“Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.” — the magic mirror describes Snow White.
The color white always take us on the time machine back to our childhood fairytale days. Not only does it enfold a picture of the beautiful Snow White, but also the literal implication of her name found in many more fairytales — the idyllic scene of a white western winter. And why only the fairytale times? Doesn’t the color white take us back to our teenage days when devouring the romantic novels we would dream of a white Christmas and a prince in shining white robe riding a white horse?
White symbolizes purity of mind and body. It also projects the notion of cleanliness and impartiality. That is why doctors dress in white coats to portray hygiene and dedication; that is why traditionally in the western countries brides wear white on their wedding day to symbolize their innocence and purity, that is why kids draw an ideal “my house” picture always with a white colored picket fence surrounding it, denoting safety and happiness; and perhaps that is why F. Scott Fitzgerald in the beginning of his novel The Great Gatsby shows Daisy and Jordan wearing white dresses, portraying an illusion of purity and innocence, which, with the progress of time and action, slowly changes to golden yellow revealing the impurities in their character.
The color white also has a highly sensual side to it — the strong floral fragrance of gardenia blossoms are linked with sensuality and eroticism.
For designers too, white is the chosen color for summer collections. White is considered ethereal. The heavenly yet simple hues of white signify peace. On a hot summer day, wearing white can make you look like an angel . This is a color that suits everyone and in all seasons. As per a survey, white is the most-sold T-shirt color in America.
White also has a number of strong symbolic characters, such as a white flag is recognized universally as a symbol of peace and truce between enemies. According to the ancient Greeks, wearing white to bed ensures pleasant dreams. The grand Rabbi, On Yom Kippur always dresses in white as he wants to restore the loving relationship between his people and God. And last but not the least, the Christian symbolism of white is divinity and a white lily symbolizes the Madonna.
The divinity of the color white cannot perhaps be better expressed than G.K. Chesterton as he wrote in his A Piece of Chalk, “White … is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…. God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.”