15 Life Lessons We Learned From Legally Blonde

20 years since the iconic film arrived in cinemas, we're looking back on how Elle Woods enriched our lives...

legally blonde

by Emma Firth |
Updated on

The noughties were a period of movie magic, and as any millennial can attest, a perfect Sunday evening is round off with a typically '00s sappy rom-com to restore out faith in love. One of our all-time faves? 2001 comedy, Legally Blonde_,_ starring a sublime Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, a young woman who finds inner power while pursuing romance with a dastardly ex.

You've seen it, right? A sorority queen gets dumped by her boyfriend then heads off to Harvard Law School to prove everyone wrong. I mean, clearly it was going to be incredible. But it's also smart, sharp and full of wit.

Then there's the instant Girl Power gratification factor. And, of course, it slams the stereotype that wearing Barbie pink + bleaching your hair = dumb blonde.

So, to celebrate the film’s 20 year anniversary, we’ve picked the best ever life lessons we learned from Legally Blonde…

1. Nothing can prepare you for The Breakup

Oh, sweet pride. Meeting the man you think you’re going to marry, only for them to think you’re not ‘serious’ enough for them is never an easy conversation. Elle’s reaction sums up our inner dialogue when someone you love says you're not The One, and reminded us that reacting emotionally to a setback is natural and reasonable. Don't let anyone shame you for being sad.

2. Exercise regularly

Elle is always insistent that Brooke Wyndham did not murder her husband. 'Exercise gives you endorphins,' she says. 'Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.'

It may seem like a remarkably specific tip, but the concept - that taking the time to get some air, take a breath and get your heart rate going - can actually work wonders if you're feeling down.

3. Life’s too short to look like everyone else

Best displayed in the scene where Elle falls for a prank and shows up to a party as a Playboy Bunny. Yes, it's humiliating, but she owns it, and uses the unexpected impact she's having to her advantage.

4. Pink is powerful

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'Two weeks ago I saw Cameron Diaz at Fred Segal, and I talked her out of buying this truly heinous angora sweater. Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed!'

We actually like a splash of orange, but the point stands: pink is always a win.

5. Statement shades are always a good idea

You can't move for pastel-hued sunnies at festivals and bottomless brunches these days. Elle was absolutely ahead of her time.

6. A trip to the salon will solve everything

Well, not everything. But if you're feeling crap about life, job, rent and/or an ex, sometimes switching your mind off and getting a mani can be the best thing for you. You never know, you may make a new pal in the process, just like Elle.

7. The most attention-grabbing move

The Bend and Snap. Works every time. We don't need to say anything else.

8. Make your CV stand out

We're not suggesting you actually strip to swimwear for a video application, but Elle's efforts to get the attention of the Harvard admissions board is brave and impactful: you could at least experiment with a new font on your CV, don't you think?

9. Do not let anyone stand in the way of your dreams

As the very wise Professor Stromwell says: 'if you're going to let one stupid prick ruin your life, you're not the girl I thought you were.' In other words: don't let awful men shape your destiny.

10. Perm upkeep is very important

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'The rules of hair care are simple and finite.' We could reel off the entire court monologue, but you already know it. Two words: ammonium thioglycolate.

11. Shopping can be the best therapy

Enjoying shopping is nothing to be ashamed off. Finding joy in retail is natural if you have the means. Time to hit the summer sales peeps…

12. Prada knowledge can come in very handy

See above. A knowledge of fashion - and whether or not a pair of shoes are last season - can actually win cases. Even if that particular moment relied on a slightly lazy gay trope.

13. Your dog can be your BFF too

Again, there's no shame in loving ones animals. Bruiser is Elle's companion and she treats him as an equal.

14. Some people deserve second chances

Vivian is a bitch and behaves awfully, but she is also capable of growth and kindness. Elle is open to this from the beginning and wants to believe that she can be good. That is proved correct, and as Elle says in her graduation speech: 'First impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people.'

15. And the best lesson of them all…

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Again, comes from her graduation address: 'You must always have faith in yourself.'

Thanks Elle.

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