Reese Witherspoon had to 'prove' she was sexy enough to play Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde has a subversively empowering message for women. On the surface, it looks like a movie about a vapid blonde, but it secretly tells women that they can do anything, even if they like pink. However, one of the stories behind the movie isn't as empowering. In fact, it's downright sexist and holds up the cliché that even an actress playing as nun has to come off as bangable in some way.


Reese Witherspoon opened up to the Hollywood Reporter about her audition process for Legally Blonde. She had just come off of Election where she played overachiever Tracy Flick, and Witherspoon said casting directors thought she "was a shrew." She risked being typecast as horror of all horrors – an unsexy Type-A overachiever. "My manager finally called and said: 'You've got to go meet with the studio head because he will not approve you. He thinks you really are your character from Election and that you're repellent,'" Witherspoon told the Hollywood Reporter. "And then I was told to dress 'sexy.' "

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Witherspoon went with it, not questioning it at the time. "And you're 23, you have a baby at home, you need the money and you're being told that by people who know what they're doing," she said.

Witherspoon also revealed that the audition itself was also kind of weird. "I remember a room full of men who were asking me questions about being a coed and being in a sorority, even though I had dropped out of college four years earlier and I have never been inside a sorority house," she said. Witherspoon had dropped out of Stanford.

Thankfully, times have changed and Witherspoon says her reaction would be different nowadays. "It's funny to think of all the things we were told to do back then," she continued. "Now you're thinking, 'Oh God, if somebody told my daughter to do that, she'd be like, I really hope you're joking.'"

Witherspoon's experiences were part of a broader theme in her Hollywood Reporter interview. Even though Witherspoon has the skills, knowledge, and moxie to back up her ambition, she found herself continuously underestimated, indicative of the challenges many women face.

"I was in this position where I was making studios a lot of money, and I had for years and years, and they didn't take me seriously as a filmmaker. Somehow, they didn't think that 25 years of experience could add up to some inherent knowledge of what movies work and how to keep them on budget," Witherspoon said of her forays into producing "And you think about the kind of guys who come out of Sundance and get gigantic jobs off of one, like, 'Oh, I see the potential.' "

RELATED: A neuroscientist had a paper mansplained to her. Plot twist, she wrote it.

Women are continuously being made to prove themselves, which can make achievement feel like an uphill battle. However, there's an advantage. When you have to work twice as hard to prove yourself, you end up getting twice as good.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

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Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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