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What would Elle Woods Do?

What would Elle Woods Do?

Christianah B


What, like it’s hard?

Legally Blonde is a cult classic among law students. At first glance, it looks like the movie is about a ditzy blonde sorority sister who wears copious amounts of pink and is attempting to get her ex-boyfriend back after he broke up with her for being more beauty than brains. However, on closer inspection, the pretty protagonist has more to teach us than meets the eye, including how to embrace your femininity and remain assertive when being underestimated or maltreated in a male-dominated space. 

So, in honour of Legally Blonde's 18th anniversary, here are some of the best life lessons that Elle Woods taught us.

Who runs the world? Girls!

Despite not understanding her need to go to law school, Elle’s sorority is nothing short of supportive of her new-found legal dream. The movie doesn’t just promote higher education for women but encourages tolerance and healthier relationships between girls. In the movie Elle gets into Harvard and wins her trial. Similarly, fitness queen Brooke Wyndham single-handily built her health empire. This feel-good comedy shows how much women can achieve independently, as well as collectively.

Not everyone comes from a law background

Aspiring lawyers often feel discouraged if they didn’t do law at A-Level or feel like those who have lawyers in their family possess a competitive advantage. However, Elle Woods didn’t have an existing law background; she had a degree in fashion merchandising and still got into law school. Her character shows that law schools do accept applications from all backgrounds to improve diversity and inclusivity of the legal profession.

Work hard for what you want

Despite being discouraged by everyone around her, including her own parents, that she’s incapable of handling law school, she still puts 100% effort into reaching her goal. Elle spends endless hours studying, practise testing, and focusing to get into Harvard Law. While there, she works hard to keep up with her peers and wins her first trial. Elle’s character proves that rewards don’t come easily, but with enough determination, you can get what you want against all odds. Elle got into Harvard single-handily on merit, whereas Warner only got into Harvard due to his bloodline.

What’s wrong with wearing pink?

Elle, who is undoubtedly a ‘girly girl’ with her love for pink pedicures, pink convertibles and a cute dog, shows us how femininity can define strength. Her character is an example of a woman who achieves success without sacrificing her principles, femininity or identity. We see Elle’s watershed moment when she strides into her first courtroom appearance – wearing pink of course – and outsmarts a witness to win the trial. Elle is unapologetically herself and I’m so here for it. 

Media influence

This movie isn’t just popular with law students; it has a profound influence in the media, on celebrities and in politics. This Halloween, world famous law student Kim Kardashian recreated Elle Woods’ iconic Harvard admission video essay – the pivotal moment in the film which sees Elle make it into the Ivy League law school.

Just last Christmas, singing superstar Ariana Grande paid tribute to Legally Blonde in her “Thank U, Next” video. In the video, she’s dressed as Elle Woods and later teaches the salon how to do the “bend and snap” in time to the track’s beat. There’s no denying the movie’s impact on politics either; in 2017, US President Donald Trump appeared to take inspiration from Elle Woods during a speech he gave to university students in Virginia.

Believe in yourself

The final lesson that Elle teaches us, throughout the whole movie and reiterated in her graduation speech, is to “always have faith in yourself”. We all know the stresses of law school – never-ending reading and training contract rejection offers can get the best of us – however when this happens, we must turn to Legally Blonde for motivation and ask ourselves, what would Elle Woods do?