On the show Baggage, Nerds, and Hot Women

Don’t judge me, but I have a confession to make. I…. watch Baggage, hosted by the one, the only: Jerry Springer. I usually find it on television somewhere when I’m up at 3 a.m. and have no desire to go to sleep (You know, because 3 in the morning isn’t late enough already).

If you don’t know what it is, Baggage is a show where a lovely lady or a kind gentleman is seeking love and decides the best way to do this is to go on a game show (Naturally). Three eligible men or women are then lined up ready to be picked by the first woman or man to go on a date with. The catch of this game is that those three contestants all have dark or weird secrets. Basically, they all come with “baggage” and then must reveal their naughty secrets to the other and hope not to be eliminated.

baggage

 

The reason I bring all this up is that last night I caught an episode. A lovely lady looking for love stands up on the podium and announces that she is looking for a sweet, nerdy, quirky guy to go out on a date with. It was the nerdy part that caught my attention. I watched the show, and it was exactly what I feared. When this beautiful young woman claimed she wanted a nerd, she didn’t actually mean it. What she wanted was this:

Joseph Gordon Levitt

 

Or this….

Johnny Depp Nerd

 

But certainly not an actual nerd. This is how the show went. Three guys went up and revealed their baggage. One was eliminated. The remaining two revealed all three pieces of baggage.

Guy #1‘s baggage: was 35 years old and had never had a real job & had his parents pay for everything, powdered his junk every day, and couldn’t help snooping through his past girlfriend’s diaries and email.

Guy #2‘s baggage: made clothes out of duct tape, was in a polka band, and has a low labido due to growing up with a very “liberated” mother.

Guy #1 couldn’t stop talking  about how he likes to work with kids and how he was a camp counselor (for four months. Only four months. Seriously, the way he kept bringing it up it sounded like he’d been doing it for years. He wouldn’t shut up. It’s was clearly a ploy to try and snag the woman’s heart).

Guy #2 was a quirky, kind, adorable nerd who likes to explore new places and go on roadtrips. He even quoted Star Wars.

Both were physically attractive (though, Guy #2 was actually more handsome than Guy #1, in my opinion.)

All these things I tell you because from the first moment I met these contestants, I was rooting with Guy #2. I wanted him for myself. The man was adorable. He was exactly what this woman had described before the show had ever started. He was genuine and compassionate and silly and lovable. I think we can tell where this is going.

She didn’t pick him.

Of COURSE she didn’t pick him. He was the NERD.

But wait, didn’t she say she wanted a nerd? From the first moment that word escaped her lips I knew, I KNEW, she was not going to pick the nerd because she didn’t really want a nerd.

I am really tired of this new “nerd” kick that has been floating around, because it hasn’t changed anything. Nerds are not cool. They aren’t by definition. This new-age “cool nerd” thing is simply just another costume for cool, popular, well-adjusted people to like Star Wars or play video games and wear thick glasses and then call themselves by a different name.

Us actual nerds, the people who deserve this name, who have earned the title, are still the socially awkward, ill-adjusted, introverted, and unsociable on the bottom of the societal totem pole. And that’s fine. That’s where we’ve always been. We’re in our basements, our apartments, our nerd lairs and batcaves. The problem is when people like this hot woman claim they desire nerds when they actually do not. You know not the meaning of the word. 

Nerd whore

 

Sure, say you want the nerdy guy and then choose the untrustworthy, email-snooping, unemployed junk-powderer. (Right, I’m sure the cute nerd with duct tape lederhosen and a polka band was so much worse than that long-haired creep.) Just stop lying to yourself about wanting a nerd. Because you don’t. You’ve proven that. You sully the good name of Nerd by even uttering it from your perfect baby-pink lips.

To some, the title of nerd is an insult to designate superiority and inferiority. To others, it’s an honor to be earned and treasured. You disrespect everyone when you throw the word around as casually as “totes”, “lol”, or “cray cray”. And it’s pissing me off.

 

Is Pink Really a Girl Color?

I Google Imaged “pink” just to see what I’d get. The first picture?


I can’t say I’m disappointed. I am a huge fan of P!nk, but that wasn’t quite what I was going for.

So I switched over to just regular Google. The first two links were for Victoria Secret something-or-other, and then P!nk, the singer.

