Natalie Portman, Will Smith, Johnny Depp-they’re all fellow geeks
OUR KIND HAS OFTEN BEEN BOXED IN our supposed spaces—the library, the science lab, the arthouse movie theater, the sci-fi convention, the front-row seat in the classroom.
But since the 21st century, we’ve taken over. Steve Jobs has created a world exclusively for our fingertips. Mark Zuckerberg keeps us up at night thanks to friend requests, Farmville or Social Interview. And Michael Cera is our generation’s goofy-but-lovable teen idol.
We’re everywhere, and the jocks, cheerleaders, even the Average Joes know it. It’s our time to rule the world.
But there’s one designation the non-geeks just don’t want to give up, and that’s the ten-letter adjective “attractive.” It’s not for the bespectacled, overenthusiastic geeks, they say, and there’ll be an all-out war before geek chic becomes hip.
What they don’t know, though, is that we nerds have stopped looking like the caricatures they love to parade around on movies and TV. The best of us are now living proof that smart isn’t just attractive, it’s also downright sexy.
In an attempt to forever alter the course of human history—or at least just make you you think about it and smile—I will marshal five reasons why nerds are the hottest, most striking thing since the sun—or Megan Fox.
Nerds are perpetually interesting. They’re always enthusiastic about things such as a TV show or a school subject. They insist on their personal preferences—a style of clothing, ballpen brand, or movie genre, not because it’s “popular,” but because they believe in its value.
They don’t ride on fads; they actually love being different. They celebrate it. They make T-shirts, mugs, stickers, posters and blogs out of it, and they aren’t sorry for it, because it’s just who they are.
Nerds are always interesting because of the way they focus on their interests. If it’s you they’re talking to, then it’s just you for the next two minutes or three hours. And to receive that kind of attention is not only flattering; it’s also charming, intriguing, and sexy in an old-school, Cary Grant kind of way.
Nerds have a quirky brand of humor. I once asked a friend what made nerds attractive. She said they have an odd sense of humor, the kind that makes you laugh and lets you in on something new. Nerds have this sense of humor that combines their interests, a dry wit, and a keen sense of what’s going on around them.
Nerds are open-minded, eternal optimists. They aren’t afraid to try new things. Ask a nerd to try out a new cuisine, watch an avant-garde, subtitled movie, read Plato and Aristotle within the same week, wear stripes with bright colors, or get the first 50 digits of pi, and more likely than not, he or she will go for it.
Nerds love learning more about the world around and acquiring new experiences, so it’s no surprise you’ll have a lot of fun hanging out with them. Who doesn’t want a fun date?
Nerds are mature—emotionally and intellectually—and they’re sensitive to other people’s feelings. It’s a given that nerds are mature intellectually. Anybody who reads a book a day or solves complex math problems for fun would be.
They’re also mature emotionally, and they’re in tune with other people’s feelings, probably because they’ve had their share of not-so-nice experiences from other people. They are some of the kindest, warmest, most gracious human beings on the planet. As Disney movies would tell you, a good heart is the best asset anyone could have.
Nerds are confident about what they could and want to do. People have this image of nerds as awkward, klutzy types. Webster even defines a nerd as a “socially inept person,” but that can’t be further away from the truth. Nerds actually have this brand of certainty and confidence that’s always beneath the surface—silent.
Ask them to do what they do best, and you will get what you asked for. Part of the certainty and confidence, I think, comes from knowing so much, and knowing that not everyone knows or cares about the same thing.
As a bonus, nerds clean up nicely. Case in point, Natalie Portman. She graduated with a degree in psychology from Harvard and she looks good even with her head shaved. Also, Will Smith, who’s a big chess enthusiast, and Johnny Depp, who’s a big movie buff. They are some of the most attractive comrades we have on our side.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter where you are in the social spectrum. You can be a nerd, a jock, a cheerleader, an artist, a musician, a leader, or just an Average Joe, and you can be attractive in all the ways nerds are—and more.
Because if there’s anything we have to learn from our modern-day nerds, it’s this: It’s important to look good and be outwardly attractive, because that shows you appreciate what you’ve been given and you’re taking care of it.
But that’s not the most important thing. Knowing who you are, what you want, what you do best, and what in this planet excites you the most, and treating people well as you go through life, makes for a charming, cultured, intelligent, intriguing, funny, fun-loving and good-natured specimen.
Call it being a nerd, but that’s the brand of attractive that’ll never be out of style.
By Eunice Beatrice H. Braga
Philippine Daily Inquirer