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“What a geek!” – how did this almost become a compliment now?

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“What a geek!” – how did this almost become a compliment now?

March 06
02:30 2020
Calling someone a geek or a nerd is not perceived as an insult anymore, did pop culture play a role in this? What other definitions have been changing over time? When did this shift happen?

New Haven, CT – March 05, 2020 – How the world insults or makes fun of someone has kept changing over the years. Be it the definition of style, cool, what’s insulting or what isn’t, what’s acceptable or what isn’t, what’s ethical or what isn’t – every definition has undergone several changes with times.

In this regard there has been a major shift in the perception of the geek culture. If we look for nerd culture news or geek news, we will notice that most of this news don’t make fun of geeks anymore.

Let’s look at our pop culture for patterns. Firstly, we had Ross Geller from FRIENDS who during the initial few seasons, was almost considered a loser in spite of being a genius actually. He really had troubles in impressing girls and got his legs pulled all the time. While when it came to Joey Tribbiani, he was a charmer among women in spite of him being a dimwit.

However, as the season progressed, his character saw a major shift as he became funnier and by the end of FRIENDS, he had all his luck with the girls. Clearly the shift in the perception of being a geek already saw its change as we hit the new millennium. And this is exactly the point where The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper took over and became the most well-received character in the TV show and more and more people started aspiring to be a geek.

If we look at the newer superhero movies like Avengers, we can see a similar exaltation of geek characters like the Hulk or Spider-Man. As opposed to the Spider-Man movies where the geeky Peter Parker was always made fun of, with times, the geeks ceased to be the receiving end of all jokes in movies as well.

This got manifested even in fashion. Geek glasses to t-shirts which messages like “I am geek” became increasingly popular and geek became almost synonymous to being cool. Calling someone a geek now is a compliment – it’s almost as if the greater community aspires to be a geek.

The world has become more and more acceptable and has been redefining various words. Several other words like ugly also saw a change especially in terms of fashion. Ugly shoes are the biggest example of how ugly became a trend. Clearly, society has become more and more accepting and keeps relooking at cultures and changing them. And we owe most of this to pop culture and social media.

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