Yes, you are the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls. Sure, you are dating a formula one race car driver that you met at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Granted, the heels on your shoes are awfully pointy, and holy Christ are you unbelievably good looking. But a nerd? I think not.
This, also, is not a picture of a nerd:
Sure, you were great in Saved, and yes, you have dated Wilmer Valderrama and Zach Braff (yeesh). Granted, your boobs are poking out of that black thing in a manner that can only be described as delightful, and I'm even willing to grant you the fact that your smile is just totally effing precious. But I assure you: a nerd you are not.
Finally, this too is not a picture of a nerd:
Yes, your haircut is severe and is slowly eating your face. Granted, there is some sort of mysterious brown flora growing out of your upper torso. And it is true that you really look like you know something that we don't in this picture. But Katie Holmes, I served with nerds. I know nerds. Nerds are friends of mine. KATIE HOLMES, YOU'RE NO NERD!
And yet, these three quotes exist:
"I don't really see myself as sexy*. I'm the biggest nerd I know!" -- Nicole Sherzinger (lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls)
"I felt like such an idiot because anytime a question was asked about American Idol, I knew the answer. Yeah, I know every contestant's name, etcetera . . . I'm a nerd." -- Mandy Moore
"I can't deny that I'm a nerd. I am who I am. I'm pretty normal, I'm not a smooth type of girl. I run into things. I trip. I spill food. I say stupid things. I really don't have it all together." -- Katie Holmes
Question: when did self-identifying as a nerd become cool? Especially among females? Especially among attractive ones? Because I'm here to tell you, being a nerd was not cool back in high school. In fact, it was the exact opposite.
This false nerd-posing is ridiculous when it comes out of the mouths of famous people, but in a way, I can kind of understand it. Since everything famous people say is basically an advertisement for themselves, these extremely attractive girls are probably just claiming to be nerds in order to broaden their base. Once the fanboy contingent loves you, you're set for life. Gillian Anderson, you know what I'm talking about.
But unfortunately, this trend of hot girls co-opting the "nerd" monicker does not end at famous women. No, regular women (and men) do it all the time. Go to facebook right now and navigate to the profile search form. Enter the word "nerd" under the "about me" section and do a search just among your own friends and networks. Go ahead, I'll wait . . . . . . . Did you do it? Over 500 results, right? I've only got 297 facebook friends. I guess this means that everyone I've ever known ever is a nerd.
Of course, this isn't true. Most people I know aren't really nerds. I guess they like to say they are to seem more down to earth. Or to seem smart. Or to atone for picking on nerds in high school. I really don't know, nor do I care, but to all the real, true nerds out there, I am here to defend your honor. These nerd-poseurs are completely full of it and they're trying to lay claim to an entire ethos painstakingly built over years and years on Marvel Masterpieces and Warhammer miniatures. Why am I doing this, you ask? Why am I speaking up against the co-option of your beloved geek culture? Simple, dear nerds, it's because I am of your kind.** Behold my nerd cred:
I know what an icosahedron is. I know this because I used to play Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid. While playing it, I appreciated the fact that each of the five platonic solids was used to make up the five dice in the game. I know the difference between Chaotic Good, Lawful Good, and Neutral Good. I never had to deal with encumbrance because I had a magical sack of holding. We all did. Oh, I also played Magic the Gathering. A lot. And I was speechless when Aeris was killed halfway through Final Fantasy VII.
I read. Frequently. And for pleasure. I once saw a movie by myself. I wore a shirt purchased at Old Navy to work on Monday. I got a good deal on it. I studied in college. Hard. I spent a summer studying abroad in England and my favorite part wasn't the constant partying; it was the classes. I know what an oxford comma is and have opinions on when it is or isn't appropriate to use one. I spent the entire summer after my sophomore year of high school building a fort in the woods with my friends. That's right, high school. Last Saturday, I played a single player video game for nearly ten consecutive hours. I am watching The Dark Crystal right now.
And I'm really enjoying it.
So, as you can see nerds, I am one of you, and I'm here to say that we need to take a stand here and now. If being a nerd somehow becomes cool, then we will completely lose our identities. They've taken our lunch money, they've made fun of our pants, and they've picked us last in every scenario that requires picking, but we musn't let them take away our community! So next time some hot girl tries to tell you that she's a nerd or that she wasn't cool at all in high school, call her out on being full of it and then go home and write a blog post about it.*** Don't do it for you, do it for us!
Or if not for us, do it for him:
He'd do it for you.
* * *
*FALSE!! A THOUSAND TIMES FALSE, PUSSYCAT DOLL GIRL!!
**Yes, I understand that I am engaging in the exact nerd mongering that I am decrying in this very blog post. I am calling myself a nerd in hopes of becoming more cool like Katie Holmes. The irony is not lost on me, it is intentional. This is a very meta blog post.