Whenever I watch one of those Pygmalion type of movies, where the intelligent, fiery and adorably optimistic wallflower is turned into a sexy bombshell (see: just about every Hollywood movie) because logic dictates that you can’t be both sexy and smart if you’re a women, I inevitably shudder in revulsion.
(Non-random aside: Rachel Leigh Cook was fine damn it as the dorky art student! Why did Freddie Prinze Jr. have to get all up in her business and turn her into generic white girl?)
Thankfully, ladies, Newsweek is here to tell that it is indeed okay to be smart and sexy.? We’ve known it all along, but now that Newsweek says it’s okay to be a geek, we don’t have to keep this secret in the closet any longer.
The Nerd Girls may not look like your stereotypical pocket-protector-loving misfits?their adviser, Karen Panetta, has a thing for pink heels?but they’re part of a growing breed of young women who are claiming the nerd label for themselves. In doing so, they’re challenging the notion of what a geek should look like, either by intentionally sexing up their tech personas, or by simply finding no disconnect between their geeky pursuits and more traditionally girly interests such as fashion, makeup and high heels. In fact, calling them “nerd” is no insult at all?the Nerd Girls have T shirts emblazoned with the slogan. The crew includes Cristina Sanchez, a master’s student in biomedical engineering (and a former cheerleader) who can talk for hours about aerodynamics. Caitrin Eaton, a freshman, asked her boyfriend for a soldering iron last Christmas. Juniors Courtney Mario and Perry Ross giggle when they talk about what fascinated them most about “No Country for Old Men”: how did the assassin’s air gun work?
See, smart and sexy.? Glasses are not necessarily included, but they are a nice touch.? Like Tina Fey above.
These girl geeks aren’t social misfits; their identities don’t hinge on outsider status. They may love all things sci-tech, but first and foremost they are girls?and they’ve made that part of their appeal. They’ve modeled themselves after icons such as Tina Fey, whose character on “30 Rock” is a “Star Wars”-loving, tech-obsessed, glasses-wearing geek, but who’s garnered mainstream appeal and a few fashion-magazine covers. Or on actress Danica McKellar, who coauthored a math theorem, wrote a book for girls called “Math Doesn’t Suck” and posed in a bikini for Stuff magazine. Or?even Ellen Spertus, a Mills College professor and research scientist at Google?and the 2001 winner of the Silicon Valley “Sexiest Geek Alive” pageant. They tune in to shows like “GeekBrief.TV,” a daily Web series hosted by 26-year-old Cali Lewis, and meet friends at Girl Geek Dinners, the first of which drew more than 600 women. However they choose to geek out, they consciously tweak the two chief archetypes of geeks:?that they’re unattractive outcasts, and that they’re male.
I wish these ladies had come along when I was in high school or college.? Strangely, the Nerd Girls have their own reality show coming out … so the synergy between the “trend piece” and the reality show seems appropriately suspicious.
And yes, we realize that including a salacious picture to accompany the article sort of defeats the purpose of not objectifying women but what can you do.? They’re smart and sexy!? For me, it’s all about Natalie Portman who wrote a Harvard thesis on neuroscience or something.? But Tina Fey could make me laugh so that has it’s bonus points too.
Thoughts on sexy and smart women?? This is a trend I can get behind, instead of championing boring and insipid like Paris Hilton or LiLo.