Then I Googled “color pink” and these are my results:
 
 

I was thinking about this because as I sat on my bed I noticed that there is a lot of pink on it. Pink bedspread complete with pictures of sparkling pink diamonds, a pink Hello Kitty sheet, and then a pink blanket on top. (Yes, I’m in college. The sheet and bedspread are from my little sister. Her bed was roughly the size of my dorm bed so we used these sheets, and my Grandma made the blanket.) I looked at it and thought to myself, What a girly bed. If a random person was to walk into my room, without knowing who lived there, the only reason they would think a girl lived there was from the pink bed. Everything else is Nightmare Before Christmas, Firefly, books, and pirates (Why hello, Johnny Depp. You’re looking quite well this evening). Well, maybe they could tell by how many bottles of shampoo I have. man alive, I have a few.

Now, why is pink a girl color? It just is, right? It’s only natural to see pink and think: girl! Why is that? Oh, right. I remember. It’s because when we’re born, girls are born in pink and boys are born in blue. No… wait. We wrap girls and pink, and boys in blue. Then maybe it’s because all girls like to play with pink toys, and all boys like to play with blue toys! No, no, that’s not right either. We make girl toys pink and boy toys blue. (And then we separate the toys into princess and superhero.)

Then how come pink? Well, I did a little bit of research trying to figure this out. Apparently, it’s been argued that way back in ancient times, when humans were hunters and gatherers, women were attracted to the red berries, and that sort of reddish tone became associated with women. Whereas men were associated with blue because they were always watching the sky for the weather; good weather, good hunt, or something like that. It’s also been suggested that women prefer pink because of the red tones, which women can see better because our sex chromosomes apparently affects our eyesight.

None of this is true. I already know why. It’s the market. Pink isn’t natural to girls just as blue isn’t natural to boys. We’ve just created it that way, and then we replicate it , over and over again buying pink dresses and hats for our little girls, because it seems “natural” to us. In fact, it’s not. In the early twentieth century, boys wore pink and red while girls were dressed in blue. (They thought that since pink was the stronger color, it was more suited for boys. And blue was a more delicate color, meant for girls.) And now for some reason they’ve switched.

Which is why I think it’s so hilarious when I get these “real men wear pink” things. As if a color could somehow negate your testosterone. This Real Men Wear Pink is a struggle not for manhood, not even from gender roles, but basically from the media and the market. The market has decided that pink is for girls, and we abide by this idea. We’re fighting ourselves. Ourselves, I say!

The market–Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kohls–has a sort of control over our lives. It affects us. We can see it in the clothes we wear, in the goods we buy, in the things we use. Remember back at the beginning when I mentioned all my shampoo? Why is that a girl thing? Because women are expected to have nice hair. Shiny hair. Bouncy hair. It’s supposed to smell good and look great, and when we tie it in knots it should hold strong. How many shampoo or conditioner commercials do we see a day? How many of those hair commercials are for women? Most of them. I’ve seen a few for men, but only a few.

What needs to change is not the markets, however. Because the markets are dependent upon something: us. For the markets to change, our attitude has to change. Pink was for boys, so the market sold pink boy shirts. Then, pink was for girls, so the market changed. Now I’m seeing more and more guys wear pink, and the stores are selling more pink boy shirts once more. Gone are the days when pink was only, just for, and specifically for girls. To change the world, we much only change ourselves, and the world will follow.

Mrs. Lovett… Feminist or Not?

If you have not seen Sweeney Todd, stop reading now. Spoilers are going to squirt out of me like fake blood out of a Tim Burton movie.

And for those of you who have….

Even though Mrs. Lovett is completely discombobulated, thinking murder and cannibalism are valid ways of doing business, she is a strong woman. And though I don’t necessarily recommend using her as a role model (scratch that, please do not use her as a role model), I do think she’s rather magnificent. So here is my list of why Mrs. Lovett is one badass chick:

  1. She’s clever and resourceful. Once Todd decides he’s going to murder a whole bunch of people, Mrs. Lovett finds the perfect out—using the bodies as filling for her delicious meat pies. It’s clean, economical, practical, and appropriate. Feed the low class, get rid of the bad guys. A win-win for everyone, really. (Well, except everyone else. This blog does not support cannibalism. Most likely. It’s good to keep your options open.)
  2. She runs her own business, a thriving one at that by the end, all pretty much on her own. Building up her shop from the worst pies in London to a packed full house takes both skill and strength. And cunning. Definitely cunning. 
  3. She’s an equal partner with Todd. Yes, she is in just as deep as him, in terms of responsibility and power. Even though she’s not slitting throats, she’s still slicing and dicing just the same. Equal power, equal responsibility.
  4. She pushes boundaries of society in order to gleam some sort of equality. For once, the upper class is feeding the lower class, instead of the other way around.