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Men falling under this trope are rarer, but the blond hero can also have Hair of Gold. Such a hero is more action-oriented than the Hair of Gold heroine, but he is also good, wholesome, kind to those weaker than himself, modest, and prone to be the Chaste Hero or Celibate Hero.
A prevalent trope wherever blond hair occurs naturally in the population. (Where it does not, the color may signify foreignness.) Since hair tends to darken with age, blondness does correlate with youth and the innocence correlated with that. Fiction runs with this so that the women are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience.
Often contrasted with a dark-haired heroine -- as the Betty in a Betty and Veronica, the Girl Next Door compared to the Femme Fatale, the Damsel in Distress rather than The Vamp, the Country Mouse instead of the City Mouse -- or just lacking the brunette's Jade-Colored Glasses. A redhead may also contrast and serve as a rival, though she will likely be more Action Girl-oriented than the blonde. She tends to be the younger of the pair; this is even more likely to be true for the male version.
The blonde's youth may also make her more naive than her counterpart, which can, but does not have to, slide into the Dumb Blonde. On the other hand, she may regard studying and doing well in school as part of her responsibilities and so perform better than her dark-haired and irresponsible Foil.
Victorian literature would also use it to portray her as delicate and fragile, if not actually the Ill Girl -- being, of course, Too Good for This Sinful Earth. This part would be a Discredited Trope if it were not a Forgotten Trope.
The trope generally presumes blond is the natural color, since the correlation with youth no longer holds once dye is used. Indeed, this may drive this trope's interchange with Blondes Are Evil, a deeply Cyclic Trope.
When blondes are natural, blondness does correlate with youth and so is attractive. Women, therefore, dye their hair blond. But after a critical mass of blondes have dyed hair, it no longer correlates with youth. And it certainly doesn't correlate with innocence; the honest brunette who does not dye her hair, perhaps because she is not scheming to get a man, appears more innocent. Therefore, blond hair dye falls out of fashion and then blondes are once again mostly natural blondes and so the correlation recurs -- restarting the cycle.
When the cycle is on Hair of Gold, lack of blond hair may convince a woman or girl that she is not beautiful -- leading to Beautiful All Along.
Women with Hair of Gold are also prone to Blue Eyes or Gray Eyes (though this is less common in more recent times). This contains a certain amount of Truth in Television, but it is exaggerated in fiction. They also tend to have voices in the soprano range.
For even lighter hair, see White-Haired Pretty Girl.
Not all blondes belong in this list. Not even all good blondes. If the character does not match the personality type, she does not have Hair of Gold and should be listed only if she exploits the expectation. When blonde characters are popular and fun-loving rather than innocent, it's Everyone Loves Blondes.
Anime & Manga
- Janine from Animerica symbolizes this in the purest form imaginable, making her a direct contrast not just to her Love Interest, but to the black-haired Lita and the red-headed Malin. In fact, just about every blonde (except for Takuya and Shirogane) in the series symbolizes this.
- Vivio of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The young, cheerful, Mysterious Waif adopted daughter of the main character.
- Soul Eater has a very interesting version with its girls: Maka Albarn's blond hair has hints of silver (and she is the wisest), Liz Thompson has a caramel blond coloring (she is the most jaded, though remains optimistic), and Patti Thompson has cornsilk coloring and is the sweetest and most idealistic of the three. Justin Law at first seems to follow this, being a chaste (or so we think) young death scythe. Unfortunately...
- Project A-ko: C-ko, who is a strawberry blonde, was described in one of the original Japanese promos as "innocence personified".
- Not even a demon can find much fault in Elizabeth in Black Butler, even if she did probably lose any Virgin Power she might have had.
- Oz from Pandora Hearts may or may not fit this trope, but Jack sure does. Vincent, on the other hand...
- Ouran High School Host Club has Tamaki, a boy who has a very optimistic view on life, despite his own past and present hardships. He tries to see the good in people and, like a true romantic, thinks every woman is beautiful in her own way. Despite him being The Charmer, his views on love are quite innocent and old fashioned. Honey would fit this trope as well, especially considering he even LOOKS a lot like a child, although he's actually the oldest of the Hosts. He also carries around a bunny plushie and has a love for sweets--cake in particular.
