Who ever said ‘nerd’ wasn’t cool has either been a little out of touch or merely hiding under a rock, as the irony of today’s’ modern society lies in the fact that ‘cool’ people are embracing nerdom in order to become ‘cooler’. Take Justin Timberlake for instance, whose charming good looks, if I say so myself, on many an occasion have been complimented by a pair of ‘nerd’ glasses, thus conforming to the entertainment industries acceptance of nerd culture as an act of ‘coolness’.
I for one am a huge advocate of this progression of nerd culture into the mainstream. This intellectual society has established variety and diversity within popular culture, where Grossman, 2005, states it is “as if the economic hegemony of the geek in the 1990’s, has somehow been converted into a cultural hegemony,” in which fan fiction, films and popular television series such as ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ and ‘Chuck’ have harnessed the rise of the esteemed nerd.
Speaking of television series, here is a name that will most likely ring a bell; Seth Cohen. Although, just incase you aren’t all OC fanatics like myself I’ll give you a quick run down. Basically, if you could describe the iconic OC character Seth Cohen in one word it would be ‘nerd’, though a more accurate description would be something along the lines of the ‘coolest’, most attractive nerd you could possibly imagine. Unalike to that of nerd Napoleon Dynamite, or on the opposite side of the spectrum the traditional male American character whose priorities consist of football, girls and more football, Seths’ irresistible charm is derived from not only his looks and fashion but his innocent dorkiness and humour, capturing audiences hearts through his witty remarks and neurotic take on life. Seth, the comic obsessed nerd himself as seen in this clip, is just one example of a character apart of this transition from traditional marginalization of nerds to their welcoming acceptance within mainstream popular culture.
The rise of the nerds is an ongoing process, an extremely successful process at that, which has lent itself to an increased interest and popularity in the geek community as “Nerds themselves have become more savvy, more self aware and more able to poke fun at themselves,” as mentioned by self confessed nerd Ethan Gilsdorf. I would also think of myself as a self confessed nerd, there, I admitted it. But then again, in this day and age who isn’t? I believe that there is a little bit of ‘nerd’ in all of us; just give it an opportunity to take flight and I’m sure you will enjoy the ride.
(Quick Edit: 9/5/2012)