Liking ‘Star Wars’ Doesn’t Make You a Geek: 10 Celebrity Geek Poseurs
Lots of celebs these days are claiming to be geeks or nerds. But are they really, or are they just poseurs?
Now that being a nerd has become cool, there’s a curious trend making its way around the celebrity world: Countless celebs are now claiming to be geeks or nerds, too. For many of them, it’s actually true—Wil Wheaton? Felicia Day? Zachary Levi? All big, huge, actual geeks—but many others, it’s nothing more than an outfit to try on, a “flavor of the week,” if you will.
Whether or not there are firm, fast definitions for “nerd,” “geek,” “dork,” and the like is hotly debated, but most agree that they all entail not simply liking a topic, but more importantly, having an almost encyclopedic knowledge about that topic. For some people, it’s based in fiction (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, etc.); for others, it’s about technology and gadgets; and for still others, it’s centered around academia, with the topics of focus ranging from science to literature. The celebs on this list, however, all fall under the heading of “Hot Actresses Pandering to Nerds,” a term first coined by Filmdrunk: That is, they’ve realized that their primary audience is of the nerd demographic, and in an effort to appeal to them, they’re saying, “See? I’m just like you!” Do they really have that “area of expertise” most nerds do? Not really. And so I’m taking a moment to call them all out on it. Because that’s what I do.
I realize that this is an extremely polarizing topic among geeks and nerds, and it is likely that many of you will not agree with me. As such, I am preparing myself for lots and lots of backlash. That said, though, here we go!
1. Katy Perry
The massive glasses, crushingly awkward braces, and headgear Katy Perry donned in her video for “Last Friday Night” made her look like the standard nerd stereotype. Real nerd, though? Not so much.
2. Annalynne McCord
Annalynne McCord is one of the many, many celebrities recently who has said something along the lines of, “I like Star Wars, so I guess I’m a nerd!” But Annalynne? Liking Star Wars is actually pretty mainstream these days. Sweding Star Wars with your best friend a la Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, however? Now THAT’S the mark of a true Star Wars nerd.
3. Anne Hathaway
I love Anne Hathaway, but I find a simple fondness for Scrabble to be thin ground to stand on in the geek ‘verse. If she had memorized the entirety of Roget’s Thesaurus and could spout alternatives to any word on command… well, that would be a different story.
4. Liz Lee
Liz Lee may not be as huge a celeb as most of the other people on this list, but the star of the MTV show My Life As Liz deserve a spot on it anyway. I cite this excellent article run by our buddies at TheGloss as the reason. It examines the difference between “Real Nerd” and “Nerd Chic”: “Liz Lee represents an excellent example of the difference between Real Nerd, and Nerd Chic. Being a nerd in high school — like a real, picked on, made fun of nerd — is horrible. Wearing nerd chic is fun, makes you feel special and nonconformist, and increases the likelihood that boys who read McSweeney’s will want to date you.” Hear, hear.
5. Taylor Swift
A pair of big glasses does not a nerd make (see also: Katy Perry).
More would-be celeb nerds, including Jessica Alba and Paris Hilton, up next!