The woman in white tv tropes
In Western cultures, white symbolizes moral purity, and so according to this trope the classic virgin wears a dress that's as pure as she is. In older times, any unmarried women was supposedly expected to remain chaste, so she could be identified by the color she was wearing. But see the Real Life section below. The Ingenue might very well wear white for the virginal symbolism, while an Ethical Slut might do so for irony, or to emphasize the "ethical" aspect. The idea might be present even in a modern setting because of characters being notably religious, or a sense of Old-School Chivalry being restored.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The Cool Girl Trope, Explained
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Virgin in a White Dress
In Western cultures, white symbolizes moral purity, and so according to this trope the classic virgin wears a dress that's as pure as she is. In older times, any unmarried women was supposedly expected to remain chaste, so she could be identified by the color she was wearing.
But see the Real Life section below. The Ingenue might very well wear white for the virginal symbolism, while an Ethical Slut might do so for irony, or to emphasize the "ethical" aspect. The idea might be present even in a modern setting because of characters being notably religious, or a sense of Old-School Chivalry being restored. If moral expectations are strong, you can expect some Slut-Shaming from the Moral Guardians towards those who haven't remained "pure".
A Fairytale Wedding Dress will be pure white unless it has a little bit of pink or something as girly to it. Hence, many modern brides who don't claim to be exactly virginal will wear white anyway because they don't see why they should be deprived of the "fairytale" aspect. The girlyness can be done away with, though, for a bride who wants to convey a sense of purity but also emotional maturity; all such a woman needs is a dress that's simple, understated, and still strikingly beautiful — and white.
May overlap with Ethereal White Dress if the character died innocent or at a young age. Examples can range from the saint-like, to a sexually inexperienced woman who wanted to "lose it", to an experienced one who has somehow renewed her sense of purity. This is of course the basis of the Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress trope. Community Showcase More.
Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. In a commercial for Chewy Granola Bars , a little boy walks up to the bride at a wedding reception and says "My mom says she can't ''believe'' you wore white! The Ultimate Evil : Shendu , a Demon Sorcerer of Asian descent, knows that Western brides wear white to symbolize their virginal purity.
When he sees Valerie Payne in a white dress, he finds himself liking the application of the sentiment in her. When their marriage takes place in the rewritten version of China , Valerie wears out of Shendu's will a white wedding dress instead of the red version traditional in China.
The Pieces Lie Where They Fell : Discussed in chapter 18 of the sequel, Picking Up the Pieces , where Vix-Lei says she'll be this for her wedding in part because her mother will throw a fit if she's not and also because she's smart enough not to get involved with sometaur outside of marriage. Night Blade also confirms that he and Page will be having a "pure white attire" wedding which his doctor commends him on , and Wind Breaker comments that he intends to be this way, if he ever gets married.
Subverted in the Hooves - Platinum-verse , when Derpy is getting ready for her wedding and tells Rarity she doesn't want a white wedding dress. Rarity starts to freak out, thinking maybe she's missed out on some new fashion trend, until Derpy points out that it wouldn't be traditional for her to wear white since she's already mother to a ten-year-old whose father she's going to be marrying soon, now that they've finally met up again and thus decidedly not a virgin.
Rarity calms down after hearing this. In the Dragnet movie, the bad guys steal a wedding dress for their Virgin Sacrifice. In West Side Story , Maria complains about wearing a white dress to her first dance, saying that "White is for babies!
I will be the only one there in a white dress! Very tellingly, she is. Discussed in A Brother's Price : A man who is commonly known to be Defiled Forever appears in white at a ball, and another character points out that this is likely an attempt to distract from his extramarital indiscretion. In Breaking Dawn Part 1 in the Twilight Saga , Bella is a virgin in white on her wedding day, because Edward was too gentlemenly to have sex with her beforehand.
Snuff : Lady Sybil mentions that a particularly ridiculous tradition — the maids at a grand house must turn to the wall when being spoken to by a man on pain of being fired — was instituted so the girls "wouldn't feel ashamed of wearing white on their wedding day". The rule wasn't introduced without reason; some of the house's guests weren't above taking advantage of the help.
Katherine Steiner-Davion consciously plays with this in the BattleTech expanded universe as part of her public image especially during her time as the "virgin" Archon of the newly-minted Lyran Alliance, deliberately favoring white in clothes and overall decor it helps that she's also naturally blond. This is mentally lampshaded by her eventual advisor Tormano Liao at least once — hailing from the partially Chinese-inspired Capellan Confederation originally, he associates white less with virginity than with death and so finds the resulting look more off-puttingly sterile than "pure".
In The Handmaid's Tale , Daughters that is, the daughters of the wealthy and powerful men of Gilead wear white dresses. They are assumed and expected to be virgins until they marry and become Wives where they'll wear blue robes to still convey a "Madonna" status or Econowives where they'll wear robes of red, blue, and green, to show that they " do it all.
The ones who are oblivious to their fate focus on the idea of being married in white, while the ones who know they're dying want to be buried in it. This blog owner finds the idea old-fashioned and sexist. In the Vita Nuova , Beatrice is seen dressed in pure white when she first greets Dante , a moment surrounded by assurances of her benevolence and predestined beatitude in Heaven. The next time Beatrice is seen in white is five years later, when a white veil shroud her corpse after her soul was taken by a legion of angels to Heaven.
