What We Can Learn from Elle Woods from "Legally Blonde"

She is confident, determined, and always unapologetically herself. Above all, when life throws a curveball at her, she handles it with style and grace. Here are a some encouraging reminders about life, courtesy of Elle Woods, sorority sister turned respectable lawyer.


You’re capable of more than you think.

The pre-breakup Elle at the beginning of the movie would never have dreamed of getting into Harvard, studying law, joining a law firm, much less winning a high-profile trial. The accomplishments that Elle achieves through her perseverance exceed Warner’s expectations, but more importantly, her own. When Elle realizes what she is capable of, she has more motivation to push herself for her own sake, rather than for the validation of others. By working hard and believing in herself, she rises to the top of the class, is selected for a top-tier internship, and wins a murder case.


Don’t let a stereotype get in your way.

While Elle had no trouble fitting in as a sorority girl in college, she sticks out like a sore thumb in the law school crowd. When she shows up at Harvard for the first time, she is immediately pegged as a dumb blonde who doesn’t stand a chance in Harvard’s rigorous academic environment. Elle is a great example of how success is the best form of revenge because even though there were people who doubted her abilities every step of the way, she overcame the dumb blonde stereotype instead of letting it hold her back.


Mean girls never win.

Elle has every reason to resent Vivian. Not only is she the girl that Warren left her for, but she also goes out of her way to be mean to Elle, even inviting her to a “costume party” so that she makes a fool of herself. Even though Elle is understandably hurt by Vivian’s actions, she doesn’t let Vivian have that power over her. Instead, Elle befriends her. She decides that being mean back to Vivian would be a waste of time. Vivian ends up realizing that she was immature, that Warren is a terrible boyfriend, and ultimately that being mean gets you nowhere, while being nice gets you a best friend that always has your back.


Use your tears to drive you.

It’s OK to be sad after a breakup. Elle spends a good amount of time lying in bed, yelling at the TV, and eating chocolate. There’s a lot of pressure to move on right after a bad breakup as we’re forced to rethink our future and remember how to be single again. Elle shows us the value in taking the time to just let yourself feel sad. Only when she feels ready does Elle motivate herself to get what she wants, and even though her original goal is to win Warren back, all of her future successes come because she uses her heartbreak to drive her. She does something about it, instead of letting it bring her down.


Maturity doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time.

Because of her peppiness, positivity, and flashy clothing choices, her classmates at Harvard Law refuse to take her seriously despite the fact that she is actually a very educated, goal-oriented person. Elle then decides to rework her entire wardrobe to include less pink and more blazers, but eventually realizes it was for all the wrong reasons. Using a fuzzy pink pen to take notes and having a bubbly personality doesn’t mean you’re immature, and just because you enjoy your work doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously. Elle doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a law student or lawyer, but finds that it’s actually an advantage for her.


Toxic people are not worth your time.

Until she comes to her senses, Elle spends a lot of time and energy trying to win back her toxic boyfriend Warner. When Elle discovers Warner’s true colors, she realizes that she is much better off without such a selfish person, and that she deserves someone who actually respects her. Elle’s life and mental well-being improves tenfold once she cuts him out her life completely. Who needs Warner when she has Vivian, Emmett, Paulette, the sorority sisters who helped her get into law school, and best friends who are willing to fly all the way from LA to Boston just to support her during her trial.


Elle’s happy ending is #goals, but she shows us that getting there wasn’t all smooth sailing. Even if you’re neither a sorority girl nor heading to law school, we all can relate to having been underestimated at some point. Big or small, you never know what life might throw at you, but Elle reminds us that with a little bit of perseverance it’s always possible to pull through and you might surprise yourself along the way.


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