Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, you Sexy Geek! Or: Why I feel left out.

 So something has been bothering me for the past few months.  The idea of “hot girls” pandering to geeks has been a hot topic.  I even commented on this subject on this very blog.  I think it’s important to talk about this, I do.  But here’s what is rubbing at me:  What about those of us that don’t fit the mold of what is traditionally considered “hot”?  I mean, if you look at the Oh You Sexy Geek panel that was at Comic Con this past week, there was not one plus-sized panelist, nor any of color.  It didn’t bug me until I started to realize that it felt like high-school.  I wouldn’t have been invited to sit on that panel because I don’t fit someone’s ideal of “sexy”.  It was like when all the cool kids sat at a lunch table and told you that you weren’t welcome.  I know that it wasn’t the intention, but instead of feeling like a celebration of girls who like nerdy things, it was a celebration of HOT girls who like nerdy things, which just seems to defeat the point to me.

The panel explored what it means to be sexy and who defines sexy, which are really important topics, but when you fill a panel solely with people who fit the standard ideal of “sexy” it kind of waters it down a little.   It would have meant more to me if a Sexy Geek of Size (Robin Thorsen comes to mind) or even a sexy male geek (I’m not including Chris  Gore whose only contribution to the panel was to comment on how sexually attractive he found his fellow panelists, ewww.) was included on the panel. It’s easy for a famous model like Adrianne Curry to say that “Sexy is how you feel” while talking in her wig cap.  She may have been in a wig cap, but she’s still a supermodel. 

Is it just taken at face value that I’m *not* pandering to men because I’m fat?  It’s just a given that I’m a nerd?  I have a few kids, and it had nothing to do with midichlorians so obviously someone thinks I’m sexy.  Is my opinion on nerdy things not as important because I’m not a hot young girl? Aren't we talking about Hot Girls that feel that way?  Why does it feel like once again it's just another way for everyone to celebrate how great it is to be young and thin and pretty?

Seth Green, who was in the audience spoke about how the geek community should be more inclusive in general.  I *think* that was the point of this panel, that sexy geek girls should be welcomed, but instead the panel’s thesis seemed to imply the opposite.  It made sexy girls seems more important once again, and in an arena where I had always felt that maybe, for once, how I looked didn’t matter.

Update: After thinking about this a bit more and reading your comments/emails I've written a little more, you can find that here.


  1. exactly! you nailed it, and I feel the same. To be honest I don't really care anymore if most people do or don't think I'm sexy. I do care, however, that society continues to truck along it's thin, airbrushed, unattainable view of sexy while our little girls start dieting at 5, getting plastic surgery at 12 or 13 and feeling washed up (Lindsey Lohan?) at 25....

  2. Great point. The whole idea of the panel seemed to miss the point, to me. Hot girls seem to be the only kind of girl geek that's acceptable, so I'm not sure what they're fighting against.

  3. I think it's important to note that I think that all of the women who sat on the panel are awesome and geeky. I just think the whole thing was poorly executed.

  4. I agree that it would have been excellent to have a bit more diversity on the panel. I also think that one of the issues that brought the panel about, was the media focus on conventionally hot actresses, and claiming they're pandering. "Pandering," is a loaded word. In effect, they're not only disputing the ability of someone who is perceived as attractive by conventional standards to have a brain and be into geeky things, but asserting that they're whoring themselves to an audience. (Beyond the normal duties of promotion.) I'm a big girl, and I in no way feel like my hotness is diminished by that of any woman on the panel. I'll note that Bonnie Burton, while infinitely RAWR-worthy, is not a size 0. Since you've read my thoughts, I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of discussions that still need to be had. We're not done yet.

  5. @kristen Agreed. I maybe should have mentioned that I don't personally feel like I wouldn't have *belonged* on a panel about Sexy Geeks, I think that I'm pretty sexy in my own way. I just don't think that I would have been invited. It just seemed to deflate the credibility of saying things like "Sexy is how you feel" when they were all traditionally good looking people.

    I also think that media is the issue here, and I would love to have seen a real discussion about that.

    The rest of you should go read Kristen's very eloquent and well-thought article at: http://nerdsinbabeland.com/archives/3688

  6. Sounds like bigotry on your part. They're not supposed to hold a public discussion because they're pretty?

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  8. I had added links to 2 of the panelists to point out where you're wrong, but that would be mean to them for no reason. If the panel had been nothing but skinny, beautiful women, that doesn't mean they can't have message for others, but IT WASN'T.

  9. I didn't ever say that they shouldn't have a discussion because they're pretty, the fact that they're pretty shouldn't matter, but that was the point of the whole panel. I just wanted to see a more inclusive panel. I respect all of the women who participated, and I would even consider myself a fan of them. I think it was the *idea* that was flawed, which has nothing to do with the individual participants. I may be a little jealous, but I'm not "bigoted".

  10. Also wanted to add that while I used this panel as an example I'm actually more concerned with this topic in general. The real issue here is that geek should not equal ugly and that's the implication. It's really offensive to all women as we're either ugly "Real Geeks" or too pretty and therefore pandering.

  11. Inclusive: How about the panelist in the wheelchair?
    I wouldn't fault them for not following a quota system after "Wheelchair - check. Plus sized brunettes. - check. Who else..."

  12. I do agree - it feels like one more way for the less "pretty", "hot", "rich" etc, geeks to be left out. People who are rich, famous, successful, and/or attractive already have their own social circles/cliques that we're not allowed in to, they don't really need one more way to make the rest of us feel inadequate.

    And besides that, "geeky-ness" now becoming just yet another arena where being attractive is becoming more important than any real "qualifications" you may have.


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