Lots of celebs these days are claiming to be geeks or nerds. But are they really, or are they just poseurs?
-Lucia Peters, BettyConfidential.com
Now that being a nerd has become cool, there's a curious trend making its way around the celebrity world: Countless celebs are now claiming to be geeks or nerds, too. For many of them, it's actually true-Wil Wheaton? Felicia Day? Zachary Levi? All big, huge, actual geeks-but many others, it's nothing more than an outfit to try on, a "flavor of the week," if you will.
Whether or not there are firm, fast definitions for "nerd," "geek," "dork," and the like is hotly debated, but most agree that they all entail not simply liking a topic, but more importantly, having an almost encyclopedic knowledge about that topic. For some people, it's based in fiction (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, etc.); for others, it's about technology and gadgets; and for still others, it's centered around academia, with the topics of focus ranging from science to literature. The celebs on this list, however, all fall under the heading of "Hot Actresses Pandering to Nerds," a term first coined by Filmdrunk: That is, they've realized that their primary audience is of the nerd demographic, and in an effort to appeal to them, they're saying, "See? I'm just like you!" Do they really have that "area of expertise" most nerds do? Not really. And so I'm taking a moment to call them all out on it. Because that's what I do.
I realize that this is an extremely polarizing topic among geeks and nerds, and it is likely that many of you will not agree with me. As such, I am preparing myself for lots and lots of backlash. That said, though, here we go!
1. Katy Perry
The massive glasses, crushingly awkward braces, and headgear Katy Perry donned in her video for "Last Friday Night" made her look like the standard nerd stereotype. Real nerd, though? Not so much.
2. Annalynne McCord
Annalynne McCord is one of the many, many celebrities recently who has said something along the lines of, "I like Star Wars, so I guess I'm a nerd!" But Annalynne? Liking Star Wars is actually pretty mainstream these days. Sweding Star Wars with your best friend a la Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, however? Now THAT'S the mark of a true Star Wars nerd.
3. Anne Hathaway
I love Anne Hathaway, but I find a simple fondness for Scrabble to be thin ground to stand on in the geek 'verse. If she had memorized the entirety of Roget's Thesaurus and could spout alternatives to any word on command… well, that would be a different story.
4. Liz Lee
Liz Lee may not be as huge a celeb as most of the other people on this list, but the star of the MTV show My Life As Liz deserve a spot on it anyway. I cite this excellent article run by our buddies at TheGloss as the reason. It examines the difference between "Real Nerd" and "Nerd Chic": "Liz Lee represents an excellent example of the difference between Real Nerd, and Nerd Chic. Being a nerd in high school - like a real, picked on, made fun of nerd - is horrible. Wearing nerd chic is fun, makes you feel special and nonconformist, and increases the likelihood that boys who read McSweeney's will want to date you." Hear, hear.
5. Taylor Swift
A pair of big glasses does not a nerd make (see also: Katy Perry).
6. Kristen Stewart
KStew likes to refer to herself as a "big dork," but her defining characteristic for that seems to be based around the fact that she likes to watch the Food Network. Her friends apparently tease her for this, but I would argue that that's more a judgment about her friends than about herself.
7. Jessica Alba
Yes, she played Sue Storm in The Fantastic Four. No, she is not actually Sue Storm. Also, did that piece of casting confuse anyone else as much as it did me? Anyway, Jessica Alba'sdefinition of "dork" is that she's "goofy" and "likes to just wear sweats and hang out with friends." Most people, however, just call that day-to-day life.
8. Paris Hilton
Paris apparently likes gadgets, but something tells me that this is more because they're a status symbol than anything else. Sure, she may have messed around with Lindsay Lohan's voicemail once, but she had SpoofCard to help her out with that. Lisbeth Salander? Not so much.
9. Olivia Munn
Okay, I'll admit that Olivia Munn is kind of borderline. Lots of people consider the Attack of the Show! star to be the hottest nerd ever. Many others, however, are not convinced (these are the people who are usually hardcore Felicia Day supporters). She may be willing to don a Slave Leia gold bikini every now and again, but I still can't shake the feeling that G4 just hired her as a pretty face. Maybe I just haven't warmed up to her because I didn't find her at all funny on The Daily Show.
10. Keri Russell
Like Anne Hathaway, I actually quite like Keri Russell; she's come a long way since Felicity(Waitress, anyone?). I am, however, still trying to work out exactly how liking to keep everything organized and going to bed early classifies someone as a modern-day nerd. She's said that she's "the opposite of cool," and that's fine; but that's really just being uncool more than anything else. Not that there's anything wrong with being uncool (many uncool things are so uncool that they come right back around to being cool, like scooters and Neil Patrick Harris), but you get what I mean.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential's associate editor.More from BettyConfidential.com:
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