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The Movie "Legally Blonde": Feminism Theme

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Released nineteen years ago, Legally Blonde, a movie appeared to be about a ditzy blonde who falls right into the typical female stereotype of wearing pink, with a touch of glamour and small little dog on the side for good measure. Surely it would have no relevancy in today’s society, right? Wrong. Legally Blonde is an inspiring film that breaks down and challenges typically gender stereotypes, displays ways of empowering women and shows us how we can succeed if we put in the work, demonstrating it relevancy to young women. Legally Blonde may show a front of a typically ‘chic flick’, but the messages in this film are some of the most empowering in all of film history.

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Even though our first impressions of Elle Woods, it becomes clear that she is much more than the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype. Whether it be and the overwhelming amounts of pinks and glitzy glamour or the mass amount of femineity clouding the entire beginning of the film, we are set up to believe that this film is going to be a classic crummy movie for teenage girls. However, as the movie progresses, we see how Elle Wood’s character develops into a powerful and inspirational icon that we can all learn something from. We see how Elle dreams of the ‘perfect life’ of getting married and becoming a housewife of sorts, due to her believing her boyfriend at the time, Warner is going to pop the question to her. Unfortunately, her dreams are crushed when Warner breaks up with her, due to her being a ‘Marilyn’, and not a ‘Jackie’. Elle is taken aback by this but starts to devise a plan. She attempts to get into Harvard (to which she succeeds) to win back Warner. Although she fails to get Warner back, this is when Elle starts to realise that she can become far more. Elle starts to push past the stereotypes surrounding her and becomes an intelligent and a capable woman who becomes Valedictorian of her graduating class and ends up with a guy who wants her for her, not the unrealistic version of her. Not only does Legally Blonde challenge tradition gender stereotype that the idealistic female is set to only one image and blondes are deemed un-intelligent, but it also challenges the idea that successful women must be boring and dull and also shows how we can gain success from working hard.

While watching Legally Blonde we witness Elle Woods’ miraculous transformation from a slightly clueless blonde who seems to be in over her head to an extremely successful and inspiring woman for all to admire. She shows us how we can gain mass amounts of success from hard work and dedication, from her determination to study and improving her skills in her different classes. Legally Blonde demonstrates for us how we can be successful and intelligent women while also expressing our true characters. We can see this throughout the film with Elle. Although she works hard to reach her dream and changes our morals and self-depiction of herself, she not once loses who she truly is. She stills wears her pink glamorous outfits, all the while winning a murder case for her client. While watching Legally Blonde we notice a consistent theme while looking at the students of Harvard. They’re all dull, drab, plain looking characters, Vivian for example wears very neutral, mundane clothing which lacks character. With Elle however, we get general idea of her personality with her bright and glamorous clothing. This once again links to the stereotype that intelligent women can’t have a little fun.

Elle teaches us how we as women can take control of our own lives, we can be ambitious, and we can set goals in order to succeed. Elle takes a risk of entering Harvard and although she is accepted based partially on her looks, she shows the world how she deserves to be attending the prestigious school and pursues her dream. Legally Blonde also makes women raise their expectations of themselves and forces them to reconsider the way they think, and others think about them, as we see throughout the movie with Elle raising manicurist Paulette’s expectation of herself. While watching the film it becomes apparent that lifting each other up and supporting other females with their dreams is a top priority. For example, Elle’s sorority sisters although not completely understanding the idea of Elle going to Harvard’s Law School, realise how important the dream is for Elle and support her 100%. And look at the development of Vivian and Elle’s friendship. Vivian and Elle realise the foolishness of their infatuation and battle over a lousy man, Warner has become; ultimately resulting in them empowering each other as women through friendship and sisterhood. Although Vivian first deceived Elle in class attempting to make a fool of her, Elle sticks to her morals of sisterhood stating, “we, girls have to stick together”. It’s the female characters that hold the most value within the film, following the message and feminist approach of female empowerment.

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Released nineteen years ago, Legally Blonde, a movie about a not so ditzy blonde who challenges different stereotypes, shows how we can empower women and ourselves, teaches us that we can get success from working hard, and how we can still be fun and express ourselves, but also be intelligent and accomplished. Elle Woods and the many other inspiring characters in this film teach us many valuable life lessons, all the while be an entertaining movie. Although the movies bright and feminine flair may not be for everyone, Legally Blonde is a must watch for everyone with its powerful themes and inspiring words. Although falling out of popularity with the newer generations, Legally Blonde’s Elle Wood, will forever hold the place for the most inspiring and influencing women in all movie history for young women.

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The Movie “Legally Blonde”: Feminism Theme. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from
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