shamelessly appropriating nerd culture

Okay, I spoke too soon. I got dressed anyway. I felt up to meeting a friend for dinner, and I decided to look presentable. So you get some pictures.

I’m really not what you would consider a geek or a nerd. Sure, I qualify in the broader sense of showing considerable commitment to certain interests (hello, I love fashion so much I can’t go two days without blogging about it), but I don’t care for science fiction, STEM fields, or much of “nerd culture” as it’s commonly constructed. I don’t like tumblr, anime, or Doctor Who. This is a lot of blather and rigmarole to explain why I don’t really fit into the “skinny jeans and graphic tee” demographic. But one of my New Year’s resolutions (lame as this is about to sound) was to wear pants occasionally. And I think I’ve made this look sufficiently my own, though it’s probably only a matter of time before I’m playing Pokemon and snidely remarking* that I’m “sooo different from other girls”.

squid I

squid II

I’ve realized I basically have Lena Dunham hair. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, she’s not exactly the epitome of fashionable. On the other, I watch Girls religiously. I can work with this knowledge, I think.

squid III

The scarf’s pattern reminds me of squid eyes. (Seriously, have you seen squid eyes? You could petrify one and use it as a bowling ball. I really love eyeballs. When I was six, I got a squishy plastic eyeball at Disney world and carried it everywhere until I lost it. And this dress is on my birthday list.)

squid IV

The chunky beads parallel the shirt’s pixelated print.

squid V

squid VI

squid VII

squid VIII

squid IX

I really like the shape of my lips.

squid X

squid XI

squid XII

squid XIII

Jacket: Handed down from neighbor Boots: Handed down from Mom Pants, Necklaces, & Bracelet: Gifted Cardigan & Scarf: Battery Street Jeans T-Shirt: New Duds (a local designer)


*I hardly think any woman is obligated to be like any other woman. Pursuit of individual ends is awesome. It informs my kind of feminism more than anything else. That said, the “I’m not like other girls!” shtick is my least favorite part of nerd culture. It reduces these mythical “other girls” to a 1950s strawman(woman?). It’s not like you’re the only girl in the world not wearing makeup and pining for boys all day. Real people are more complex than that. Enjoying video games doesn’t make you the specialest snowflake ever to walk the planet.


This is one of my favorite videos from one of my favorite YouTube channels. It always reminds me of my friend Hailey, who is vintage through and through. I’ve been wheedling her to do a guest post.


  1. I don’t understand the urge to dissociate yourself from some perceived conventional notion of femininity in order to value yourself as a woman. Being “not like other girls” just encourages hierarchies and comparisons. I don’t think that very typically feminine girls often speak negatively about girls who are into video games or Dr. who or other nerdy things. It all just reifies feminism/individualism.

    1. My favorite definition of feminism is “valuing femininity equal to masculinity”. I don’t care how progressive you think you are – you’re not a feminist in my book if you look snidely upon feminine things while encouraging all women to be masculine. I can count the things I know about Madonna on one hand, but I love that bit from her song: “It’s OK to be a boy / But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading / ‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading.”

      Life needn’t be a choice between beauty and brains. God forbid you be a whole person.

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