Are geeks becoming chic? Or are they just experiencing their 15 minutes of fame? It seems to me that during the last years being nerdy is a style that has been adopted by not only the regular man in the street, but also by musicians, politicians, actors, TV represents and more. What I wonder is; has “nerdom” really come to stay or is it just the latest fashion?
I must admit that when I think of a nerd I picture the stereotyped geek from movies or TV shows, like this guy:
Napoleon is my ultimate geek “look-wise”, but he is not really smart enough to qualify is he (he doesn’t have any computer-hacking-skills!) But if he is not good enough, Steve Urkel is!
So are these guys chic? Are they what we all want to be? Suddenly everyone is confessing to be nerds! I agree that “nerdom” is taking a huge part of the entertainment-market these days, but I am not sure it means that it is “cool to be geeky”. Fashion is a funny phenomenon and has yet again transformed something epic into something trendy. It is not the first time this happens, not long ago we all wanted to be hippies. We all had “old” clothes, braided long hair with hair bands!
Fashion is also a lot of things, it is not only clothing! Fashion goes hand in hand with what is trending, and today technology is definitely trending! I think that this is the answer to the rise of the nerds. The rapid developments within technology have signed us all up to “nerdshipness”.
What used to be the geeks’ playground of games, comics, hardware and software has now become the world’s biggest playground of smart-phones, pads, tabs and apps! It is no longer just geeks who like to fiddle with their brand new technology, now we all spend a lot of time figuring out our last new toy; what ringtone do I want? Any cool new apps? Have I got all my facebook, twitter and social media accounts synched into my phone? Oh! I need live wallpaper!
As some things become popular, other industries tries the same coolness, it is like the snowball-effect. Seeing that everyone today are becoming technical geniuses the fashion industry follows it up and makes us look like nerds as well. Like they did with Justin Timerlake.
It is not only clothing, but also the movie industry, gaming industry, musicians, they all follow up and guides us into an era of “nerdification”.
But I would say that there is a divide between Steve Urkel and Justin Timberlake. There is a clear difference to what is geeky and what is fashionable-geeky. The fashion industry’s way of adapting to “nerdom” is by using accessories like glasses, bow-ties, and t-shirts saying “nerd”, but they cannot change the personalities of people. Even if I suddenly wear glasses, I do not change into a total geek with a PhD in technology.
I think the judgmental attitude towards geeks has eased. We do not see much of the “Can’t buy me love”-scenarios anymore where it is the popular versus the geek, but I believe that there is a gap between actual nerds and wannabe-nerds. Today the culture of “nerdom” is cool, but the ideology or assumption of a typical nerd is not.