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Life Lessons I Learned from Elle Woods

Ever since my first viewing of Legally Blonde, I’ve had an unshakable love for the movie – and, of course, for Elle Woods. However, it wasn’t until I was older that I could really appreciate just how special this movie is. And a big part of that is due to its leading lady. A woman who turns stereotypes on their heads, crushing the legal field while wearing copious amounts of pink. Elle embodies lessons that all viewers should heed. To name a few:


Don’t let people take advantage of you

Elle is a shining example of standing up for yourself in a world that may not do it for you. She doesn’t let a snooty saleswoman cheat her out of her money, and outs her professor when he hits on her, at the risk of her budding legal career. Elle teaches viewers the importance of advocating for yourself, even when it isn’t necessarily easy.


Work hard for what you want

Even with everyone, including her own parents, telling Elle she’s incapable of handling law school, she puts 100% effort into reaching her goal. Forgoing a fun senior year with her sorority, Elle spends endless hours studying, practice testing, and focusing to get into Harvard Law. While there, she works to keep up with her classmates, and eventually wins her first trial for her client. Elle proves that rewards don’t come easily, but with enough determination, you can get what you want against all odds.


Girls look out for each other

Many movies, even traditional “chick flicks,” generally portray girls and women as competition for one another or obstacles that must be taken down. Female characters are considered “cool” when they hang out with mostly guys, and shallow or vapid when their main company is other women. Legally Blonde debunks this (false) stereotype brilliantly. Even though Elle’s sorority sisters don’t understand her determination to go to law school, they tirelessly assist Elle in her studying, and celebrate her achievement when she gets an above average LSAT score. She and manicurist, Paulette, have a strong friendship as well, with Elle helping her self-confidence and getting Paulette’s precious dog back from her ex-boyfriend. Even she and would-be rival Vivian work together more often than not to achieve a common goal, culminating in a strong friendship. Legally Blonde shows that women can be each other’s greatest allies.


Rise above

Elle and Vivian definitely had a rocky start – having different worldviews, upbringings, and of course, Vivian being engaged to the very ex-boyfriend Elle’s trying to win back for a start. However, they understand the importance of maturity and keeping healthy working relations. By simply being polite to each other, and letting go of grudges in favor of building a relationship, they rise above their petty feuds – and even become best friends at the movie’s conclusion! 


Look out for yourself and know your own worth

Elle makes an effort to help those who need it – including Paulette, the innocent murder suspect, Brooke Windham, and her fellow law students. However, she makes sure to put her own needs first when necessary. She knows how valuable she is, and that helping others doesn’t mean not taking care of yourself. (Take that, Warner!)


Bring your own style

We all have to spend obnoxious amounts of money on laptops and school supplies, why not get what we can enjoy looking at? Note taking is so much more fun with cute notebooks and pens!


And perhaps most importantly:


The Bend and Snap has a 98% success rate, and an 83% rate of return on a dinner invitation

Just for future reference…


When in doubt, following Elle Woods’ lead is the way to go!

Jessica is a senior at Boston University, studying in the School of Communication with a major in Mass Communication, a minor in Cinema & Media Studies and is on the Pre-Law Track. She made the move from Westchester, NY to Boston, and is living in a constant fear of the impending winter. When not in class, she could be found obsessing over Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, making poorly timed puns, or drinking an excess of tea.
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