- Several characters in To Aru Majutsu no Index, such as Vento of the Front, Oriana Thomson, and Aiwass. Vento of the Front is an interesting case, since her appearance is described as that of a holy virgin, but is ruined by her self-presentation.
- One of the rare male examples that fit this trope perfectly is Keith Goodman (aka "Sky High") from Tiger and Bunny.
- Reinhard von Lohengramm in Legend of the Galactic Heroes subverts this trope beautifully: he's certainly an angelic-looking young man, he's viewed by people as a perfect hero but his methods firmly place him into the Anti-Hero territory. His sister Annerose, though, is a straight example.
- Naruto has quite a few blondes, the hot-blooded titular character and his father Minato Uzumaki are the prominent examples. Ino Yamanaka, Temari, Tsunade, Boruto, Inojin along with minor characters, Samui, Shiho, and finally Yugito Nii. Also qualify within this trope.
- In Non Sequitur, the blond Kate is the more optimistic and less ambitious Foil to her black-haired sister, Danae.
- In Peanuts, Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally, fits this trope. When accused of "evading responsibility" by her brother, she responded with, "I don't know what you're talking about...I'm too young and innocent."
- Millie the Model is nice, young, and innocent, especially compared to her Fiery Redhead rival, Chili Storm.
- "Goldilocks" combines both the innocence and the folly associated with blond hair.
- The Grateful Beasts has a blond hero.
The youngest of the three brothers, whose name was Ferko, was a beautiful youth, with a splendid figure, blue eyes, fair hair, and a complexion like milk and roses.
Films -- Animation
- Played straight with Rapunzel in Tangled, as she is sweet, kind, and innocent. Subverted when we find out she is actually a natural brunette when her hair gets cut off.
- Miguel from Road to El Dorado is a male version, despite being a thief for a living. His lack of actual innocence is made up for by his genuine sweetness and optimism about the world in general. Overall he's a really good person who isn't above using puppy eyes to get his way.
Films -- Live-Action
- Following the frequent book descriptions as "fair-haired", in the 2003 and 2005 film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, the prettiest (and most innocent) Bennet daughter, Jane, is a blonde. She isn't a blonde in the 1940s film, though.
- Brian O'Connor from The Fast and the Furious.
- In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Johanna is definitely one of these, fitting the innocent, child-womanish category almost to a T.
- Both the movie and the stage play made a big deal of this. Johanna got this from her mother, Lucy, who is described by Sweeney as "beautiful" and "virtuous" at the start of the whole thing, if something of a "silly little nit" according to Mrs. Lovett. Of course, in the stage play, Johanna gets one of the two kills that Sweeney doesn't get when she guns down the asylum keeper Jonas Fogg.
- Amy Kane (Grace Kelly) in High Noon. Initially portrayed as innocent and naive, she proves to be the only person willing to help her husband fight the villains.
- Star Wars' Luke Skywalker, of course! Idealistic and able to see the goodness in most everyone, this personality trait is pointed out fairly often in the Expanded Universe and a lot in fanfic. His four known descendants, however (two redheaded, two blond), decidedly don't fit this trope and, instead, wear Jade-Colored Glasses.
- Manon of Manon of the Spring (Manon des Sources) is proud, beautiful, and no man's fool -- but she is also good-natured at heart and righteous. Her role, in juxtaposition to the other characters, is basically purity personified.
- Mary Boleyn from The Other Boleyn Girl; Truth in Television, as the real-life Mary Boleyn was also blonde.
- Rosemary in Shallow Hal is kind and generous with attractive inner beauty.
- In the movie Dear John, Savannah is naive, kind, and morally upstanding.
- Jesus in some film depictions, despite Him being from the Middle East. King Of Kings and Jesus Christ Superstar come to mind.
- Kim in Edward Scissorhands is a Double Subversion. She's first seen in a family photo where Peg describes her as her pride and joy. When we meet Kim, however, she seems like a bratty teenager. But as the film goes on and she warms to Edward, we see she is kind and caring, thus fitting the trope.
- In CS Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, the innocent Lucy, who first finds Narnia and is closest to Aslan, is described (near the end of the first novel) as having blond hair. However, the illustrations by Pauline Baynes show her with black hair and pigtails. She is also not blonde in the various film adaptations.
