Nerd Girls Are Hot Now
February 15-18, I was awash in a sea of nerds ranging from the extremely socially awkward to the cosplay obsessed and every other type of nerd in between. It. Was. Heaven. Katsucon is an annual convention centering around anime, comics, gaming, cinema, and cartoons. But it is most widely known as a popular convention for cosplay and cosplay photography as the venue has some of the most amazing lighting available.
Spending a weekend in the Gaylord National is my favorite pseudo vacation every year. The colors of cosplay, the natural lighting, the music, the games, THE DRINKING! It feels nonstop and sleeping is completely optional. But this year there was an extra pep in my step and swing to my hips. Was it the day drinking? The amazing people? The food? The fact that I had four uninterrupted days off work? Well duh! But it was also that I found myself surrounded by gorgeous women who were nerds just like me. And when I looked in the mirror? I realized that I'm pretty damn fine too!
This convention is one of many that I attend during the year but it's easily my favorite. It was the first one I'd been to this year though since my breakup which scarred me way more than I cared to admit before now. My self esteem was shot and I felt very ugly and unwanted. Someone I cared about made me feel broken and wrong, and very little up until this convention was making me feel better.
The people, cos-players, and photographers around me during the convention were some pretty remarkable people. But of course, this one is about the ladies. We talked about everything! Our self-esteem or lack thereof, our bodies, how men see our bodies, sexuality, living as adults, schooling, government, and of course all of our favorite nerdy little hobbies. Each woman I was introduced to and spent time with was a multifaceted and powerful person. Their outlooks on things, while not always in line with mine, were deep and honest. I learned how and why the world looks the way it does to them whether it was surviving an extremely racist environment in their own home-town, or being a proud and talented stripper. If at any point there was negativity spoken or felt we rallied around each other with honest compliments and words of encouragement.
From the outside I think nerdy females have been dropped into two groups. People think nerd an invision, in general, an unattractive girl most likely with no or little social skills. Then they take the "hot" or attractive girls and they're "attention whores" and "culture vultures". Women in the nerd/cosplay/geek whatever-you-want-to-call-it community are vastly different from each other. We are strong women whether we be tall or short, thick or thin, flashy or modest. We have interests outside of our fandom and outside of being noticed. Some of us are artists, business women, life savers, and moms. One label will never contain us all.
Identifying as fem in any community has its perils and with comics/games/anime and everything under the nerd umbrella being labeled as "male" we face judgement on levels beyond our looks as well. Proving yourself as a cosplayer, photographer, panelist, or just a fan becomes that much harder as the male eye is on you. Every community has its toxic members and groups that make being a nerd hard enough as it is. Just like in everything else women should be coming to each others aid and my Katsucon weekend was made up of fabulous women ready to go claw and teeth in defense of each other.
This idea that nerdy girls can't be hot, sexy, and sexual has got to go. Because as far as I could see, nerd girls are hot now.