The first time I ever watched Legally Blonde, I was expecting to see the usual tropes. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did Legally Blonde go against the “dumb blonde” stereotype it also shed light on a very important point that people can’t be put into boxes. Take Elle, for example, she loves fashion, has a bubbly demeanor, and is as girly as it gets, yet she isn’t limited by these traits. Her femininity and love for all things girly are never portrayed in a negative light, or something that she has to shy away from to succeed. She is extremely smart, but because of people’s first impression of her, she is often overlooked for her intelligence, simply for embodying the traits society expects from women.
The media likes to mock girls simply for being feminine, implying that the cooler alternative is to stray away from typically girlish things. I think the article “The Enduring Legacy of ‘Legally Blonde’” articulated this quite well: “Like Elle, women were expected to be feminine, but not too feminine. (…) We repeatedly see the ways Elle is punished for embodying the exact characteristics women are expected to embody.”
With all that said, Legally Blonde shows the audience that you shouldn’t want to be any less feminine to be respected and to be taken seriously, and that you can be both feminine and intelligent- one does not take away from the other.