In 2001, director Robert Luketic and writers Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith graced us with
, a wonderfully empowering film about Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), an ultra-blonde sorority queen who decides to win back her boyfriend when he dumps her for being “too blonde” by enrolling in Harvard Law School.
is hugely popular, so we all know the story now – Warner is a huge jerk, so Elle doesn’t want him back anyway, but she does decide that she wants that law degree. And she wants to do all her hard work fabulously! Elle Woods is seriously an inspiration to us all. Here’s why she should be at the top of your fictional ladies inspiration list:
When Elle wants something, she pushes herself to get it. Never mind that she’s making the switch from fashion marketing to law school – she rolls up her sleeves, takes the LSAT, and puts her best foot forward to gain a spot at Harvard Law. Even when she arrives and realizes that she’s out of her depth, she quickly rallies and studies hard. She proves herself to be a serious worker, and even wins a prestigious internship for her efforts.
One of the best relationships in Legally Blonde is the one between Elle and her manicurist, Paulette. Elle is unfailingly positive about Paulette and her chances at love – both in taking her dog back from her ex-husband and getting together with the cute delivery boy – despite the age and experiential difference between the two of them. Everyone should strive to find the beauty, worth, and dignity in others like Elle does.
When Elle applies to Harvard, she uses her application video to highlight her past successes as a sorority leader and how skills she gained in that position would make her a good addition to Harvard. Later, she uses her knowledge of fashion and hair care to help her team win the case for Brooke Taylor-Windham. Elle is resourceful, and uses every skill and experience she has to give 110% effort into everything she does. You ought to take a page from her book and spin the unique skills you have from past experiences in your favor during job interviews!
When Elle learns of Brooke’s alibi, she understands the importance of keeping it secret. While her integrity doesn’t earn her a lot of points with Callahan, her boss, she impresses Warner’s new girlfriend Vivian, and more importantly, she stays true to her values.
As soon as Elle realizes that Warner will never take her seriously, she stops pining over him and focuses on schoolwork. When she wins the case and Warner realizes that he’s not in Elle’s league, not the other way around, he begs for her back, but Elle won’t even entertain it: She needs a boyfriend who is less of a “bonehead” if she’s going to make partner at a good law firm by the time she’s thirty, and tells him so. Additionally, when Callahan propositions her, Elle immediately rejects him, because she knows that she is smart and talented enough to excel as a lawyer without special treatment.
One of the best moments in Legally Blonde comes when Elle decides to get serious about school and goes off to purchase an orange Mac laptop to help with her schoolwork. Even as she grows as a student and a person, she remains true to herself, which means that she always dresses fashionably and colorfully, and that she remains cheerful and in love with having fun. She may have been trying to change herself for Warner at the beginning, but once she focuses on herself, she excels in her studies while remaining utterly true to her personality. Elle is wonderful the way she is, and there’s no reason for her to change that, not for a man, her peers, or anyone but herself.
So if you ever need a little motivational pick-me up, re-watch
and bask in Elle’s amazingness. And remember that to achieve your goals
We Want To Grow Up Until We Don’t: Why It’s Okay To Fear Adulthood
Writing Characters – What To Do When You’re Fresh Out of Ideas
We Want To Grow Up U… on How I Unlearned Seeing Fellow…