Why Elle Woods is one of my heroes

There are some people we admire in life who are fictional characters, but we hope with all hope that there really are real people like them out there.

You know, like Elle Woods.

I gave a presentation at work last week, and in it I mentioned that Elle Woods is someone who inspires me. I know Legally Blonde isn’t based on a true story, but I’d like to think that once upon a time some passionate young woman got into Harvard Law after her highly convincing video essay and well-deserved LSAT score that she celebrated with her Delta Nu sisters. It seems perfectly logical to me.

There are a number of reasons Elle brings inspiration to the world, and I think it’s important to examine some of these reasons.

She does what she does for her own reasons. Elle makes up her mind that she’s going to Harvard Law, and she doesn’t let anyone convince her otherwise. Even when her parents and her advisor discourage the idea, she doesn’t let anyone or anything divert her path. Then, when Brooke Taylor (who is on trial for murder) tells Elle her alibi in confidence, Elle keeps it to herself, despite others encouraging her to break that trust. And it ended up being the right decision to make. She a strong one, that Elle.

She truly cares for people. Elle loves helping others. When she sees her classmate David struggling and being laughed at when he’s trying to get a date with some ladies, Elle steps in and makes him look like the shiz. She also helps her manicure lady, Paulette, in her pursuit of the UPS guy and teaches an entire salon the “bend and snap”—which is, obviously, the surefire way to win a man’s heart.

harvard mug
I don’t even drink coffee, but I think I need this.

She doesn’t let people make her feel like a fool. Elle might not look and act like the “typical” Harvard student, but homegirl doesn’t care. She knows she earned the right to be where she is, and she doesn’t let other people bring her down with their doubts or judgments. One of my all-time favorite movie lines is when she’s talking to Warner, her ex-boyfriend who is shocked to see her, and he says, “You got into Harvard Law?” Her response: “What, like it’s hard?” She doesn’t even acknowledge his jab at her—she makes it clear that she’s a BA, and she knows it.

She believes in herself. Elle doesn’t always have the support of everyone around her, but she doesn’t need it. She gets into Harvard Law by believing she can and working toward it. She wins a trial because of her belief that she is capable—that and her knowledge of perms and haircare. She graduates at the top of her class because she never gives up on herself. Her strut alone exudes confidence and admiration. Warner may not have had faith in her, but her determination and strong spirit draws the attention of Emmett, who not only believes in her but also falls in love with her. She doesn’t even have to bend and snap for that one.

There are going to be times when it’s difficult to continue chasing our dreams, especially when others try to make us feel like less than we really are. There will be discouragement, there will be heartache, there will be obstacles, there will be mean people, there will be failures, and there will be so many other things that try to stand in the way of what we’re trying to do.

But we don’t have to let them.

If you know in your heart that there’s something you’re supposed to go after in life, it’s best to go for it. And you, too, might find yourself at a level of success many people didn’t think possible.

What, like it’s hard?

2 thoughts on “Why Elle Woods is one of my heroes

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