Early last year I wrote a post justifying the hours I’ve dedicated to watching and re-watching Devil Wears Prada by providing some handy career lessons I’ve learned from that movie. I guiltily admit that I have moved on from Devil Wears Prada and onto Legally Blonde (LB). I have been a fan of LB since it came out in 2001 but several months ago I watched it again and I almost fist pumped the air because it was so inspiring. Sure, it’s no Oscar-winner but I can’t believe it received a 6.1/10 score on IMDB (*shakes head sadly*). On the surface, the movie just stereotypes women to the extremes (ditzy blonde and snobby smart brunettes) but you really need to dismiss that to find the little moral gems.
1. Don’t judge a book by its cover. No need to discriminate against (hair) colour here! Firstly, there hasn’t been an empirical study that found direct associations between hair colour and intelligence. So scrap that false generalization out of your mind! Secondly, I don’t know why pink has been associated with stupidity. I mean wasn’t Barbie a doctor or vet at one point? Vivian Kensington is also not as bad as she seems. The brunette “villain” just needs a really good friends like Elle Woods.
2. If at first you don’t succeed try and try again. Where most people would accept being an outsider, Elle Woods had the resilience and determination to fit into her new Harvard surroundings. She even made repeated attempts to befriend Vivian. I think this reflects really well in many life circumstances where we feel like an outsider but we also wait for an invitation from someone to belong. Why wait for someone to help you with your sense of belonging?
3. Never lose your individuality. Just because you don’t seem to quite belong it doesn’t mean you need to become a sheep. I’ve seen this with so many groups of teenagers. People within groups all end up looking exactly the same- same hair, clothes and interests. Elle did gradually wear more subdued colours and straighten out her curls but bright colours and a mixture of textures were still noticeable in her clothing. More to the point, her CV was printed on pink scented paper.
4. Be ambitious, be be ambitious! I admit, Elle’s intentions of getting into Harvard was questionable but she developed an ambition and passion for the Law. She found succeeding much more satisfying than chasing a guy who was not even worth it. Elle’s determination to succeed only wavered momentarily but she bounced back more determined than ever. Undoubtedly, we will face set backs in our career and in life, but ambition fans the fire under our bottoms to keep us going!
5. Always act with integrity. No one needs to sleep their way to the top or break promises to succeed. Have some integrity and self-confidence in your own abilities.
What is your favourite chick-flick and what lessons have you learnt?