I’ve had kind of a lot going on mentally and emotionally this week (70/30 fretting about the big trip that Hubs and I leave on next weekend/normal everyday fretting about work/family/friendships/pms – tl;dr it’s been the kind of high anxiety kind of week my toolkit is not well equipped for), but one of the bright spots was picking up a copy of Reese Witherspoon’s new book, Whiskey in a Teacup (thank you, Indigo sale).
It’s a really beautiful book, filled with stories, recipes, and all kinds of tips (though I’ve yet to meet a hot roller that can put long-lasting bounce in my hair, I’m intrigued by Reese’s ‘wear them in the car and take them out when you get to where you’re going’ strategy). I was going to wait to treat myself, because of the vacation, but I’m glad I didn’t.
The cover is a shot of Reese in a pink lace dress that wouldn’t look out of place on the star of this week’s #FandomFriday: Elle Woods.
I won’t bore you to tears with stories of me growing up or what I was like in high school, but I will say that, thanks to a bunch of anger and the general feeling that people disliked my own personal brand of pep, I did squish down a whole lot of what made me me in an attempt to fit in (such is teenage-hood, right?).
Legally Blonde and Elle Woods changed all that for me, though it took a long time for the message to sink in and I’ve definitely had to refresh and reinforce it a bunch.
Elle Woods was the first character I saw on screen that made me believe that I didn’t have to change or suppress what I slowly recognized as my authentic self in order to achieve whatever I wanted to. She helped me to realize that I can wear bright colours, gift baked goods, use a whole lot of glitter, and love all the things that I love, and that those things didn’t make me less intelligent or capable, just because they didn’t fit the image of what a ‘smart girl’ should be.
That message is something I carry with me every day to work (where I use pink and gold office supplies I bought myself, because they brighten up my desk, and colour code all my notes and task lists, both because it helps me to prioritize and because I like how it looks) and is something I hold on to whenever people assume that I’m flighty or unintelligent simply because I prefer to be upbeat (when I can be), I have a certain cadence to my voice, and I enjoy baking/knitting/making crafts/Disney/etc.
(Full disclosure: I do get down sometimes when I get the impression that the parts of my personality I choose to share most seem to grate on people. There’s a particular instance that has really stuck with me, where someone told me that I didn’t need to ‘try so hard’ or ‘be fake’ because I brought homemade cupcakes to a social event, that replays on my mental track when self-doubt creeeeeeps on in. Those days are tough, but thankfully happen less often than they did after I first moved to Alberta.)
Whenever I need a refresher, I throw on Legally Blonde or sing along (very loudly) to ‘Ohmigod You Guys’ from the Legally Blonde musical and remind myself that I like me and that the best thing I can be is myself.
If you feel comfortable doing so, and there is one, I’d love to hear about any fictional characters that had the same impact on you as Elle had on me, or about our shared love of Legally Blonde, in the comments.
❤ Stay passionate (and remember, the rules of hair care are simple and finite)!