Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Talk Nerdy to Me--Nerdy Characters are Hot

Let's talk nerds for a minute.

Hot nerds.

I'm going to take the liberty of making an observation about books, movies, and TV because I feel like it needs to be pointed out. Nerds are totally hot right now.

Don't believe me? I'm serious. I think we're moving away from jock vampires, pretty elves, and prince charmings, and heading right into intellectual smolders and hipster glasses. I think women, at least, are starting to prefer brains over brawn in their characters (or maybe we always have, but it's trending more than usual right now), and men want women who can hold a logical conversation for more than two minutes. 

Let me lay down a few qualifiers here. Now, by nerds I do not mean this:

In case you were confused, that's a porn star dressed LIKE  nerd. 

And I don't mean this, either:

That's prepubescent awkward nerd. No, no, I'm talking about this:

And this:

And this:

These nerds are capable, extraordinary, and most importantly and admittedly shallow, they look good. The sexy nerd (snerd?) can calculate a woman's dress size just by looking at her. He can solve a crime in his sleep, or analyze a dangerous situation with those smoldering eyes of his. And she can save the hero's life by magnetizing his web to repel electrical supervillain attacks. (Holla at ya Gwen Stacy).

I might go so far as to say that a hot nerd might not even need to look like a hunk or a babe. They can even look kind of ordinary and still be molten lava HOT. As an example, take a look at this guy:

He's not bad looking, but he's definitely more ordinary than your typical hero. But I can promise you, this guy is unbearably sexy in "Queen In-Hyun's Man." And it's because he's smart. And calm. And loyal. And it probably doesn't hurt that he can whip out a sword if he really needs to. 

Okay, okay, so you're still a little skeptical. Most of the nerds I have listed so far can also fight like jocks. But I still contend that nerds are sizzling right now, whether they can fight or not. Allow me to convince you.

Bones is brainy and cold (with no ability to fight), and her confidence is incredibly attractive.

Don't try to pretend like you weren't attracted to Hermione Granger. I don't care if you're male or female. She's hot.

You know this guy makes your insides writhe.

Shawn is smart and goofy, but I still melt a little every time he smiles.

It's pretty common in anime, I think. "L" from Deathnote:

 Q from Skyfall was adorably geeky.

Even the superheroes are going geek in their spare time. I already listed Peter Parker. How about these stone cold foxes?


 Clark Kent has always been nerdy, though.

And how about guys from books? Artemis Fowl. I grew up reading those books, and there was something about him that I always found attractive. I'm guessing it was something most women look for--competency.

Mr. Darcy has been around a while, but I think books like Austenland are not only keeping his type well and alive, it's bringing renewed interest while we head further into the trend that smart is sexy.

See what I'm saying? It's trending. And I think we'll keep seeing more and more heroes and heroines who are loved for their brains just as much as they are loved for their other traits. And I'm totally okay with that. I love me a gorgeous cortex.

What do you think?

Are nerds and geeks in the spotlight more often now? Are we glamorizing the brains over brawn? Or do you think that the Herculean hero is still well and alive? I want your thoughts! And if you think of any other character (because I know I didn't get them all) tell me in the comments!



  1. As our society becomes more technically-minded, it's only natural that our protagonists will embody an increasing sense that smart beats braun. I think there's still plenty of the superficial boobs and biceps bias, however. Notice how often our beloved "geeks" transform themselves by merely taking off their glasses and dropping their hair? 

  2. Totally agree with you :D I too love nerds (or snerds :D)

  3. Love Artemis Fowl- competency definitely gets my vote!

  4. This post had me smiling all the way through. Nice analysis. You did, however, miss analyzing Bruce Wayne. In a nerd's eyes, that is unforgivable