Good news, everyone: According to Newsweek, it's now okay for women to be science geeks and wear high heels. Well, actually, it's not that ok because apparently the phenomenon of girls liking science and wearing make-up (at the same time!) is weird enough to merit an entire trend article. But still: Progress!
The Nerd Girls may not look like your stereotypical pocket-protector-loving misfits–their adviser, Karen Panetta, has a thing for pink heels–but they're part of a growing breed of young women who are claiming the nerd label for themselves. In doing so, they're challenging the notion of what a geek should look like, either by intentionally sexing up their tech personas, or by simply finding no disconnect between their geeky pursuits and more traditionally girly interests such as fashion, makeup and high heels. In fact, calling them "nerd" is no insult at all–the Nerd Girls have T shirts emblazoned with the slogan. The crew includes Cristina Sanchez, a master's student in biomedical engineering (and a former cheerleader) who can talk for hours about aerodynamics. Caitrin Eaton, a freshman, asked her boyfriend for a soldering iron last Christmas.
She asked her boyfriend for a non-euphemistic soldering iron? That is different. These girls are just so complex the way they embrace both geek stereotypes and girly girl stereotypes. (Although, judging by the merchandise section of their website, the Nerd Girls' interest in fashion is limited to polar fleece.) I wonder if they can both breathe and walk at the same time as well. To quote Denise Richards, it's complicated.
Someone should really take this Nerd Girls idea further, beyond the unbearably boring reality show premise about girls who can both build a solar powered car and groom themselves. Like, say, to a terrible nerd-makeover comedy that manages to insult both nerds and girly girls, as well as both men ("Maybe he doesn't mind a smart girl.") and women ("[The Playboy bunny] can teach us how to be our best selves.") alike. Oh wait, someone did:
The nerds have to get their hair done, and, in a crazy reversal, the girly girl has to wear glasses! It's great to see a movie where two tired stereotypes can come together to learn only the most cliched things about each other, for a viewing experience that pummels your intelligence as effectively as repeated punches to the brain. Repeated viewings of The House Bunny should replace all teen mentoring programs.