15 Movies Every Blonde Needs To Watch, Because There's Power In Your Golden Mane
"You're breaking up with me because I'm too... blonde?" Elle Woods asks, baffled that her longtime boyfriend is dumping her over dinner. The scene is iconic, not just for the laughs that soon ensue, but because Elle Woods, Legally Blonde 's yellow-haired heroine, confronts her dumb blonde stereotype head-on. Because of the way she looks — her love of pink sundresses, her perfectly manicured french fingertips, her chest-heavy physique, and most importantly, her bleached blonde tresses — she is deemed too air-headed to be the boyfriend of a Harvard law student. "Well, no. That's not entirely true..." he says, adding: "If I'm gonna be a senator by the time I'm 30, I need to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn."
I've spent 24 years (read: a lifetime) as a blonde. For the most part, it's been a delight: I get compliments on my waist long mane, and I like to fancy myself some sort of earthbound mermaid. But outside of my daydreams and delusions, it's not always as easy as mastering the bend and snap. "Blondie" is a constant — albeit unoriginal — nickname, and I've heard every dumb blonde joke in the book, more than once. And like Elle Woods before she slaughters the classrooms of Harvard Law with her vicious rhetoric, I've been stereotyped for my looks more than should be legal in 2015. But like cinema's most notorious and memorable bombshells, us blondes don't crumble under the weight of an insult or two. So whether you're a natural blonde or a box-achieved toe head, we all need some blonde inspirational every once in a while. Here are 17 movies featuring kick-ass blondes every light-haired lady needs to see.
All About Eve (1950)
In All About Eve, Lloyd Richards says to his wife: “That bitter cynicism of yours is something you’ve acquired since you left Radcliffe.” She responds: “That cynicism you refer to I acquired the day I discovered I was different from little boys.” This film, made 65 years ago, should be heralded as one of the original pieces of feminist filmmaking. Though the film is black and white, we know (thanks to the colored movie cover) that Eve is a blonde, and a fierce one at that. Sure, she's painted as the villain, but we can all relate to her position on the patriarchy. Just imagine being a struggling actor in 1950s America — yowza.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Marilyn Monroe is indisputably the most recognizable blonde icon in cinematic history. She oozed sex appeal, and knew the power in her meticulously kempt dye-job. But one of her most famous films, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, appears sexist on the surface. Our two female leads fall neatly into the categories of smart brunette and dumb blonde, and it barely passes the Bechdel test. But, upon further inspection, the film celebrates female friendship and sexual liberation. Not to mention that "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" isn't necessarily sung in earnest. Monroe steals the film, and her sexual and intellectual prowess are palpable.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
One of the funniest films of the 1950s, thanks in large part to Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe also stars in Some Like It Hot, a screwball comedy that surrounds sex and cross-dressing. Monroe, once again, plays up her stereotype — as seen in the quote above. But this film was wise beyond its years in its exploration of gender norms and sexuality, and even had a sex scene that got the film banned in certain cities. And when Monroe croons “I Wanna Be Loved By You," try not to swoon, I dare you.
The Trouble with Angels (1966)
The Trouble With Angles was directed by a woman and depicts a coming-of-age story every young girl can relate to. Ida Lupino's masterpiece starring toe-headed Hayley Mills is set at an all-girls Catholic school, and explores the aspirations and struggles of teenage girls in a world where men don't exist. Experimentation in sex and drugs are present, as well as building female friendships and larger than life dreams. This film is a must-watch for every woman, blonde or not.
Any Hitchcock Film (1940-1976)
As an American film director, Alfred Hitchcock films were known for nail-biting suspense... and beautiful blondes. The "Hitchcock blonde" was an actress who embodied femininity, fragility, and strength, someone all wrapped in one. Notable Hitchcock blondes include The Birds' Tippi Hedren, Dial M for Murder's Grace Kelly, Vertigo's Kim Novak, and half a dozen others.
