Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's hard to hate Elle Woods

Lucy Durack as Elle Woods

I got to see Legally Blonde: The Musical the other day. I've only ever seen two professional stage shows (this was the second), but I can say that it was a lot of fun, the songs were catchy, and I had a wonderful time.

I've always liked lawyer!Elle Woods, but I didn't like her pre-Harvard. Pre-Harvard Elle annoyed me. Annoying is an easy word to throw around when it comes to characters or even people, so I stopped and thought about why she irked me. I think it's because she went to Harvard to chase a guy, and she could get in despite only deciding to apply in - what? - the semester before she applied maybe? It's hard to not think of her as shallow at first. Plus she got practically anything she wanted, all except the guy. And he wasn't even the right guy. (Also I think I'm more Meredith Grey, and I don't handle peppiness well in large doses - but that is a personal preference and not something to hold against Elle's character). In short, I didn't like her because her life was easy.

But I also didn't like her because I have the same prejudice as everyone else in the movie: 'she's into fashion and pink so she must be dumb/shallow'.

Then that changed. She got to Harvard and suddenly she had to work. She's judged based on how she looks. She found that she's actually good at being a lawyer and she likes it on its own merit, not because it helps her win a man. That's when I start to like her. She's still pink and peppy by the end of the story, but she's got more going in her life than just a man, even if true love was part of it.

I realized that I would never be Elle Woods. I'll never be perpetually bouncy or care as much about hair and outfit all the time - I don't want to be, honestly. But I do want to borrow her rose-tinted glasses once in a while and believe that things are possible more often. Also, the next time I'm ready to write off another girl because of how she looks - on whichever part of the spectrum - I won't.

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