The geek phenomenon is here to stay

By Jen Weddle

If the lyrics from the song “The Geeks Get the Girls” by American Hi-Fi were trying to tell us something about geeks invading pop culture and the hearts of women, I think they were right.

In a perfect world, all the geeks get the girl and even losers can get lucky.

Girls dreaming about their Prince Charming is a thing of the past. Ladies, we don’t have to be swooning damsels in distress, especially with a geeky man by our side. Geeks are sensitive and they’re good communicators. There is something ultra-suave about a guy who knows the difference between Plato and Picasso.

Sure, jocks are nice to look at, but if a man can’t have an intellectual conversation, that is a sure sign of trouble. Plus, call me shallow, but I think a cute pair of glasses and a sweet personality are much more attractive than bulging forearms and a limited vocabulary.

My first experience with nerds in pop culture was “The Breakfast Club,” created by John Hughes. Hughes was also famous for “Weird Science” and “Sixteen Candles,” and both films combined geeks and stereotypes into something almost magical, teaching the audience that labels don’t define people.

“The Breakfast Club” starts off with every character fitting into a stereotype, but as the movie progresses, everyone learns to shed those superficial labels to become something more. The most surprising character is “The Brain,” or Brian. “The Brain” shows the cooler kids in detention just how many pressures there are to being an overachiever. Sure, he didn’t get the girl in the end of the movie, but he’s still one of the most memorable geek heroes of pop culture.

“Nerds are seen a lot more now then before,” said Carlos Sandoval, sophomore mechanical engineering major. “I feel like they make a lot of movies now about nerds and how their lives don’t suck or about how they are mistreated by others.”

Nerds have definitely seen a rise in popularity in mainstream media, especially with a new TBS reality show like “King of the Nerds.” This reality show focuses on 11 scholars who reside together. It’s like MTV’s “The Real World,” but with less drama and alcohol poisoning and more Elvish language and laser beam sound effects. These nerds have to compete with each other and this determines who will be deemed the best nerd.

“King of the Nerds” isn’t the only show gaining popularity among followers, though.

“I think ‘The Big Bang Theory’ has gone a long way to putting intellectuals and those with nerdy hobbies into the media,” said graduate nursing student Tom Tockey. “I don’t know if being a nerd is anymore socially acceptable then it used to be. Just what defines a nerd has changed with time.”

It’s interesting to see women are also being accepted into the nerd culture. Women can be beautiful without demeaning themselves. Characters like Jess, played by Zooey Deschanel on “New Girl,” and Codex, played by Felicia Day on “The Guild,” make dorky girls look sexy and charming. I’m seeing less mean girls and more girls-next-door on TV.

Pop culture has given the geek and nerd culture its chance in the spotlight, but is the 15 minutes of fame going to expire soon? I hope not. Regardless, I enjoy knowing there are people out there that aren’t afraid to rock a pair of knee-high TARDIS socks and a lightsaber umbrella with me.

Enjoy the geeks as they rise from their dark basements to invade your television screens, because anything is better than watching Honey Boo Boo.