Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lessons I learnt from Elle Woods

Elle Woods in her colourful glory
Photo credit
When I watched the film Legally Blonde for the first time, I thought it was a stupid film. A silly girl dressed in bright pink joins Harvard out of nowhere. Her funny gait, inane talk, feather pens and pink curtains just don’t fit in with the serious profession of law. But one boring afternoon when I was in the mood for chick flicks, I decided to give it another try. And thank God for it! I kinda liked the film and its sequel and filled many a boring afternoon with it. Doing this made me realise that we dismiss so many things in life in the first look. But on closer look, our perceptions change. And so did my perception of Elle Woods. Here are a few things I derived from it:

Looks are deceptive. Elle Woods with her shocking pink clothes, clicking her stylish heels and carrying a pink laptop in her manicured hands just doesn’t say 'law student'. The colour of her hair doesn’t make things look up for her either. She bemuses everyone as she confidently strides into law college in her unique attire. And it isn’t surprising that people don’t take her seriously. At least initially. How many times do we look at a well dressed person and think competence? How often do we look at a heavily made up woman in skimpy clothes and label her dumb? It’s human nature to jump to conclusions through initial impressions alone. And that’s why we are all so obsessed about how we look and people’s perceptions about us. But many a times we ourselves are pleasantly surprised to discover our initial impressions proves wrong. So why be in a hurry to judge!

Break the mould. Once in a while. A fashion major applying for Harvard Law sounds bizarre. And shooting your Harvard admission video in a bikini sounds downright catastrophic! But Elle Woods proves that as long as you follow your passions with conviction, things can work out. You will need to work towards. Very hard at times. But as long as it makes you happy, it doesn’t always have to be logical. Life is not a series of linear incidents. You are allowed to choose different paths, turn around or head off in the opposite direction. 

Elle in her wedding sandals
Photo credit


People will pull you down. When Elle Woods decides to go Harvard Law school, everyone thinks it’s a stupid idea - her parents, teachers, friends. Even the admission committee is shocked to find an admission video in a bikini! But the conviction she brings to her candidature is commendable. Similarly, there will be no dearth of people telling you how stupid you are being in pursuing your ideas. Fight that prejudice and stick to your path. Your success will shut your detractors up. Better still, people will soon find another target for their naysaying and move on. 

Give a little extra: You can’t be surprised when Elle Woods nonchalantly hands out a pink and perfumed resume for a law internship! It’s Elle Woods!! Be it helping Paulette get her dog back or teaching her the famous ‘bend and snap’, not giving out Brooke’s alibi or lying to get David a date - Elle woods is happy to do that little extra for people around her as long as it makes them happy. We all lead a busy life and perhaps don’t have a lot of time to spare. But if we look around, we can also give that little extra to others. A little time. A little kindness. A little generosity. And that could make a huge difference to someone’s life.

There is always something to learn from everything around us. I am glad I watched this film and it got me to rethink so many common facts of life. Do you have a film that set you thinking? Drop me a line in the comments. I would love to hear all about it. 

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