poser News

Hot Girl + Nerd Culture = Poser.

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Recently, GEEKPR0N has been under a bit a fire from net trolls accusing some of our girls of being posers. Why? The most common complaint seems to be “she’s too sexy to be a nerd.” For some reason, any hot girl claiming to be a nerd is automatically challenged. What’s worse, girls are the only ones who are challenged in this regard.

Even our sisters rally against us.  In the  article “Dear Fake Geek Girls, Please Go Away” by Forbes contributor, Tara Brown, she states “Pretentious females who have labeled themselves as a “geek girl” figured out that guys will pay a lot of attention to them if they proclaim they are reading comics or playing video games.”

All types of women exist in geek culture yet it’s the fact that they’re are even there that seems to offend. Attractiveness aside, any women who shows the slightest interest in anything nerdy is not met with open arms but with arrogance.

ComComic Book Guyic Book Guy

"If you don't know the personal history, schedule and diet of Richard Garfield, then you are NOT allowed to play Magic."

Those of us who were ultra dorky and awkward in our youth still hold that candle even today. Despite our successes, it was those experiences that helped shape us. So to have your kin, those who stood next to you holding that same candle turn on you and accuse you of pandering is downright infuriating.

Like most, my childhood was no picnic. Before the age of 17 I had moved around 27 times and attended 10 different schools. I was always the tallest, newest, and typically the only black kid.  Needless to say I got picked on. Girls used to throw hair brushes at me in the hall and leave fake “secret admirer” notes in my locker among countless other cruel jokes. Even the girls I thought were my friends turned on me. The boys paid no attention to me, and any affection I showed toward them was met with laughter and humiliation. I would often opt out of social situations to stay home and play on my Genesis and save myself any further embarrassment.

Unlike my fleeting “friends”, videogames were there for me, and I was content. In 1989, I got my very first, second-hand NES complete with bugs. Over the next 23 years videogames would become one of my best friends. Never judging and always up for a play date videogames allowed me to take out my frustrations or simply to pass time. Today my gaming addiction continues to blossom with better gear.

So, let me ask you, Nerd Elitists, does this make me a “real” geek? Or am I a poser too because I didn’t have an Atari when it was released, 8 years before I was born?

I’ve addressed the “poser” issues a few times, mostly in passing because quite honestly I think it’s fucking ridiculous.

Nerds can blame the “others” for poaching on their territory, but from what I’ve seen, the nerds are just as guilty.

Remember how awful it felt to be excluded in high school? That’s exactly what nerds are doing to everyone else today. Maybe you feel that you’re entitled to shit on others because you were once shit on. Maybe you’re right. But did that ever make the world a better place? Did being excluded, picked on and alienated motivate you to want to be like those who picked on you in high school?  No, it made you wish for fairness, and equality. So what happened?

Mainstream power, that’s what happened. Now that geek chic is all the rage the self-proclaimed “real” nerds feel we have a monopoly on everything we’ve decided was ours.

Many people, including Patton Oswalt, agree that it’s easy to become a nerd. In his article “Wake up, Geek Culture. Time to die”, Patton notes that the internet has made it possible to learn about everything instantly without doing the leg work; something that apparently distinguishes legitimate nerds from posers. While I understand his frustration I don’t agree. You can be a fanatical about anything at anytime. When and where it happened shouldn’t matter. We own nothing. Sure, we might have been into it before anyone else but does that mean nobody else is allowed in? If we start excluding people where does it end?

For a culture that embraces the differences between Elves, Dwarves, Klingon and Sith, we seem to be extremely prejudice towards other humans who just wanna see what all the fuss is about. All we are doing is creating an even deeper divide. If we wanna live in the time of Star Trek, we better learn to move past the trivial.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pretending the mainstream hasn’t totally raped nerd culture for its own benefit. I’m not blind to that fact that there really are people who are faking it or using a combination of sex and nerd culture to sell their products. At the same time, nerds are partially to blame for this. Since the golden age of comic books, artists have been dressing female characters in ridiculously revealing “costumes” to sell their books to male readers. Sex and nerd culture have been partners since day one, so I find it kind of hypocritical that geeks are suddenly offended that this is happening in the mainstream. I guess it was OK when it was just our dirty little secret.

