The 411 Magazine The 411 Issue 1 Jan/Feb 2017 - Page 45

FEATURE

IS SMART

REALLY

THE NEW

SEXY ?

How popular culture has made the ‘ nerd ’ fantasy of being desirable to ‘ hot ’ women a ‘ reality ’.

From Sherlock to Tony Stark , as television viewers , we have , for years , expressed the opinion that smart equals sexy .
Yet we continue to see airbrushed images , size zero models , washboard and rippled physiques and , in people that seem to look too perfect ( and eat too little ).
If smart is really the new sexy , wouldn ’ t we have seen a perfume ad based on the text of a quadratic equation by now ? Alas , we are simply presented with eye candy ; not mind candy .
In the late ‘ 90 ’ s , the term ‘ WAG ’ emerged in the UK to describe an attribute displayed by a female partner of a top footballer ( Soccer player ). Urbandictionary . com defines WAG as “ a collective acronym for the Wives and Girlfriends of the England World Cup Squad ”.
The term has since moved beyond the boundaries of the football pitch to describe cast members of reality shows like ‘ The Only Way Is Essex ’ or ‘ Real Housewives ’. These characters ’ desire to be photographed in the presence of or associated with another person ’ s fame outweighs the contribution they bring to the TV show they feature in . combining two of the worst ‘ tags ’ modern society chooses to label people with .
Traditionally , a ‘ nerd ’ gives an impression of a young male ; possibly with glasses and a lack of athletic ability as played up to great effect in Hollywood TV and film . ( include a still image from Hollywood movie , ‘ Revenge of the Nerds ’ as an example ).
Yet , many that would typically be classed as a ‘ nerd ’ have since gone onto become very wealthy . Think Microsoft Billionaire Bill Gates , Apple co-founder , the late Steve Jobs and Elon Musk , CEO of SpaceX and architect of Tesla .
This more celebratory image of geeks has been portrayed in hit US TV show ‘ The Big Bang Theory ’, which sets out to highlight the wealth of knowledge , and in part , the disposable income , of the main characters . Here , we begin to see what attracts the almost polar opposites of ‘ nerdy ’ Leonard and ‘ WAG-like ’ Penny .
In popular culture , Nerds and WAGS may have differing tastes but both understand quality and consumerism ; the need to own something rare or limited edition , the requirements of storage space , and , in some cases , the quality of stitching on a garment . Combine this with a disposable income and suddenly it is not beyond impossible for a WAG to fall for a Nerd .
Visit any major Comic Con-style event and you will see them ; the ‘ Pennies ’ and the ‘ Leonard ’ s . These couples have made the seemingly impossible work because not every beautiful woman is a WAG and not every intelligent man is a Nerd .
Marketing professionals may not have found a way of making smart sexy but , incredibly , for some whose hobbies include visiting fantasy worlds or developing super powers to save the planet , they , with their partners , have found a way of making it a reality .
Written by Stuart Burrell
Twenty years later ; a new term has emerged to slowly challenge the definitions and biases society has .
WAGON is an acronym for “ Wife and Girlfriend of a Nerd ”.
Although it sounds like a dig , it is actually seen to be a genuine compliment . WAGON champions looking beyond stereotypes by
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