How ‘Legally Blonde’ Made Me The Woman That I Am Today

It’s sort of the understatement of the century to say that the movies that I watched as a child made me into the person that I am today. I spent a lot of my time as a kid watching movies, during summer vacations, when home sick from school, and even on the weekends to help kill some time. (Remember, time used to be a thing that we had to kill when we were younger.) But there was one movie in particular that had more of a significant impact on me than any others that came before and after it, and that was Legally Blonde. It may have been the time in my life that the movie premiered, but there were a lot of reasons why Legally Blonde made me the woman that I am today.

The movie came out the summer before my senior year of high school, and, like most 17-year-old girls, I was far more concerned with which boys liked me and which of my friends thought I was cool than just about anything else. But, as typical as this behavior is for girls of that age, it’s also a really pivotal point in life. Focusing so much on other people when you’re staring down the barrel of your own future can be pretty detrimental.

Enter Legally Blonde, a film about a woman defying a society that sees her as nothing but an air-headed sex object.

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The minute I saw that movie in full, I felt like my life was changed for the better. I sat in that theater and watched as Elle Woods faced down some pretty big decisions in her life. It was a transition period: After being dumped by her boyfriend, Warner, Elle made a vow to follow him across the country to win him back. But soon she would discover what she was really made of, and that it had nothing to do with the guy she was dating or the sorority she was apart of.

As a young woman, it showed me how important it was to make decisions for myself about my future. I mean, sure, Elle discovers what she is meant to do because she followed a guy across the country, but she eventually realized what she wanted, and followed only what she believed was best for her. She took back control of her life, realizing quickly who she was and discovering all that she had the potential to be with or without a man in her life.

I don't know that I would be the same without a movie like Legally Blonde, one that taught me that, no matter what happens in my life, what I think of myself and my dreams matters far more than what anyone else thinks of them.

As a result of Legally Blonde, I started to see my life for the first time as solely mine. I knew then that where my friends went to school didn't matter as much as where I wanted to go. My plan of applying to a big school in a big city switched entirely after seeing this movie. I realized that what I wanted something smaller, something a little more personal. Instead of Chicago or New York, I ended up going to college in a small town in Vermont (one that was more focused on my real passion: writing), and I could not have been happier.

I can't imagine where I would be in my life if I hadn't seen this movie and had this realization. I think that, before this moment, I had been living for other people, more concerned with what other people thought of me and what I should do with my life than what I wanted for myself. I needed to take control of my future and decide where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do, solely on my own. As a young woman coming into her own as a feminist, Legally Blonde was definitely one of the first movies that helped me to make those steps in the right direction.

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There are many movies that have made an impact on me throughout my life, but Legally Blonde definitely taught me the most about taking charge of my life and pursuing my dreams, regardless of what other people were doing.

Image: Type A Films (2); Giphy (2)