- In The Clique novels, Claire Lyons has light blond hair and is the nicest member of the Pretty Commitee.
- Subverted hard by the Lannisters in A Song of Ice and Fire. They are all blondes and the nicest of them can only be described as a particularly ambiguous anti-hero. The others are just plain evil.
- Evangeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin has golden hair...and oh my god, what a near-sickeningly angelic, Wise Beyond Her Years child she is. She follows the Victorian version of this trope to the letter. She eventually becomes Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
- Little Lord Fauntleroy is famous for the titular character's blond, curly hair.
- In the The Demon Princes, Alusz Iphigenia Eperje-Tokay has dusty blond hair and Gray Eyes. She's beautiful, intelligent, gently bred and fatalistic.
- The titular character of Jane Austen's Emma is interested in befriending a girl of lower social standing than herself, Harriet, specifically because of Harriet's beauty--she has Hair of Gold and big Innocent Blue Eyes.
- In Goblin Market, Laura's golden hair is a key part of the plot, because she buys fruit with "a golden curl" rather than with actual money. Using her hair this way leads to the loss of innocence (and, metaphorically, her virginity).
- In The Silmarillion, this is the hallmark of the House of Finarfin (the more innocent, wise, and spiritual house of High Elves). One of those elves (Galadriel) even lasted long enough to appear in Lord of the Rings.
- Glorfindel's name translates as this in Sindarin ("Elf with Gold Hair").
- Galadriel's hair is literally luminescent, and said to have been made of "a mesh of gold" with the light of Laurelin (a golden tree that served as a precursor to the sun) bound up in it. Considering her part in the Fall of the Noldor, though, although she wasn't quite on the Fëanorian-level of cunning evil, she isn't exactly innocent, though she is an idealist early-on and later extremely wise.
- Maybeth, the third sibling in The Tillerman Family Series by Cynthia Voigt, is practically angelic by description.
- Don "Doc" Dogoier of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger stands out among his crew of pirates for being kind, gentle, shy, cheerful, and a pacifist - even more so than supposed Token Good Teammate (and dark-haired) Ahim, who has proven herself to have a devious side that Don doesn't share.
- Gabrielle in Xena: Warrior Princess, even to the point where her hair got darker for a while as her character became less innocent.
- In Victorian flashbacks, Sanctuary's Helen Magnus has long, curly blond hair. She's also more soft-spoken, cheerful, and younger (obviously) than in the present. Sometime after discovering her fiance is Jack the Ripper and being contracted by the Crown to kill Adam Worth, she goes brunette.
- She also has red hair during World War II.
- Henry VIII sees Jane Seymour as this in The Tudors. In season 3, it becomes clear she has a little more depth, but Henry reacts aggresively to any indication that she doesn't agree with him. When she returns briefly in season 4, she's the only ghost Henry seems happy to see. Unfortunately for him, she is not as meek as before.
- Truth in Television, at least in part; blonde Jane was significantly more tractable and sweet than her tempestous, brunette predecessor Anne Boleyn.
- While Leslie Knope is hardly innocent, she certainly is relatively naive, good-hearted, hardworking, and cheerful in the face of her thankless small-town government job.
- Ditto Audrey for Little Shop of Horrors.
- Kendra from 13 fits this because she's very trusting, though it doesn't work out for her, although she can be quite ditzy at times...
- Naive, innocent Wembley, the youngest member of Fraggle Rock's Five-Man Band, has yellow hair.
- Janice from The Muppet Show can fit under here as well, as she is kind and laid-back.
- Cyberswine: Zak's little brother Sam has blonde hair and she is a sweetheart.
- Colette from Tales of Symphonia, a foolish Messiah Pollyanna Love Freak.
- Dawn of the New World had the male variety in Emil.
- Speaking of the male variety, don't forget about Flynn from Tales of Vesperia.
- The grandmother of them all is Mint from Tales of Phantasia. She's 90 pounds of Incorruptible Pure Pureness, a shy White Magician Girl, and completely devoted to healing.
- Tales of the Abyss brings us both a male AND a female example. Guy Cecil--the (idiot) hero's best friend and confidant. He's also pretty skilled with a blade. And Natalia, a kind, yet plucky young princess who's also an amazing archer and healer.