Attractive women being a part of nerd culture was never a problem until they became flesh and blood humans. This is confusing. I thought nerdy guys wanted a beautiful girl who shares their interests. Instead of embracing these women, you ostracize them. You drill them for information, challenge them with obscure  trivia and the second they don’t know the answer to everything you label them posers while objectifying them during the process.  The problem lies not with the women, but with the men who continue to treat women as though they are these scantily clad superheroines in the real world.

As a woman who is deeply submerged in geek culture and finds intelligent, dorky boys particularly attractive, this is a HUGE turn off.  Within 5 min of meeting, you’re essentially calling me a liar and acting as though you are superior. Not a great first impression.

Even if you do come across a girl who is faking it or new to the club, instead of calling her out, teach Lady Padawan. Clearly she’s interested; otherwise she wouldn’t be trying to impress you. If you approach the situation differently, you might be pleasantly surprised by the result.

Bottom line, this all needs to stop. Fake nerds, real nerds, who cares? Why are we letting ourselves become the very thing we’ve always hated? There is no hierarchy and those of you who disagree need to stop pouting and learn to share.  We are all humans with common goals and interests. Why isn’t that enough?




  • http://twitter.com/EmilySchooley Emily Schooley

    A-fucking-men. One thing I think this stems from is the insecurity a lot of nerds feel. Because we were picked on – and this goes for men AND women – a lot of people let their insecurities get the better of them and they end up perpetuating that cycle of bullying whether or not they intend to.

    This goes for way more than looks, though I’ve definitely been slammed for being a “hot nerd”. I’ve been accused of shit I didn’t do, and had a shit-ton of hateful and fake gossip spread about me for being bluntly honest about things that did happen.

    I’m not saying *all* nerds do this, but a lot of them would rather find reasons to hate and put someone down to try and make themselves feel better than to work on their own self-esteem. Which, of course, ultimately fails, and they just get deeper and deeper into self-loathing, no matter how much of an ego they put on for the public eye.

    You’re right though, for whatever reasons people choose to hate on others they need to get out of that high-school mentality and STOP.

  • http://twitter.com/rebelguru Joey Proulx

    wow excellent response. I couldn’t agree more and I say this as a former “nerd elitist” that didn’t want to share the “nerd” or “geek” title with any new comers. I paid my dues, I got beat up, head shoved in urinals, made fun of by girls for choosing to code on the old commodore 64 instead of going outside (although in retrospect, maybe doing the dj jazzy jeff and fresh prince recess rap concerts were not a good idea – this is pre-tv show). Because of the hardships I went through, I didn’t originally think it was fair until I thought about it from a music perspective seeing as how i went through the same with music.

    In music terms – punks today go through the same from punk elitists – “how dare you call yourself punk, you don’t have a mohawk, you didn’t see the sex pistols live, blah blah fuckin blah”. It’s all the same…

    Same shit different pile.

    Those of us who are conditioned to “underground culture” are the first to cry foul as soon as it becomes mainstream. It’s us that needs to grow up and accept that people change, trends change, what we once were beat up for is now celebrated…

    So if we all paid our dues all these years to bring our much-loved nerdisms to popular culture, why are we now fighting it? Embrace all the work you’ve done and don’t hate on others for wanting to be a part of it.

    This goes to all elitists from a former member of the nerds only club.

  • thatdiegokid

    Great write-up Jess! 

    One thing though. “You drill them for information, challenge them with obscure trivia  and the second they don’t know the answer to everything you label them posers while objectifying them during the process.”

    Minus the whole objectifying, this seems like a standard part of fandom, especially among those most prone to nerdraging. You’ve witnesses such yelling matches, yourself. It’s an almost primal thing to gauge how much of a nerd/enthusiast  the other person is.Though after a certain age, if you’re calling someone a posuer, it’s time to have a good long look at yourself and grow up.

  • http://shutuplife.com/ laura iaccino


  • http://kooztop5.blogspot.com Kooz

    (I think) part of the problem is that for many years, the only hot girls nerds would see at conventions were being paid to be there.  They’ve become skeptical of any good-looking girl who proclaims the same interests that they have.  But nerds are often tragically socially inept, so they often don’t have the skills to make the distinction between a geek girl and a poser who’s just looking to gain some advantage by cow-towing to the geek community.  

