- Free from moral wrong; without sin; pure.
- Free from legal or specific wrong; guiltless.
- Not involving evil intent or motive.
- Having or showing the simplicity of or naiveté of an unworldly person.
- Uninformed or unaware.
That being said, the word tends to come with connotations regarding a person’s age or situation. However, when the word is paired with female, other implications are considered, specifically those regarding sexuality and defenselessness. But, is the fact that our collective mind immediately goes to that dark path part of the problem? Can’t innocence be something for than a thing to be destroyed or snatched away?
When we look up innocence, instead of innocent, in the dictionary the fourth definition is virginity. Could this idea, that one is pure only when virginal or celibate, also be a mere social construct? Why are people so obsessed with defining what is innocent and what is tarnished. Can’t someone be innocent without being thought of as ignorant and naïve? Can someone who is aware of themselves and their sexuality be actually pure in the form of kindness? And also, why does everything need to fall under sexuality?
Can innocence be seen as part of the human experience, regardless of the gender or age of the person being described? Is it possible for it to become a symbol of different perspectives that are not jaded, but instead optimistic towards life itself? We can see something beautiful as an example to be more genuine in our everyday lives. An element that teaches us to trust others and ourselves rather than to choose to be cynical.
It is this switch in the dichotomy of the implications of innocence where Yoshitaka Amano’s illustrations begin. This Japanese graphic designer reached fame for his design of several characters in the Final Fantasy video game saga.
His esthetic seems to be pale skin, doe eyed figures staring into the viewer. These drawings feature women who continue to have an air of perpetual wonder and sincerity. Candy Girl is the name of this series of curious characters who have a sense of Alice in Wonderland blended with a Tim Burton creature who refuses to wear black or muted colors.
This style is also reminiscent of of the Lolita fashion that has become a staple of Japanese culture. This look comes from a choice to add whimsical and Victorian era accessories on to their clothing. This can be lace, crinoline, pastel palettes, and several other items.
The origin story for this array of characters featured in Candy Girl is explained on Amano’s website in a curious fable-like text:
At first, a single drop of color…
Candy! No, it’s an eye, sparkling.
Then legs emerge, followed by arms,
And now an entire body!
The Candy Girl is born.
She streams out, a whirling torrent of color,
Of unrestrained imagination and desires.
Painting the world anew with her dazzle of
color and light.
Translation by María Suárez