Singing Along with Legally Blonde

My weekends continue to take me away from my hometown as I catch up with friends I missed while living in Washington. This particular weekend afforded an overnight trip to the South Bay where I accompanied a friend to an Art and Wine Festival and to a local production of Legally Blonde: The Musical.  I admit it, for all of my non-fiction reading, this girl loves a good sing-a-long, even to songs with refrains like, “ohmigod, ohmigod, you guys.”

Elle Woods is supposed to take the dumb blonde stereotype and turn it on its head in a way that pokes fun at traditional feminine values and habits. As I watched the high school-aged star, I remembered how I played with the “dumb blonde” idea during my teenage years. Whenever I made mistakes, I chalked them up to blonde moments. I took offense when non-blonde people made blonde jokes or called their mistakes blonde moments. I made it my personal mission to prove that blondes could be smart, practical, and successful.

The past few years have given me a different perspective on my being born a natural blonde. I realize more now how much of a natural advantage I have in our society because I have white skin, blonde hair, and green eyes. It is easy for me to be accepted as credible, especially when I own my mistakes instead of trying to laugh them away. This perspective helps me be conscious of how I may appear to people I’m working with, and it also sheds Legally Blonde in a different light.

Even though “Legally Blonde” is about the prejudice held against a girl who truly needs to learn some ways of the world, there are too many other people who are judged by their appearance and pushed aside because of some inherent characteristic that they possess. I’m currently learning more about what it means to work with people living in poverty, and a big part of that is learning how to check my judgments at the door.

People are people, with strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and struggles. We share the same creator, even if we do not share the same advantages or appearance. I’m learning how to empower others to take steps forward in their lives and learning how to maintain balance between work and play in my life. I can allow people to be themselves and encourage them to develop in positive ways. I don’t have to carry the burden of defending all blondes, and I don’t have to take offense when someone spouts off a blonde joke.

What I do need to do, however, is prepare for tomorrow. I’ve got a 40 hour work week ahead of me for the first time in two months, and I suspect that I need to get things in order tonight before I dive back into the world of the 8 to 5.