    It is similar for some guys, by the way.  Try being tall, good looking, and athletic.  Until you start describing things from the Monster Manual in detail, they don’t believe that you could play AD&D, they don’t accept your views on Star Trek as valid, and they generally don’t accept you. Granted, it’s worse for hot girls.

    It can probably be chalked up to jealousy to some degree as well.  “You get to be hot and smart?  Not fair!”

    Anyway, good article, good point.  Don’t feed the trolls.  You girls rock and your site rocks, and it would regardless of how hot you are.  Hell, you could be a front for a bunch of Comic Book Guys in their moms’ basements, and you’d still rock.  Or maybe I’m missing the point.  

  • Idamahn

    The simple fact of the matter – to use common vernacular – is Haters Gonna Hate.  I REALLY don’t give aq rats @$$ what prompted anybody to become interested in anything Nerdy, I appreciate who they are and what they do.  Period.  What I DO NOT LIKE is someone who is using any aspect of the genre to just take advantage of the REALLY social lacking men who are into a lot of this stuff.  There are 2 in particular (they will remain nameless) who use nerdiness as a tool to acquire $#!+ and it really sucks.  It is unfortunate that people cry foul based solely on a woman s looks (and you young lady are a real traffic stopper)   But it is just part of the deal.  It stinks, but it is not going away.   

  • James Chillcott

    Testify sister! Hot and nerdy is a blessing not a curse, just keep doing your thing with your crew and all will be well. 

  • Brettape

    Well it’s not hard to tell which Geek Girls are real. you can tell in the first minute of talking and/or playing video games with them if they’re legit. Fuck these haters, I’m glad you guys are getting hate mail. It means your doing the right thing. Like the 3 people who “dislike” my video on YouTube. People need something to be upset about because they suck so bad and can’t accept that other people are doing better work than they are capable of. If they would pull their heads out of their asses and realize that all they have to do is work hard and focus on their goals maybe they wouldn’t be miserable internet trolls.

  • MoustafaChamli

    Brilliant!  This will obviously change as ‘geek culture’ becomes the De-facto standard; But until  that time comes, people will keep doubting and remain skeptic until we all get used to the notion that, yes, girls are as geeky as the boys and they don’t have cooties. ;)

  • Michael Reid

    Excellently written.
    Fun that those who were judged, scorned and/or ridiculed in the past.
    Can turn around and do the same to others.

    Heads high ladies. Keep doing your thing. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502719998 Shane Terk

    “Instead of embracing these women, you ostracize them. You drill them
    for information, challenge them with obscure  trivia and the second they
    don’t know the answer to everything you label them posers while objectifying them during the process.”

    This can be summed up for any geek, I know I’ve been challenged on my “geek trivia” a dozen times by guys but that’s due to them being ignorant and rude. The subject isn’t new, women have been ostracized forever because they’re women and a lot of men still feel most things should be man-dominated.

  • Gloryroader

    Remember in high school how often someone pointed out that the geeky, gangly girl today would likely grow up hot?  How do some of us forget that?  Sure, she turned hot, but she’s still the same on the inside.  Sure, there are those who gained hotness and left their geeky roots behind them.  But there are more that still embraced their culture even in their hotness (usually those who had to wait longer to gain it).

  • http://twitter.com/janie_jones Sara Blue

     “(I think) part of the problem is that for many years, the only hot girls
    nerds would see at conventions were being paid to be there.  They’ve
    become skeptical of any good-looking girl who proclaims the same
    interests that they have.  But nerds are often tragically socially
    inept, so they often don’t have the skills to make the distinction
    between a geek girl and a poser who’s just looking to gain some
    advantage by cow-towing to the geek community.”

    That’s really insightful (as with the rest of your response), thank you for sharing that. You make a really good point. When people are used to the attractive ladies basically being there for one reason there is certainly a learning curve when you start encountering girls who are there for the same reasons you are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/koreanGHOST Michael Pulliam

    Excellent post, I’ve met a bunch of nerd/geek girls and a good number of them are pretty good looking if not hot. So reading this article made me laugh but also remember there are a bunch of people who can’t grasp the reality of or idea that there are indeed hot nerds/geeks.

