Geeks were chic last year. Even Katie Couric says so.
This December, Beauty and the Geek wrapped up its fourth season. NBC premiered Chuck, starring a Nerd Herder, and ABC started Big Bang Theory, featuring two "brainiacs" who "can tell their quarks from their quantum physics, but have no clue how women add up." Hollywood witnessed the success of gentle geeks like Juno's Michael Cera.
Spencer Koppel, founder and manager of Geek 2 Geek, told WoW his geek dating service has seen more women seeking geeky men. When he started Geek 2 Geek in 2004, the ratio was 70% male to 30% female. Now the ratio is about 55% male to 45% female, and some of the 50,000 users are female beauties seeking geeks. One profile features a pretty blonde who admits, "Honestly: I'm not a geek at all. … I just joined this site because I'm into nerdy guys who wear glasses."
It may sound trivial, but women's interest in geeks reflects a shift in cultural values. Koppel, who will soon attend his fiftieth high school reunion, said, "When I was going to school as a geek it was kind of rough." Couric said pop culture is finally valuing brains over beauty. Carrie Sloan of Tango wrote, "There's been a paradigm shift, and the very stuff that used to be geeky - gadgets, technology, interactivity - is suddenly sexy." Sloan quoted cultural anthropologist Kevin Anderson: "The supernerd embodies one of the primary obsessions of our current times: ability to access information."
Koppel added that some things haven't yet changed. Female geeks aren't seeing the same popularity. According to Geek 2 Geek surveys, males - even geeks - still value looks over intelligence. But when it comes to pocket-protected guys with glasses and gadgets, American Hi-Fi is right: The geeks get the girls.