Legally Blonde and Female Empowerment
All this week we will be playing host to smash-hit, Broadway and West End musical Legally Blonde The Musical. But don't underestimate it, it isn't just an all singing, all dancing Rom-Com.
Legally Blonde The Musical masquerades as a bubble-gum pink, musical staging with nothing more than a two dimensional, feel-good vibe to it. Though of course it exuberates fun, Heather Hach, Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin's show is bursting with not only modern appeal due to its youthful heroine and catchy songs, it's also packed with through-lines of female empowerment and positivity.
Based on the 2001 movie of the same name, starring Reese Witherspoon, the plot follows Elle Woods, a pink-loving, sorority girl who finds her identity and stays true to herself whilst chasing the man she believes to be the love of her life all the way to Harvard Law School, all after he refuses to propose. Having been brought up in Malibu born to wealthy parents; her judged as feminine qualities, Blonde hair colour and love of fashion means she comes up against some harsh judgement from both her peers and teachers. But despite the setbacks, Elle, with some help, goes on to prove that it is possible to persist and succeed despite the stacking of odds against you and consistent stereotyping. Though she is a woman in a man's world, (Harvard Law), she attests her equal if not superior competence. Displaying once and for all that identity is not defined by appearance or gender, an obstacle Elle constantly faces but soon overcomes as she takes her power back, symbiotically seizing her own destiny. Now if that isn't the ultimate message of Girl Power, we don't know what is! Many fans even claim the story inspired them to go to Law School!
Furthermore, not only does Legally Blonde The Musical promote higher education for women, it encourages tolerance and healthier relationships between girls. This feel-good production proves that you do not need a man to get ahead, after all, Witherspoon has always said the story has never been about the girl getting the guy. Not only does Elle assert her ascendency, the show even features fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham, who has single-handedly built her own health empire. Demonstrating any female can construct their own business as successfully as any man can. However Legally Blonde The Musical delves even further into the female experience, examining the exploitation, and even objectification of women. Reflecting the statistic claimed by a BBC Survey (Oct 2017), stating that half of British women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, bolstering the idea that this is a common and under-acknowledged occurrence, much in line with the current #MeToo movement. Legally Blonde The Musical thus, plays on it being a women's choice to allow a man to look and interact with her in a specific way and that just because of their looks, it doesn't mean women are begging for a certain kind of attention.
Legally Blonde The Musical is set to be a bright and bold, all-for-fun musical, but it is also so much more than that, given the current socio-political climate meaning many women can identify with Elle in terms of being underestimated or maltreated. So remember 'we girls have to stick together' and Bend and Snap up a ticket today! It's going to be one-Elle of a show!
Legally Blonde The Musical runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 23 June 2018.