  • FiachDubh

    The problem is, you didn’t see even a quarter of all of these model-quality “proud geek girls” ten years ago. Now they’re everywhere. This goes for any fandom. You suddenly have a deluge of new blood, after it becomes trendy and socially acceptable to be a geek.

    There are tons of women who dress up as video game characters only to open a P.O. Box for gifts from their fans. No real geek girl would do that! Geek girls don’t pose with a gamepad in their tits.

    They may be geeks, but after a certain point, it becomes a disingenuous attempt at furthering their careers, by choosing an easily exploitable demographic.

    Meanwhile, all the real geek girls, of all walks, suffer for it. But you’re a damn fool, if you think every geek girl out there is genuine. For decades nerds have had attractive women shit all over them for liking what they do, and all of a sudden supermodels are posing with video themed bikinis? You have girls like the Unicorns or whatever, who never appeared in geek shit before Seth Green started banging one of them.

    Now all the skanks who dress like whores on Halloween, have an excuse to shoehorn hot pants or garter belts on a video game character’s outfit, and give some “loser nerds” a chub, just for kicks.

  • FiachDubh

    You have to understand how absolutely frustrating it is, to see beautiful people who enjoyed being popular, and hid what they liked, suddenly turn around and yell “geek pride!” while the rest of us suffered for it.

    They went to their proms, and had sex, and partied. While the geeks rolled dice. Now geekdom is one more thing the “beautiful people” have decided to become entrenched in, conveniently after it became ok to do so. For many girls geekdom was their only refuge from a culture that excluded them from so much shit. Now every hot girl and their mother is a “long time geek”.

    Suddenly, the older gamer girls, who were appreciated for their willingness to accept their hobby openly, are overshadowed by a flood of models selling cosplay posters off their Facebook pages.

    You have to understand how much that pisses some people off.

    So yeah, prepare to be questioned. Prepare to back up your cred like any other fandom filled with people who are willing to abuse it to get attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mnm4334 Matthew William Millett

    Sadly I would rather be right 99 percent of the time and wrong one percent of the time than be taken advantage of by someone who is just there to exploit me for their own personal benefit. Yes to be admitted to the club you have to pass the test, this is the same for us all, if you are a true fan of the x-men you can name the major title as well as be up to date in the latest story arcs. If you have never set foot in a comic store never played in a card tournament yet you want be to believe you are a geek? Not you personally but these are the kinds of things I get upset about. Note I want more people to be geeks, to be real fans, not just people who think its cool to say they are a X geek because its become the fotm thing to do. Most nerdy guys have been taken advantage of by pretty girls all our lives, we retreated into the worlds of heroes because we never got to be the hero in real life now perhaps instead of berating us for being exclusive perhaps you can either play by our rules or get out of our club. If you are a real geek you will pass the test if you aren’t we know it and I think that’s what really drives this issue, the posers don’t like getting called out and they are louder about it because they know that the criticism is true. Ask any die hard fan of anything, I am a comic book geek, its not something I called myself its something I WAS called. Its not elitest to dislike people who misrepresent themselves, I agree that geek culture and there are many different kinds of geek culture on the whole could be more open but we are conditioned to be excluded and as a defense mechanism we exclude those kinds of people who excluded us to begin with. I am sorry if I don’t let the people who wouldn’t let me sit with them at lunch into my world with open arms now, and I will be damned if I let somebody call themselves a geek when they aren’t.

  • SteenAgeDream

    And now I have a new internet girl crush. I grew up in a really, really small town and the people that I had known all my life and grew up with had no idea who I was. I literally knew these people for 15 years and most of them could not even tell you my name. Well, until I wrote a scathingly misanthropic editorial in the school newspaper about them (because they were jackasses). The “nerds” gave me a standing ovation (literally- they all stood up in the cafeteria and cheered) and everyone else just looked confused. So I spent the majority of my time in books/video games/graphic novels, et al. High school ended and I blossomed. In high school, I was unpopular because I was awkward and plain and nerdy. Now I have boobs and lost my baby fat and I figured out hair products and what not and tried to find my place among my fellow nerds only to find myself met with patronizing skepticism. It’s a ridiculous stereotype. Just because my golden hair sparkles in the sun and I understand how to correctly apply eyeshadow does not mean that my infect deck will not obliterate your dragon deck.

  • thshitcray

    I think we should like hot girls no matter how nerdy they may or may not be. They’re still hot girls!

