- Aria Montgomery in Pretty Little Liars. She has dark brown hair and pale skin and has attracted the most males out of the four liars.
- Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation has masses of dark curls and fair skin. She is very beautiful, a former girlfriend of Commander Riker and many aliens fall for her during the run of the series. In the earlier seasons, she wears lots of revealing or tight-fitting outfits.
- Black-haired, pale-skinned Snow White aka Mary Margaret Blanchard in Storybrooke from Once Upon a Time. "The Fairest of Them All." The famous line also gets referenced in supplemental material for a dating site, where an amnesiac Prince Charming is told to describe his perfect woman.
David: Dark hair, red lips, skin white as... I don't know... milk? She's... milk white. [beat] Is that racist?
- Horatio Hornblower, episodes "Mutiny" and "Retribution": Mr. Wellard the Pretty Boy and Plucky Middie. He has dark eyes, dark eyelashes, black hair, soft features, and extremely pale complexion. All the more noticeable because they sail in the West Indies and other characters are tanned, and mostly of Tall, Dark, and Handsome appeal.
- Sherlock is generally an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette but Irene remarks a few times on the beauty that his colourless complexion and black hair give him.
- In Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries the titular Miss Fisher has black hair and pale skin and has many, many men lining up to be her lover; something she certainly enjoys.
- Aeryn Sun of Farscape has long black hair and fair skin. She has no shortage of suitors, from her main love interest and eventual husband John Crichton to Crais (though he leans more towards Abhorrent Admirer), former lovers from her time as a Peacekeeper, and even members of the nobility of a Sebacean empire powerful enough that even the Peacekeepers accepted their neutrality and independence after they broke away centuries ago. This extends to actress Claudia Black, as well, with both Aeryn and Claudia herself being dubbed the Raven-Haired Goddess.
- The Nanny: Fran Fine has gorgeous black hair, flawless white skin and she frequently sports dramatically red lips. Acknowledged in-universe to be an extremely attractive woman.
- Princess Judith of Northumbria is acknowledged as very beautiful. Her black hair brings out the paleness of her skin, while her beauty draws both Athelstan and Ecbert to try to get into her bed.
- Princess/Queen Kwenthrith of Mercia is a beautiful dark-haired and fair-skinned young woman who is also very demonic and crosses into Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette. Years of abuse have turned her into a crazy, murderous woman.
- Princess Gisla of France, Emperor Charles' daughter, is a refined dark-haired beauty with fair complexion. She's admired for her beauty and spirit.
- Therese is a Frankish noblewoman at Emperor Charles' court. She is a gorgeous brunette with fair skin.
- On Schitt's Creek dark-haired, pale-skinned Stevie Budd may be a Tomboy but she Cleans Up Nicely enough to look stunning several times and is referred to as beautiful by more than a few characters. She's also good-hearted, despite her snarkiness, and is a supportive friend to David.
- The Last Kingdom:
- Iseult is a shadow queen from Cornwall who is married to a minor king Peredur. She's mysterious and keeps her virginity because she believes it maintains her seer powers. She's also a healer. Iseult is a great beauty with fair skin, dark eyes, and black hair. She's very much admired and hero Uhtred falls in love with her.
- Princess Aethelflaed, a beloved daughter of King Alfred and Queen Aelswith. Aethelflaed is strong, brave, intelligent and beautiful. She has dark hair and fair skin with pink undertones. She's married to Lord Aethelred of Mercia and Mercians respect her more than her husband. Erik, a Dane warrior, falls in love with her when she's kidnapped by Danes.
- Murdoch Mysteries:
- Doctor Emily Grace is a fair-skinned, black-haired woman and she's considered very beautiful. Many men fancy her or admire her and suffragette Lilian Moss is completely bewitched by her.
- Eva Pearce is a beautiful tall woman with a fair face and black hair. She uses her appearance and sex-appeal to manipulate people. Considering she's a murderess, she's also an example of Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, especially in the episode where is confined in the insane asylum among other "incurables".
- The White Queen: Richard, Duke of Gloucester is a male version with dark, curly hair and a very fair complexion. When combined with large, soulful green eyes and lips with a prominent cupid's bow, his more graceful appearance identify him visually as the Noble Male in his Noble Male, Roguish Male dynamic with his lewd, conventionally handsome brother King Edward IV. Through Female Gaze, the showrunners also present Richard as an alluring figure in the eyes of his wife Anne Neville and later his niece Elizabeth of York, and with Elizabeth specifically, his solemn beauty conveys that he's the Brooding Boy in their Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl pairing. Because Richard is an introvert, the striking juxtaposition of his dusky mane and light skin tone facilitate the reading of his nuanced facial expressions, and he's frequently subjected to photogenic close-ups to compensate for having less dialogue than the three female leads and his two brothers.
- Amy Lee, the lead singer of Evanescence, plays up this trope with long, wild dark hair and dramatically pale makeup that sets off her startling blue eyes.
- The famous models seen in the Robert Palmer video "Addicted To Love" invoke the trope deliberately: all the models had different hair colors and varying skin tones, but were costumed with identical dark, slick-backed hair, pale makeup with scarlet lipstick, and matching black minidresses so that they would look interchangeably, anonymously beautiful. They also all wear the same color hose so that their legs will not give away the fact that their faces have been painted.