- Beautiful, young, good, and innocent? That's Amano's concept of Terra/Tina from Final Fantasy VI all over, and applies to a lesser extent to Celes as well. And Relm (she really is a sweet girl, deep down...Really really deep down). Next tier has the heroic male characters Edgar, Sabin/Mash, and Locke, who was originally conceptualized with blond hair. If you really wanted, you could argue that General Leo fits this, though he really shines as a Subverted Trope Blond Guys Are Evil, foiling the blond Kefka. The world of Final Fantasy VI has no Canon Name, but we have reason to believe it's Blondania.
- Noel Vermillion from Blaz Blue. Beautiful, innocent, and shy? Check, check, and check. The world wants to crush her beneath its heel? So, so much.
- Ventus from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep. Blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a personality to match. Justified, however, since the darkness in his heart was taken by Master Xehanort.
- Another male example: Teddie from Persona 4 in his human form, where he appears as a blond, blue-eyed Bishonen, with an innocent personality to match.
- Lucas from Mother 3 has gold hair, an innocent personality, a pure mind, and, unlike Claus, stays good. Claus' hair, orange, could possibly be that way because of red (evil) mixing with blonde (purity).
- Wendy from Rule of Rose could have her picture describing this trope; a quiet, sickly little girl with a pretty smile and a blue sundress. Unfortunately, she's also a manipulative Yandere.
- Spiritia Rosenberg from Rosenkreuzstilette has flowing gold hair held in a huge ponytail and is a straightforward, honest, and kind girl whose moral convictions are second to none and who is greatly respected by others, including other soldiers of the Holy Empire. Iris also has gold hair, but unlike Tia, believe it or not, she's a Complete Monster who only pretends to be kind and innocent to disguise her true, evil intentions. Both characters are reincarnations of the legendary Magus Rosenkreuz, whom the organization of RKS is named after - Tia got his soul and his ability to tap into the strength of others', and Iris was blessed with his magical prowess and the abundance of knowledge he had acquired over the course of his life.
- Bianca from Pokémon Black and White - pretty, kind, heroic, and idealistic.
- Regina Berry, in Ace Attorney, is so sweet and innocent that she actually doesn't understand the concept of death or the consequences of her naive but dangerous actions.
- Colias Palaeno has a near-constant smile and is ridiculously friendly to everyone he meets. Which is why Manny Coachen was able to manipulate him so easily.
- Kaede Akamatsu from New Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is blonde and easily the kindest and sweetest protagonist in the franchise. It's too bad she doesn't last…
- Elan in Order of the Stick is apparently extremely attractive, in part due to this trope, although it's hard to tell from the stick-figure art. He also fits very well in terms of personality, being the sweetest and most innocent major character in the comic (as well as not too bright aside from his Genre Savvy).
- His rare moments of Super-Powered Evil Side Mad Scientist aside, Franken from Noblesse is very kind and patient.
- Rolan and Zalanna of Ears for Elves have this. In the former case, it shows that he's a high elf, as well as being innocent and such. For Zalanna, straight blonde hair symbolises her status and how she embraces it, and provides contrast with the Rebellious Princess Tanna's messy and short(er) brown hair.
- In Thistil Mistil Kistil, while she is a trifle uncanny, Sigyn is still a gentle and generous woman.
- Yang from RWBY. Given that she's at least partially inspired by Goldilocks, it's not too surprising.
- Apollo, Artemis, Aglaea, and Eros in Thalias Musings. Apollo, though hardly a Chaste Hero, is one of the more moral gods in the Pantheon and renowned as a champion of moderate living. His twin sister Artemis is a sworn virgin. Both have healing powers, as does Aglaea, Apollo's granddaughter, who is a dedicated physician. Eros can make life difficult for his "victims", but he ultimately just wants everyone to find true love, something his parents never had.
- Hanami from Tasakeru.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes: Jimmy's blond hair is so pure and innocent (just like him), that it even induces niceness upon an Expy of Satan.
- Princess Dawn, the Princess Classic protagonist of Here Comes the Grump.
- Smurfette of The Smurfs, after her magical makeover.
- Mikey and Gus from Recess, who are considerably the most innocent and pure among the main six.