This is What a Nerd Looks Like

You may not have heard yet, but Grey Havens YA is going to Denver Comic Con! We only have four spots available on our panel, so to choose which amazing young adults get to attend, we had an essay contest. We invited everyone who could commit to attending Comic Con to send us an essay about what it means to be a nerd, what Grey Havens YA means to them, or anything else they wanted to say. Today, on the morning of our symposium, Real Myth 2015, we are going to share one of those essays with you.

Ethan’s was the first essay we received, and it gave us an idea. In this essay, he talks about a local high school’s spirit week in which one day was devoted to dressing like a nerd, called “White and Nerdy Day.” No, it wasn’t about the Weird Al song, it was about dressing like a stereotypical nerd– think suspenders and glasses and highwater pants. Sound a little bit offensive? We thought so too. Read Ethan’s essay below and if it inspires you, tweet us your own picture of #ThisIsWhataNerdLooksLike #GreyHavensYA. Ethan writes that the day wasn’t meant to offend, but it was created out of ignorance for what being a nerd is about– well, let’s educate the public. We’ve already started with our own photographs, and this weekend will be full of them as we get all of our Symposium attendees to join in on the campaign. Keep an eye out on our Twitter and Facebook for all the awesome photos! Let’s break the stereotype and show that being a geek or a nerd is fun and cool, it means, as John Green says, “you’re excited about the miracle of human consciousness” — it’s about how you love it.


Being a Nerd

Nerd: a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious. That’s what you get when you type “Nerd” into the dictionary. However, I think the dictionary needs to be updated. The word sprang up in the 1950s, originally intended as an insult. But the word, has evolved and changed. It has changed so much that I now I wear the term “Nerd” like a badge of honor. Sadly many people don’t even think nerds exist any more. The only real nerds are on the tv such as Urkel or the characters on the Big Bang Theory. The only way a nerd can exist in the real world is if you put on glasses and stick your teeth out. When a school has a “white and nerdy day” I believe it is not an attempt to rudely stereotype us but simply an act of ignorance. To many people there are no nerds. When someone says “I’m nerding out” by putting on glasses I want to share with  them the pain and suffering that Frodo and Sam felt on the slopes of Mount Doom, to have them understand the loss Kirk feels at the end of Wrath of Kahn, to make them know the withdrawal you feel when you realize there is only half a season of Firefly, to give them the frustration that I feel when a season of Sherlock ends and I also want to share with them the wonder of taking your first trip in the Tardis and the pure giddiness when the Avengers finally assemble. Then I will ask “Who is really nerding out?”.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to call myself a nerd at first but now it’s something I am proud of. Everyone should feel proud to be a nerd. Many people are unaware that there is a group of people, constantly growing bigger, who call themselves nerds and do not appreciate being stereotyped. So I believe that we have to spread the word. We have to tell people that nerds are real and are going to continue to be real as long as there are books and movies and shows to love. I’m sure that when people know what a nerd is they will realize that many of them are also nerds in their own way and without even knowing it. So instead of having white and nerdy day lets have Nerd day, where people represent what they love and don’t have to feel embarrassed to show it. After all it’s not about what you love, just how you love it.

Send us an owl: Send us your examples of what a nerd looks like. Share it with your friends. #ThisIsWhatANerdLooksLike #GreyHavensYA


About evermind

Co-Director Grey Havens Group, Inc. ( and it's young adult branch Grey Havens YA ( Evermind also blogs personally about life, faith, grief, and beauty at Chased by Light:

7 thoughts on “This is What a Nerd Looks Like

  1. Interesting. I wasn’t aware of “dress like a nerd” contests. Maybe they thought since nerds “aren’t real” that no one would be hurt. Because, you know, we can’t “dress like an Indian” any more — those are real people.

    Sad, actually, that we have to generate “spirit” by mockery of some group.

    Liked by 1 person

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