Geeky girl and proud!
Recently, being a geek has become a fad. Since comic book movies have had increasing success over the past few decades (especially now, with the advanced CGI technologies that studios use), the world of geek has started to go mainstream. The Big Bang Theory has done a lot to bring some “chic” into “geek”. Being a geek is now officially cool.
Because of this, we have a lot of “fake” geeks out there. Those that wear The Flash on their shirt to imitate Sheldon Cooper, but they have no concept of what it truly means to be a geek. Their homes look like any other non-geek home. They can’t answer a single question that any geek can answer. They don't understand the funadamental differences between Star Wars and Star Trek. Not only that, they couldn’t tell you the real name of The Flash or what his personality is like. They may even think that The Flash is the same person as Flash Gordon, a crime that should be punishable by public flogging at San Diego Comic Con.
While we have “fake” geeks of both genders, and while it’s flattering that for at least a few moments people actually want to be like us, it’s still extremely hard to be a girl who is also geek. One may think that it is getting easier for us, but it is only getting harder. Let me explain in two easy steps.
#1: Girly girls still rule the world
That’s right. Girly girls still rule the world. With each passing year, this becomes more and more true. The introduction of the modern wave of reality television has taught society that the more fake the body is and the more the fake parts are covered with high-dollar wear, the better off you are. Even to go to the grocery store in sweats is an ordeal for these types of girls. The “sweats” are really expensive designer outdoor wear to make it appear one is dressed down. And have you ever noticed that those dressed-down girls have a ton of makeup on and they’ve done their hair perfectly to look messy?
Commercials and television shows make us believe that the guy can look however he wants, and there will still be a beautiful, skinny girl with long hair standing next to him. Even the geeky guys get those girls. The Big Bang Theory shows the flighty blonde Penny hooking up with über-geek Leonard. Which leads us to point number two…
Amy Farrah Fowler with Penny
#2: Inaccurate portrayal of geeky girls
In The Big Bang Theory, Penny is the main female character, in all her long blonde, cleavage-revealing glory. There are a couple geeky girls in the show, namely Amy Farrah Fowler, the love interest for Sheldon. The way that Amy is portrayed is insulting to all truly geeky girls. Amy tritely wears oversized horned-rimmed glasses, mismatched clothing and speaks robotically. In fact her whole personality is robotic, as if she has never been exposed to the outside world. It’s like she takes geeky steroids every morning with her Cheerios. Worse yet, she is strangely infatuated with Penny’s character, constantly making references to how beautiful and wonderful Penny is...in other words, the type of girl us lowly geeky girls can only aspire to be someday.
To show the non-geeky girl as beautiful and the geeky girl as over-the-top geek is terrible way to portray a truly geeky girl. Yes we may be a bit socially awkward at times, and we don’t have a wardrobe choice that one would find on the runway, but most of us are nothing like Amy Farrah Fowler. What makes this stereotype even worse is when a girly girl tries to pretend to be a geeky girl. They buy a form-fitting Batman shirt because they think Christian Bale is oh-so-cute and wear it in public as a fashion accessory.
What it means to be a geeky girl
First and foremost, being a geek is not a fad. It is not a fashion statement. It is not the route to being cool. And we're certainly not a punchline on a primetime television show. Being a geek is summed up in that first word: being. You’re either a geek or you’re not. You can fight your geeky nature, but it will creep back up through the cracks. You can try and pretend you’re a geek, but you will be exposed as a fraud.
Do you consider yourself a geek?
One also must remember that there are different types of geeks. One may be a neurobiologist and the next may be a hard-core gamer. There’s no rule book for geeks stating that you must play D&D every day, dress in cosplay at every con, have encyclopedic knowledge of every comic ever created, be a hard-core gamer and work for NASA all at the same time. Geeks, like everyone else, tend to have a specialty. Some may even have a little knowledge of everything while not truly specializing in anything. The recent reality show King of the Nerds highlighted this part of our culture of which most people were previously unaware.
Just as we all have our own specialties (or broad knowledge), we don’t all dress the same. There may be geeks that don’t know how to color coordinate and there may be geeks who are very fashionable. Geeks may also not exhibit behavior that is considered to be “geeky” at all times. I may have a normal conversation with you about a totally non-geeky topic and you will have no idea that I stayed up until three in the morning playing video games the night before. I don’t have to talk video game or comic book all day long to still be a geek.
Geeky girl and proud!
The stereotypes that are perpetrated on geeky girls are difficult ones to overcome. We are told that we need to either look like a supermodel at all times or we’re lumped into the category of Amy Farrah Fowler. In the end, geeky girls should realize that we’re above stereotypes and societal pushing and shoving by the “popular” girls.
There is a movie out there where a character says, “Mutant and proud.” For us, though we need to change it a bit. “Geeky girl and proud.” And if you know which character says that line and what movie they say it in…and then tell me which character said it second, all about every character in the movie and debate if they were accurately portrayed, you may just be a geeky girl after all, worthy of entrance into our secret club.