Nine To Five (1980)
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and country croonin' blonde bombshell Dolly Parton star in Nine to Five, the 1980 film where three oppressed office workers (think Don Draper's slew of secretaries) kidnap their chauvinist bosses and change the game completely. They rewrite all the sexist office rules, throw a party, get drunk and smoke pot, and of course — form lasting sisterly bonds. They also end up raising office efficiency to an all time high. Sounds just about perfect to me.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
Do I even need to mention anything about this kick-ass feminist film? Starring redheaded Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis and her luscious blonde tendrils, and another sexy blonde — Brad Pitt without a shirt — Thelma & Louise is the road trip movie you never saw coming. After killing a man who threatened to rape one of the women, the two ladies hit the road and never look back, only to overcome obstacle after obstacle, and find strength in one another.
Batman Returns (1992)
Before Christopher Nolan Batman flicks, there was Batman Returns, the most enjoyable and well-made superhero flick of the '90s. Danny DeVito as Penguin slayed it, but no one can forget Michelle Pfeiffer in that latexy-leather cat-suit. She was not only sexy, fierce, and well-dressed as hell, but she represents a woman fighting the system, a system run by men. Catwoman dies three times in the film, each time by one of the men who she tries to take down in Gotham. While The Joker might be out to cause general madness and chaos, Catwoman wants to disrupt the male-driven system that never gave her a fighting chance. Deep stuff for a Tim Burton movie, amiright?
Clueless is a feminist film disguised in '90s slang and yellow tartan miniskirts. Think about it, when it comes to sex, Clueless' females all have different views on losing their virginity, and each girl respects one another's choices. Cher is inclusive, welcoming Tai into the group without blinking an eye, and she has no problem telling the drooling slobs at her Beverly Hills high school to take a hike. We should all be as empowered and inclusive as Cher — even if we don't have the Bel Air mansion to go with it.
There's Something About Mary (1998)
Everyone wants Mary, and played by cool gal Cameron Diaz, it's not hard to see why. There's Something About Mary follows one woman and the series of men that follow two steps behind her with mouths agape. It's kind of gross, if you think about it — all these men pining over a single woman who clearly isn't interested in them — but nevertheless, beautiful blonde Mary has to deal. And she does so with compassion and honesty. Like the confident and intelligent woman she is, Mary ends up choosing her own happiness, and not any of the dumb dudes chasing her.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
One of the more obvious selections in the feminist blonde film pool, real life Erin Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts in an Oscar-winning portrayal, tackles all sorts of adversity and mocking. As an unemployed single mother constantly subjected to the male gaze, she almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.
Legally Blonde (2001)
Legally Blonde's bleached blonde protagonist was told she wasn't smart or driven enough to succeed in ways she wanted to. But Elle Woods, president of her sorority and 4.0 college student said "F*ck that!" and proved everyone, including ultimately herself, wrong. She got into Harvard Law School to get the guy, but ended up ditching the guy and becoming a fierce lawyer on her own terms. Hell to the yeah.
As much as I want to never hear the song "Let It Go" again in my lifetime, the movie that stemmed a generation of cartoon backpacks and Halloween costumes has some serious merit. Starring two blonde sisters, the animated story Frozen follows the girls as they discover, with help from a decidedly progressive Disney storyline, that sisterhood is more important than boys. And that's a powerful message for young girls everywhere.
Based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir of the same name, the emotional story follows a 26-year-old addict who is grieving the loss of her mother and a recent divorce. She decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail through California and into Oregon by herself, an arduous journey that forces her to confront her dark memories, choices, and ultimately her own self-worth. Reese Witherspoon tackles the real life character with humility and grace. A must-see for the adventurous blonde in you.
It Follows (2015)
Jay is a young woman who wants what many of us want: to go on dates, to experiment with sex, and to maybe fall in love. But when she contracts a strange circumstance after having sex with a boy she likes, she battles the baggage that begins following her around and threatening her life at every turn. The film is hugely clever in the way it deals with female sexuality, and the male gaze that turns violent. Jay is a blonde who is relatable, real, and worth rooting for.
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