Legally Blonde is a cult classic that’s turning 20 this year, and in honor of this celebration, it’s only fitting to honor the film’s iconic character, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon). Elle was unforgettable. She was a smart, funny, fabulous, and fashion-forward woman who continually proved the naysayers in her life wrong, and I loved that about her. She was also the kind of underdog that you couldn’t help rooting for.
At the beginning of the film, her original intent was to receive a proposal from her boyfriend, Warner, who she ended up getting dumped by for being “too blonde.” Though getting dumped was humiliating, Elle had a plan. She set out on a mission to get into Harvard Law School to win her ex back, and her willingness to embark on such a journey and remain true to who she was was inspiring. She showed us that when things don’t turn out as we may have hoped, life has a funny way of taking us in a different direction. Perhaps towards something better.
Elle may have worked hard to get into law school to get her boyfriend back, but watching her rediscover herself and kick butt in school was even better. She showed everyone that she was more than her looks and above any of the stereotypes others tried to project on her. Not once did she let her looks or the way others perceived her change who she was. Being attractive and being a blonde didn’t hinder her acceptance into Harvard. Sure, some of her peers and professors made fun of her and doubted her abilities to succeed. And there were plenty of petty jokes and low digs sent directly her way. Even her ex, who didn’t want to marry her, told her that she could be doing something better with her time. But did any of this stop her? Not at all. Elle taught us all that if we believe in ourselves and are bold and courageous enough to remain committed to the process of working hard and taking some risks, there’s nothing we can’t do. Where others saw limitations, she saw possibilities and opportunities. She also showed us that you can be more than one thing.
You can have beauty and brains.
You can prove others wrong who try to put you in a box and tell you what you can’t do.
You can have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and start over in life.
You can stand up to sexist men and unacceptable behavior.
You can reinvent yourself.
And maybe, just maybe, you can change the course of your life in ways you didn’t think were possible.
As Elle says towards the end of the film, “First impressions are not always correct. You must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”
Well said, Elle. Well said.