FAVORITE MOVIES | Legally Blonde
“You got into Harvard Law?” “What, like it’s hard?”
Guys, I have all the Elle Woods feelings.
She’d been told her entire life that she wasn’t expected to be anything other than a Playboy bunny or music video arm candy. She’d been told that beauty was more important than brains and that all of her value was in her face. Life had been easy for her because she was, indeed, beautiful; in the iterations of this story I’ve read (the novel, the movie, and the musical), she had a charmed life prior to Warner telling her that she wasn’t “serious” enough.
But here’s the thing: Elle wasn’t hurt because she thought she was too beautiful to ever be broken up with. She was hurt because Warner didn’t believe she was capable.
And thus began one of the greatest feminist stories accidentally told in pop culture.
Because Elle? Elle said fuck that. Elle said, specifically, “I’ll show you how valuable Elle Woods can be,” and worked her ASS off to get into Harvard Law (and even though the board members admitting her were sexist as shit she was considered because she got an INCREDIBLE score on her LSATS and has spent her undergraduate career helping others in the best way she knows how and applying herself to her classes, giving her a 4.0 and a list of impressive — if unorthodox and privileged — extracurricular activities). And when she got there and realized her face wasn’t enough to make her valuable there, she worked her ASS off to do well in her classes, because Elle Woods is nothing if not determined.
And the entire time she did her best to be kind and compassionate to the people around her, even though she was bullied by them for being different (and trust me, the East Coast DEFINITELY treats “bimbos” like Elle that way; it’s gross and sexist and old-money-classist and GROSS).
She uses the expectations of other people against them, consistently shocks those who underestimate her, and finds her own way mainly through positive female friendships and a sense of ambition and gumption that many other female characters in pop culture (especially at the time and marketed to the demographic this was marketed to) completely lack.
Elle is smart as hell, savvy as fuck, and while the story is definitely not without its problems (I could have done without the “men inspire Elle to be all that she can be!”) it’s a frigging good one about what empowerment means and how you can take control of your own future. Ugh. Loves it.
P.S. Don’t read the novel. It’s a load of sexist, underdeveloped tripe. The movie and especially the musical did a much better job of telling the story.