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A lot of people grew up watching Legally Blonde and idolizing Elle Woods, but I did not come across this cinematic masterpiece until I got my wisdom teeth removed my sophomore year of high school. I spent an entire weekend that summer eating ice cream and watching Elle Woods realize her potential and become a fantastic lawyer. The movie was recently added back to Netflix, so I had to watch it again. Legally Blonde is not just a great movie, it also has many life lessons that make people feel empowered and teaches you to be true to yourself.

[bf_image id="qdsrpj-egax9s-4t9ey2"] Elle Woods proves to us that you do not have to be defined by stereotypes and you can be more than one thing. You can be smart and care about fashion. In the movie, she works hard to break out of her stereotype as the ‘dumb blonde’ and prove to those who doubt her (i.e. her ex-boyfriend Warner) that she is more than they think of her. Elle being herself made her stand out in her video essay to get her into Harvard in the first place.

Elle proves that anything is possible if you work hard enough. She studied and practiced constantly for the LSAT, even missing fun parties. She got an amazing score on her LSAT all while earning a 4.0 and being president of her sorority. When she first starts law school her classes are challenging but she perseveres and puts in the work to get to the top of her class.

[bf_image id="szs6kk2rhxb4crft7pwb6pb"] When she arrives at Harvard, everyone around her looks very similar in dark clothing and matching judging gazes. She sticks out in her pink outfits and bright personality, but she does not change who she is. The other students belittle and treat her like she is beneath them, but she never falls to their level and treats everyone with kindness and respect. She just works even harder to prove herself to her teachers and peers. Being true to herself and treating others well gets her many friends and respect from those around her.

A lesson that Elle learns even though it takes her a while is that people who do not respect or support you are not worth your time. The first reason that Elle wants to go to Harvard law school is to become the type of girl her toxic ex-boyfriend Warner would marry. It takes some time but she eventually realizes that Warner will never truly love or respect her, he will just see her as a dumb blonde (even though he is the one who had to pay his way into law school). She discovers that she is worth more than Warner’s poor treatment of her and that she deserves someone who accepts her for who she is. 

[bf_image id="smpq9gsxk5t448jzs8wqjm66"] Paulette and Professor Stonewall teach Elle that just because you have setbacks does not mean you should give up on your goals. When Callahan is a total creep and hits on her, Elle is ready to quit and go home, but Paulette and Professor Stonewall remind her that she is strong and intelligent and she should not let some “stupid prick” ruin her life. This gives her the confidence in herself to continue with law school and do better than ever, proving everyone wrong.

Elle makes many friends along her journey of discovering her value and becoming a lawyer. She is a great friend to everyone, but one moment where she is especially loyal is when working on Brooke’s case for her internship. Brooke is embarrassed by her liposuction that she got due to society’s impossible beauty standards. Elle understands this and does not tell Callahan even though it would help them win the case, she just works harder and wins the case by herself.

[bf_image id="46jpwxswbwvjwbh9x4nnpn4s"] The lessons learned from Legally Blonde can teach you to believe in yourself, work hard, and to treat everyone with respect and kindness. Elle accomplished great things with her friends by her side and by being true to herself and you can too.  

Kathryn Sobota

Wisconsin '23

UW-Madison '23
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