- "Ravens Land" by Voltaire describes a woman with this appearance who is considered to be very beautiful.
Ravens land upon her hair
Clouds adrift on her skin
A smile that tugs upon my soul
And whispers gently in my ear
- An Older Than Print male example is Naoise, lover of Deirdre in The Exile of the Sons of Uisnech, of the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. Unlike "Snow White", this does not turn out at all well.
Deirdre: (After seeing a raven drinking blood out of the snow) I will love a man with hair the color of the raven, skin as white as snow, and cheeks as red as blood.
- From the 10th-or-11th-century Persian epic The Shahnameh: World's Most Beautiful Woman Princess Rudabeh a sort of Middle-Eastern precursor to Rapunzel from the fairy-tale Rapunzel has long black hair which she wears in perfumed braids, skin so pale as to merit comparisons to silver, and (at least going by the daffodil comparison) golden eyes.
- Jun Kurosu from Persona 2 is a male example of this trope. He's dark-haired, pale-skinned, and beautiful — moreso than most women.
- In Persona 4, Yukiko Amagi is fair with long black hair and the good looks to afford her an Unwanted Harem of admirers. Hell, her name is even read as snow in the original kanji.
- Persona 5:
- According to the character designer, the light-skinned, raven-haired protagonist was designed to look "sexy and polished". If his nine potential love interests and slew of fangirls are any indication, it worked.
- Confidant Hifumi Togo from the same game takes a lot of cues from Yukiko appearance-wise and is as famous for her beauty as she is for her shogi skills In-Universe.
- If someone in Fire Emblem Elibe is about to describe a Morph, there's likely three features to be mentioned: "1. Pale skin, 2. Hair like ebony (though it really looks purple), and 3. Supernatural Gold Eyes". Sonia was actually made to be beautiful and to seduce Brendan Reed.
- Setsuka in Soul Calibur 3. She has pale skin but is actually a natural blonde, but dyes her hair black, as well as wear a kimono, to fit the traditional image of Japanese beauty.
- Miranda Lawson in Mass Effect 2 is much paler than most inhabitants of the Mass Effect universe, has jet-black hair, and is regarded as extraordinarily attractive. It helps that her default outfit is black and white.
- From Dragon Age: Origins, Morrigan, who is Lampshaded to be a Hot Witch, crosses this with Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, with the party expecting her to use her looks to seduce a male Grey Warden.
- Final Fantasy has quite a few females who fit this trope.
- Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII is dark haired and has very pale skin, likely to show her status as a Yamato Nadeshiko. She was also very popular with the guys, Cloud included, in Nibelheim.
- Final Fantasy VIII: Rinoa Heartilly is light-skinned and dark-haired. Although her character designer intended her to be "cute" rather than gorgeous it's obvious this aspect of her appearance is meant to amp up her looks.
- Garnet "Dagger" Til Alexandros XVII of Final Fantasy IX. She has light skin and black hair and is stated to be a refined and beautiful princess.
- Zhen Ji from Dynasty Warriors depending on the installment is depicted with dark hair and very pale skin. She's also bewitchingly beautiful as many characters, including her, like to note.
- Yennefer from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a black-haired fair-skinned sorceress, always clad in black and white.
Priscilla: [singing a ballad] To dream of raven locks entwisted, stormy. Of violet eyes, glistening as you weep
- Hades: Both Zagreus, his father Hades and his mother Nyx have ashen-pale skin and black hair (with stars in them in Nyx's case). Zagreus described as handsome in-game by several characters, though the primary purpose of the colour scheme is to distinguish the family from Zeus and his children. Nyx is not actually Zagreus' birth mother, but her sharing skin- and hair colour with him to such a degree helps explain why Zagreus never had a reason to think otherwise.
- Kokoro Fushikawa in Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, black-haired and pale-skinned, is explicitly described as beautiful by the protagonist Yamato, who associates her classic looks of nobility with her high-society life.
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations a Yamato Nadeshiko Iris has black hair, bright skin and is called beautiful by Laurice and Maya.
- Edith of Alice and the Nightmare has almost porcelain-white skin and black hair. Like most characters in the story, she's drawn in a rather attractive way.
- Ivo Keys in Shaderunners has very pale skin and dark black hair — a look that plays into her name (Ivory Keyston). She's canonically considered quite a knock-out.
- Lydia, in Cobweb and Stripes, has very dark hair and pale skin just like in her counterparts in film and cartoon. She's given a very pretty look by the comic artist, and Betelgeuse makes it clear that it appeals to him.
- Yumi Ishiyama of Code Lyoko. Further reinforced by her first Lyoko avatar, which gives her white face paint, Japanese-style. Ulrich, William and Johnny certainly considers her quite attractive.
- The Legend of Korra:
- Asami has dark hair and pale skin (like most people of the Fire Nation). She's also stunningly beautiful, causing Mako to fall for her hard the first time he sees her. And then, in the end, she ends up with Korra.
- Mako has classic Fire Nation coloring (dark-haired and pale-skinned), and multiple characters in the series find him very attractive in the Pretty Boy way.
Jinora: Oooh, he's cute. Korra, is that the handsome firebender boy that drives you crazy?
- Dr. Girlfriend from The Venture Bros., an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, has fair skin and shoulder-length black hair. Her attractive appearance alongside her intelligence has allowed her to gain a nice reputation amongst super-heroes, in spite of her super-villain status.