Chick flick movies are a cure for a lot of things: a bad break-up, a rough week at work, sick days, rainy days, sleepovers. For a long time in my life, chick flicks played the role of the guilty pleasure. I had some imaginary façade to maintain, I couldn’t let people know that I, an intellectual young woman, indulged in empty, fluffy, girly movies, often with romance as a primary plot line! No!

Thankfully, I have outgrown that. And as a now authentic semi-intelligent youngish woman, I openly love chick flicks. I make my boyfriend watch my favorites, my mom and I always love when they show up on cable (much to my dad’s dismay), and I no longer save them for a rainy day. I realize now that many of these movies aren’t so fluffy after all. Here are 5 lessons we can take away from chick flicks.

The Devil Wears Prada

Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) has finally landed a job with her journalism degree: working in a prestigious fashion magazine office as the assistant to the editor-in-chief. This should, by all means, be the ideal job for a freshly graduated college student.

But as Andy struggles tremendously to fit in she discovers her boss, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), is a total monster. Andy does everything to meet even her boss’s most outrageous demands, even at the cost of her love and social life. In order to be enough for Miranda, Andy realizes she has to become as ruthless as her. So she makes the decision to walk away from the job.

Some things to take away from this movie: sometimes crappy people are just crappy, you either become crappy like them or walk away and it’s okay. Same goes for a crappy job. If a job is taking away from other important parts of your life, it probably isn’t the “perfect” job after all. Your job is not your life, and how you are treated at work does not have to define your character.

Mean Girls

Teenage girls can be scary. Lindsey Lohan’s character Cady Heron has to learn this the hard way. Unfortunately, Cady’s analogies of high school as wild as the African Savannah aren’t far from the truth. It’s a girl-eat-girl world in those hallways, and Cady somehow finds herself at the top of the food chain. But she had to hurt a lot of people to get there. You can’t control what others say behind your back, but you can control what you say. This is a lesson Cady eventually learns.

The movie is funny and completely quotable. But one of the most famous quotes is also the most important lesson in the movie. In the words of Tina Fey’s character, Ms. Norbury, “You have all got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

We have to learn to help our fellow girls as we face adversity together, we can’t afford to be tearing each other down. Thanks to Mean Girls for dropping that truth bomb and making us laugh on the way.

Miss Congeniality

An article about chick flicks would not be complete without a Sandra Bullock film. This movie shows us that sometimes change is okay and leads to growth. Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is shoved out of her comfort zone when she must go from being a tomboyish FBI agent to a polished pageant contestant for an undercover mission.

On this mission, she also learns that feminine and kick-ass do not have to be mutually exclusive. The only thing more impressive than taking out a bad guy? Taking out a bad guy in stilettos.

Legally Blonde

This movie is by far my favorite on this list. If Miss Congeniality shows us that you can be feminine and tough, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) teaches us that femininity and intelligence can go hand-in-hand. Elle sets her sights on law school to try and win over her ex-boyfriend, Warner. But she learns that she will never be good enough for him because he will always view her as a cute blonde girl, never as an equal.

Well jokes on him, because Elle overcomes the expectations of a “dumb blonde” placed upon her, and ends up very successful in law school. Total inspiration that you can do anything you set your mind to. Just make sure steer clear of any boys who are “complete boneheads” (And stick with the boys who treat you right).