Elle Woods: [hands her resume to the professor] “Here it is.”
Professor Callahan: “It’s pink.”
Elle Woods: “Oh, and it’s scented! I think it gives it a little something extra, don’t you think?”
This movie created waves back in 2001 when the character of Elle Woods was introduced. ‘Legally Blonde’ sent a message to countless women that you can do anything you put your mind to. It also broke the typical ‘beauty versus brains’ stereotype.
Elle was raised in a wealthy family with everything that she could ever wish for and have. She was meant to be this cliché rich girl with no clue of the world and its affairs. However, the story takes a turn when Elle decides to join Harvard Law School.
As we all know, lawyers are typically serious people in a serious world, but all that was about to change. Elle Woods had entered the university with a vibrant personality, a complete diversion of what one would expect to see in a lawyer.
Of course, everyone, including her professors and peers looked down on her. A major part of her personality was not acceptable in the shoes of a lawyer. While everyone wore formal footwear, Elle wore stylish Prada shoes to the court with a designer suit which was perceived as imperfections in the world of lawyers and litigations.
Society had basically stereotyped Elle, deeming her way of thinking and communication as flaws that were unbecoming of a lawyer. But all of this changed when Elle had to fight her first case to save her client who was wrongly accused of murdering her husband.
Elle: [Elle is cross-examining the witness, Chutney Windham, the daughter of the victim] “Ms Windham, what had you done earlier that day?”
Chutney Windham: “I got up. Got a latte. Went to the gym. Got a perm and came home.”
Elle: “Where you got in the shower?”
The Honorable Marina R. Bickford: “I believe the witness has made it clear that she was in the shower.”
[Courtroom audience laughs]
Elle: “Yes, your Honor.”
Elle: [Elle suddenly realizes a pertinent point that everyone was missing] “Ms Windham, had you ever gotten a perm before?”
Chutney Windham: “Yes. Two a year since I was 12. You do the math.”
Elle: “You know, a girl in my sorority, Tracy Marcinco got a perm once. We all tried to talk her out of it. Curls weren’t a good look for her. She didn’t have your bone structure, but thankfully that same day she entered the Pheta Delta Phi wet t-shirt contest where she was completely hosed to down from head to toe…”
DA Joyce Rafferty: “Objection, why is this relevant?”
Elle: “I have a point, I promise.”
The Honorable Marina R. Bickford: “Then make it.”
Elle: “Chutney, why is it that Tracy Marcinco’s curls were ruined when she got hosed down?”
Chutney Windham: “Because they got wet.”
Elle: “Exactly. Because isn’t the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance that you’re forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate?”
Chutney Windham: “Yes.”
Elle: “And wouldn’t somebody who had, say, 30 perms before in their life be well aware of this rule, and if in fact, you weren’t washing your hair as I suspect you weren’t because your curls are still intact, wouldn’t you have heard the gunshot, and if in fact, you had heard the gunshot Brooke Windham wouldn’t have had time to hide the gun before you got downstairs. Which means you would have had to find Brooke Windham with a gun in her hand to make your story plausible, isn’t that right?”
Chutney Windham: [agitated for being cornered] “She’s my age! Did she tell you that? How would you feel if your father married someone who was your age?”
Elle: “You, however, Chutney had time to hide the gun after you shot your father.”
Chutney Windham: [Chutney is in tears] “I didn’t mean to shoot him!” [points at the accused, Brooke] “I thought it was YOU walking through the door!”
[Courtroom audience gasps]
The Honorable Marina R. Bickford: “Oh my God. The bailiff, takes the witness into custody, where she will be charged with the murder of Joseph Windham. Case dismissed. Mrs Windham, you’re free to go.”
With this shocking reveal, the real murderer was caught and Elle Woods proved that she could be a lawyer too. She had just won her first case in court.
“Never Judge a book by its cover and that includes one’s own cover too.”
Blonde women are looked upon from a stereotypical perspective, which is why the movie had a point to prove. Their cheerfulness is associated with the wrongful notion of ‘all beauty with no brains’. But the world sees as they see. The question is, how does one see oneself?
“It is in these so-called imperfections and failures that leaders find the power of resilience.”
There are imperfections and perceived failures deemed by the world as unacceptable. If your SiQ is low, you will also perceive how the world looks at you, right or wrong.
Leaders with a high SiQ choose to celebrate what is unacceptable about them. Because with a high spiritual Quotient, a leader can transition beyond simply “accepting”. They can embrace and cheer on these imperfect beauty spots of life.
Imperfections make life interesting; they add spice to an otherwise bland world. They’re not there to bog you down with their inevitable unpleasant situations or unwelcomed experiences. Many people accept their failures as something that has to be tolerated, but this is what causes a person to simply “accept them”. They resign to not growing beyond the boundaries of their so-called imperfections.
Therefore, when you celebrate them, life becomes livable and more. You can thrive and shine and this is where your Spiritual Quotient can help you as a leader. When you thrive on your imperfections, you become a legend.
Elizabeth Carlson from Teaching with Fire puts it in a better way. She had something beautiful to say about Imperfections.
I am falling in love
with my imperfections
The way I never get the sink really clean,
forget to check my oil,
lose my car in parking lots,
miss appointments I have written down,
am just a little late.
I am learning to love
the small bumps on my face
the big bump of my nose,
my hairless scalp,
chipped nail polish,
toes that overlap.
Learning to love
the open-ended mystery
of not knowing why
I am learning to fail to make lists,
use my time wisely,
read the books I should.
Instead, I practice inconsistency,
Probably I should
hang my clothes neatly in the closet
all the shirts together, then the pants,
send Christmas cards, or better yet
a letter telling of my perfect family.
But I’d rather waste time
listening to the rain,
or lying underneath my cat
learning to purr.
I used to fill every moment
with something I could
cross off later.
Perfect was the laundry done and folded
all my papers graded
the whole truth and nothing but
Now the empty mind is what I seek
the formless shape
the strange off center