With everything that’s been happening today, I was compelled to write this post. There’s been so much joy surrounding the marriage equality ruling today (WOOHOO!) and that has been both heart-warming and awe-inspiring. But even more inspiring to me is that people are finally speaking up and using their voices. One of my favorite movie monologues ever is from Miss Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: Red, White, and Blonde because it’s so unexpected. But I won’t ruin it for you. Without further ado:
“Hello everyone. My name is Elle Woods and I’m here to speak to you today about a piece of legislation called Bruiser’s Bill. But you know, today is supposed to be about education, so instead, I want to tell you about the education you all have given me over the past three months. See, one day I came to Washington to help my dog Bruiser and somewhere along the way I learned a really unexpected lesson. I know what you’re thinking. Who is this girl and what could this simple, small-town girl from Bell Air have to say to all of us? Well I’ll tell you. It’s about something that’s bigger than me, or any single act of legislation. This is about a matter that should be at the highest importance to every American. My hair. You see, there’s this salon in Beverley Hills. It’s really fancy and beautiful. But it’s impossible to get an appointment. I mean unless you’re Julia Roberts or one of the girls from Friends, you can just forget it. But one day, they called me. They had an opening. So I was gonna finally get the chance to sit in one of those sacred beauty chairs. I was so excited. Then, the colorist gave me Brassy Brigitte instead of Harlow Honey. The shampoo girl washed my hair with spiral perm solution instead for color-intensive moisturizing conditioner-shampoo. Finally, the stylist gave me a bob. With bangs. Suffice to say, it was just wrong, all wrong. For me, ya know? First I was angry. And then I realized my anger was completely mis-directed. I mean, this wasn’t the salon’s fault. I had sat there and witnessed this injustice, and I had just let it happen. I didn’t get involved in the process. I forgot to use my voice. I forgot, to believe in myself. But now I know better. I know that one honest voice can be louder than a crowd. I know that, if we lose our voice, or if we let those who speak on our behalf compromise our voice, well then this country, this country is in for a really bad haircut. So speak up America. Speak up! Speak up for the home of the brave! Speak up for the land of the free gift with purchase! Speak up America! Speak up! And remember, you are beautiful. Thank you.”
Wow. Just wow. This speech she gives blows me away. First, it’s serious, then she gets real, acknowledging that Congress is probably wondering what this small-town girl has to say, then gets seemingly off-track talking about her hair of all things. It’s clear that Congress is probably starting to tune this Barbie out. But this Barbie has something to say. She pulls it back and blows the crowd away, making such an insightful point about using your voice. Though it was not exactly a typical introduction to the vote, it was certainly memorable and powerful, and led Bruiser’s Bill to victory.
Her speech really spoke to me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let things slip by for fear of being rude or upsetting the status quo. What am I so afraid of? To tell you the truth, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. So obviously, something needs to change! Like Elle says, we are witnesses to this injustice and if we don’t speak up, we have no one to be mad at but ourselves. So I’m taking a page out of Elle Woods’ book and speaking up and using my voice. Speaking up for what I want and what I believe in. And it feels amazing! I’m inspired by Elle Woods and I’m inspired by those who had the courage to use their voices to fight for marriage equality. So speak up!