  • Ryan Velociraver Smythe

    First of all, you are completely right and in no way deserve to be a target of such hate-mongering. These people have no idea who you really are, what you went through, how long you’ve found solace in dnd/starwars/anime/games and all things nerdy.

    What is frustrating is to openly be a nerd, refusing to denounce the things you love, publicly mocked and humiliated for it for decades only for it to be revealed that, omygoodness, EVERYONE likes this stuff! We all knew they were just pretending not to so they could continue to torture the outcasts. It’s not really that these people aren’t geeks, it’s that they’re hypocrites. The very people who used to torture us are now yelling ‘geek pride!’ and it’s worrisome that they’ll go back to that as soon as this whole thing blows over. They didn’t let us into their club; are we supposed to let them into ours?

    Well, in short, yes. You may be frustrated, but frustrations have no place excusing cruelty. You can’t assume someone was mean in the past (especially just because they’re pretty) and use that as an excuse to be mean to them… think about it. And everyone who loves star wars is another person to love star wars with. Everyone who is gleefully excited about the next pokemon game is another person who I can trade pokemon with. And every girl who likes world of warcraft is another girl who might potentially understand that Wednesday night is raid night and that means dinner plans need to be postponed.

  • djeec

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. If, at the core, the geek mantra is ‘live and let live’, then why are more not practicing what they preach? And for those who are debating the merits of scrutinizing others, ‘should they be deemed worthy’, is it not better to live with the stance of ‘innocent until proven guilty’? How unhappy is a life lived the other way?

  • Fate

    I don’t think it’s about impressing boys. I think it isn’t about impressing anyone at all. There are fake geek girls out there, and probably fake geek boys as well. I have never met a fake geek/nerd boy, but I am sure they exist. The fakes I have met were very very sad lonely people with no self esteem. They used geek chic as a mask, trying to blend in, disguise the fact they didn’t believe they were interesting enough to make friends. I’m not sure teaching a person like that about Doctor Who or Star Wars is help her/him, or enabling. Better they be encouraged to realize that they are interesting, valuable people without the masks.

  • http://anotherheaven.biz/ Gaza

    You might want to figure out what a NERD actually is, since about 2008 people keep trying to change the meaning to say they too are actually a nerd when they are not. Reading your article its clear to me that you consider a nerd to be someone that likes NERD THINGS. That does not and has never made a nerd. A nerd is not about what you like as a hobby or find interest in! Its what you are defined as growing up from bullies and people that think they are better than you by making fun of you, having none of the regular or popular interests as other people. Its feeling alone and having no one to talk with but other people that feel left out. You pick up Nerdy hobbies like star trek and Dungeons and dragons. Read fantasy novels back when no one else was doing it. You think a Beautiful girl was ever picked on that much? Or left feeling like what she did for regular fun was really uncool. No! Hot chicks never where into comics, fantasy anything, anime, videogames, DnD less than 10 years ago. You might see one hot chick but it was really rare like owning a Gold Nintendo World Championship cartridge. These girls are being called out because they are fake. No longer are Comics defined as nerdy, or the fantasy genre etc etc, Everyone calls themselves a nerd nowadays “oh im such a Crocheting nerd” no thats not a nerd. The person that wrote this article does not understand the meaning of a nerd and feels the need to redefine the meaning to fit in. Nerd = Popular now. So guess what?, the word Nerd is not actually a nerd anymore its meaningless thanks to posers.

  • http://anotherheaven.biz/ Gaza

    What nerd says shes been accused of being hot? Or Being Bluntly honest? nerds are socially awkward people. Just reading your post its obvious your another poser

  • http://anotherheaven.biz/ Gaza

    Exactly right. No real nerd is going to put herself on a stage in cosplay and show herself off to be gawked at by other people. Nerds have trouble in public and arent that daring to show off. its only recently as you stated that hot girls are trying to pretend to be cool. It feels like the new Clothing store just opened up in town and everyone started shopping there. Its BS.

  • http://anotherheaven.biz/ Gaza

    Right. no nerd ever claimed or said they were a nerd. It was insulting to yourself , you were labled a nerd not aspired to be one.

  • http://anotherheaven.biz/ Gaza

    yup they were being paid to be there. how old are you sara? you look like your 18.