Today, “Legally Blonde” turns 15 and I’m officially old. This movie is hands down my favorite chick flick of all time, and it’s taught me so much about life. From how to handle myself in crazy situations, to sticking up for myself and others, to staying true to myself, Elle Woods definitely helped make the person I am today.
Here are 15 of the lessons Elle’s taught me over the last 15 years:
1. Be passionate
Elle Woods gives 110% to everything she does. Relationships? Follows him to Harvard. Friendships? Gives advice while in court. School work? Misses every sorority event to pass the LSATs.
2. Be kind
She gets a lot of flack during this movie by everyone for just about everything. But never does she stoop down to the level of her peers. She compliments a murderer for goodness sake.
3. Be honest
Elle knows the value of honesty, but delivers her truth with tact. If I’m gonna hear that I don’t look good blonde, I wanna hear it from Elle.
4. Work hard
She goes to Harvard. Enough said.
5. Work harder
My favorite moment (one of many) in “Legally Blonde” is the montage after the “costume” party when Elle steps up her study game big time and earns a coveted law firm internship. There was no question, she just kicked herself into high gear. Queen knows what’s up.
6. Caring about fashion is not a negative thing
This was genuinely formational for me. Elle was the first woman to care deeply about her appearance and care deeply about her intelligence–and she kicked butt at both. This movie makes an awesome point by never having any appearance-based insult (or any insult) thrown at Elle be proven true. She did both. You can do both.
7. Ignore the haters
8. Find a boy who can keep up with you
I love that her real romantic interest, Emmett, isn’t even a love interest really until the epilogue, written in tiny post-script. Elle worked to improve her friendships and a career and this guy pushed her to be her best by just being her friend.
9. Everyone deserves a second chance
Among other things, “Legally Blonde” is a story about second impressions. Elle is proven to be so much more than just a girl with “blonde hair and big boobs.” Vivian is not a frigid bitch. Even Warner gets a second chance, which he then promptly throws away because he’s a complete bonehead.
10. Trust your instincts
Exhibit A: “Enrique is gay!”
Exhibit B: “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”
I rest my case.
11. Don’t let boys be mean to you
I was 10 when I first watched “Legally Blonde,” and I first thought that Callahan hitting on Elle was so out of the ordinary that of course she said something. Years later–it’s not out of the ordinary to be hit on, but it is out of the ordinary to say something. Power to Elle for leaving the situation and maintaining her personal dignity over her potential career.
12. Everyone should feel confident in their own skin
Elle’s BFF Paulette the shy nail technician is not, for all intents and purposes, “classically” beautiful. But Elle so believes that everyone is capable of working it and landing the man or woman of their dreams. See: Bend and Snap. It’s a magical body positivity moment.
13. Knowledge is power
Whether it be fashion, perms, or law, learning all you can about what you’re passionate about leads to success.
14. Work the awkward situation
There’s nothing else to do but work it when you walk into a law student party dressed as a Playboy bunny.
15. Be yourself
Important point: Elle didn’t change herself for a guy. She became a better, stronger, version of herself, and she never denied her blondeness, her love of fashion, or any aspect of her personality. You can grow without losing yourself.