Defying Expectations Like Elle Woods

by Maria White

Around this time of year, everyone seems to be set on making goals. Produce is flying off the shelves, the gym is packed, and everyone looks forward to new beginnings. Some people, however, seem to be better than others at not only accomplishing these goals, but defying them and surpassing even their own expectations.

One such person (or should we say character), has become not just a pop culture staple, but a girl power icon for her ability to surprise everyone around her just by what she can accomplish. That’s right–I’m talking about everyone’s favorite blonde, Elle Woods. Since the release of Legally Blonde in 2001, Elle has become the queen of stage and screen, inspiring girls everywhere that they can do anything they set their minds to. Elle is certainly no stranger to making goals and definitely dominates the “New Year, New Me” perspective.

In the spirit of the season, I’ve made a list everything Elle does on her journey of kicking ass and taking names so that this new year you can live every day like Elle after Warner told her she couldn’t get into law school.

1. She sets goals and prioritizes.


Elle knows what she wants and she prioritizes based on her goal. She skips out on parties to study for the LSAT and continues to set high goals for her future post-Harvard. Sorry Warner, but Elle has bigger and better things in mind.


2. She is confident.


 When Elle decides to apply to Harvard to prove just how smart and sophisticated she truly is, she doesn’t let anybody stand in her way, not even her discouraging guidance counselor. She is confident in herself and her abilities even though she knows the challenges that lie ahead.


3. She knows her own value.


After being teased by her peers and disregarded by Warner, Elle holds her head high and shakes it off. She pledges to work even harder to prove her rivals wrong. Even when Elle’s boss, Professor Callahan, makes advances on her, Elle doesn’t quit or give up, but returns to the courtroom stronger than ever.


4. She supports other women.


Even though Elle is busy at Harvard, she still has time to work on her relationships with other women. She helps Paulette win her dog back (and the guy of her dreams with the always faithful bend-and-snap). She also stands up for her client, Mrs. Wyndham, even when nobody else on her team believes in her.


5. She accepts the help of other women in return.


Elle relies on her sorority sisters to help her stay focused and on track when she’s studying for the LSAT.. Even after making it to Harvard, Elle stays committed and maintains her focus with the help of Paulette and Dr. Stromwell.


6. She stays true to herself.

Elle doesn’t win Mrs. Wyndham’s case by being one of the guys or by assimilating into the court room’s standards. Instead, she stays true to herself and holds strong to her values and personality. Elle proves that you don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to kick ass at whatever you set your mind to.


7. She has faith.  

And really, what else matters? Let’s dare to defy expectations this year and let’s dare to always and have faith in ourselves.

Maria White