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Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc
Mental Health

Elle Woods is The Big Sister I Never Had

Strangely, I have always resonated with Elle Woods. I remember watching the film for the first time being a little Black girl from Chesapeake, Virginia, but somehow seeing myself in Elle’s blonde Californian sorority girl persona. Elle was ambitious. She knew exactly what she wanted and reached for those things with a kind of ferocity that I could only dream of having. Everything she accomplishes throughout the film is entirely based on her own merits, despite having the means to use her connections for a leg up. 

I think I have always struggled to reach for the things I want in the way Elle does. Deep down, it stems from the fact that I feel I’m not deserving enough to live the life I dream about. That’s why I love Elle. Knowing what you want in life and knowing you are worthy of it are two completely different things, and Elle is fully aware of both in a way I wish I could be. 

She is fiercely loyal to those she loves and she lets them know how much she loves them but she is selfish in a way that doesn’t allow her to be taken advantage of. She is able to acknowledge the roles that others play in her life while still allowing herself and her ambitions to take center stage.

Elle is not jaded. I admire her because despite what she has gone through, she refuses to become that way. After Warner dumps her and finds someone new, she manages to wear her heart boldly on her sleeve, remaining in tune with who she is at her core and those she loves. To me, that’s one of the toughest things to become after heartbreak. Becoming bitter and guarded is an easy route that I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve taken many times. 

I think for me over the years, she’s come to represent many qualities that I am not but qualities that I aspire to be. I want to be as half kind as she is, as ambitious as she is, and as self-assured as she is. I want to have her willingness to forgive others and her strong sense of self. 

Personally, watching “Legally Blonde” can honestly turn into a bit of a therapy session for me. I leave the movie feeling stronger, standing taller, and more like the qualities in Elle I admire. Elle has gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life and some of the happiest, and I know when I need her she will always be there to remind me of the joy and laughter that the world offers even in my lowest moments. 

Zahra is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Journalism and Strategic Advertising with minors in French and Musical Theatre. She is a diehard Taylor Swift fan and likes to rewatch Legally Blonde every 3-5 business days. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her two cats, Bonnie and Clyde, and spend an inordinate amount of time on Tiktok.
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