Live Action TV. In Gilmore Girls , Lane Kim plans on having sex, but when she has the opportunity, she surprises herself by saying, "Oh, well, I have to wait until I get married," because the morals her Seventh Day Adventist mother taught her have stuck.
She's afraid that she might never get married and have sex — but then she does. In The Golden Girls , Blance wears red at her wedding. Even I couldn't keep a straight face! Bride : We gotta make our dresses last! Brown don't show the dirt!
Bride: This is the first wedding you've ever planned?! George: Yeah, and you're wearing a white dress! So we both stretched the truth a little! In the song "Only the Good Die Young", Billy Joel 's inspirational ode to his high school friend Virginia Callahan, he believes the girl is refusing him because she comes from a religious Catholic family and that she believes sex before marriage is sinful. One example in the lyrics is as follows: You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation; You got a brand new soul And a cross of gold.
But, Virginia, they didn't give you quite enough information. You didn't count on me, When you were counting on your Rosary.
And I'll be wearing white when I come into Your kingdom I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger I've never known the loving of a man But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand. Mythology and Religion. The Virgin Mary is usually represented with True Blue Femininity , but if she's not, she'll probably follow this trope.
Or a mixture of the two , as seen in the page image. Likewise, nuns are usually pictured with dark habits, but many wear white instead. On her wedding night, the title character of Madame Butterfly wears a white robe "like the goddess of the moon," and Pinkerton rhapsodizes over her innocent, childlike beauty in it - romantically from her perspective, not so romantically from the audience's.
In Albert Herring , Lady Billows recalls that, in the good old days of her youth, the Queen of the May always wore a white dress. Because she can now find no girl pure enough to be worthy of the honor, she accepts the unorthodox selection of Albert Herring as King of the May, and specifically describes his suit as "virgin white" at the May Day ceremony.
Albert, however, secretly hates being paraded around like this and decides to deliberately destroy his reputation for innocence. Kim of Miss Saigon itself a Setting Update of Madame Butterfly is introduced wearing a long white dress to emphasize her innocence and virginity before she meets Chris.
This is despite the fact that she works as a bargirl. Western Animation. Margo says she will wear plain white In a Flash Forward episode of The Simpsons where we see Lisa's wedding, she and Marge briefly discuss this, as they are a church-going family.
Lisa: Mom, I feel kind of funny wearing white. I mean Marge: [dismissive] Oh, Milhouse doesn't count. This general idea has carried over to high school graduations in the U. If one of the school colors is white, nine times out of ten the girls will wear white caps and gowns, while the boys wear the other color. This trope isn't always applicable in Eastern cultures including China, Pakistan, Vietnam, and India , where virginity is symbolized by red, and brides traditionally wear that color.
In modern times, young brides in such countries can and do choose other colors. White is still not the most popular because in some of them it symbolizes death , but that doesn't stop everyone. A somewhat common explanation for wearing white is that the woman is symbolizing her death as a daughter and her rebirth as a wife. Up until the Victorian era, brides traditionally wore a nice dress, but it didn't have to be a particular color—or more to the point, there would usually be an "expected" color, but it would be highly dependent on where you were.
Then when Queen Victoria got married to Prince Albert, she wore a fancy white dress, which was 1 suitably expensive to make and maintain and 2 the tradition among the German aristocracy of which Albert was a member. At that point, a fancy white dress—especially one that was only going to be worn once—was a way of showing how wealthy one was, and naturally other women started copying the queen.
The virginity thing was grafted on even later, during The '50s. However, Slut-Shaming was present before that, with the flowers a woman could wear and the candles that would be lit in the church restricted by whether or not the bride was a virgin.
For decades, Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners, has been trying to combat the "vulgar" idea that white is for virgin brides only. As she explains it, "White had been a usual color for young girls before they were allowed to overstimulate themselves—and others—by wearing exciting colors and jewels and putting up their hair. A woman remarrying was expected to want to project wisdom and maturity, and therefore to prefer some other color for her second wedding gown.
Today, this is becoming a Discredited Trope. Brides are free to wear whatever color dress they choose or even to not wear a dress if they feel so inclined , whether they're virgins or not, whether it's their first marriage or their hundredth.
Many still choose a white dress, because it's traditional. Some older people might still frown on a second-time bride wearing white, but as Society Marches On , fewer people care. Increasingly, too, wedding dresses are becoming available in colors other than white — not necessarily for non-virgin brides, but for women who just want to do something a little different, or feel that this trope is offensive.
Show Spoilers. How well does it match the trope?
Woman in White
Walter Hartright, a young drawing master from Victorian London , gets a job teaching art to two young women, half-sisters Marian Halcombe and Laura Fairlie, at Limmeridge house in Cumberland. While on the road to the house he encounters a mysterious woman in white. He tries to help her, but she runs away. Upon arrival, he discovers that the Mysterious Waif is an escaped mental patient named Anne Catherick, and that Anne bears a striking resemblance to Laura Fairlie.
The Woman In White