There is an annoyingly persistent meme in a variety of different media formats where beautiful and thin (but not necessarily smart or if they are there is something unusual about them such as they are from another country) girls get together with nerdy/geeky guys that are often either unattractive by societal standards or are unpopular. The persistence of this is really beginning to piss me off for a number of different reasons and is exemplified by a recent advert that I believe was shown during the Superbowl in the USA yesterday.
The reason that this particular advert bothers me so much are because of the messages that it appears to be putting forward and are as follows (in no particular order);
Geeks are guys, unattractive and make no/little effort to be presentable.
Beautiful women cannot also be smart and computer literate or able to put together a website.
A stereotypical blond, thin, pink and high-heeled wearing Barbie type female is the ideal sexy look.
That geeks are not sexy and are socially inept (Walter starts off the advert by ignoring the audience and working on his computer). And who says geeks have to be computer geeks anyway?
Just before the two of them start to kiss there is an obvious look of disgust on the woman's face and relief when it is over. This offends me. In the first instance because it is obvious she doesn't want to kiss the guy, thus giving me the message that she has been coerced into kissing him (possibly for monetary gain) and, secondly, that Walter couldn't be found to be attractive in his own right. Attraction can be based on a number of factors, not just looks. Had there been any chemistry between the two of them, perhaps fuelled by an attraction to Walter's intelligence, it may have resulted in a less repulsive advert. But this kiss is devoid of any chemistry and highlights the contrast in the two actor's relative beauty. Well, the advert has done a couple of things, caused controversy and certainly stopped me from wanting anything to do with that particular web-hosting agent.
So, the advert pissed me off. But back to the meme "beauty and the geek". It is perpetuated not only in the dreadful reality TV show of the same name but repeatedly in films, TV, adverts (as shown above) and magazines seeking to advise women to date "nerdy" men. Even popular shows such as The Big Bang Theory, which I have to admit I do find funny, also perpetuate the same narrow minded thinking (often the "smart"/"intelligent" girls on this show are not shown to be particularly sexy, with the occasional exception of Bernadette, and the sexy/pretty one is constantly being shown as either unintelligent or uneducated. The "geeks" are not shown in a great light either).
Isn't it about time this meme died, from both sides? Intelligence and beauty do not reside on the same chromosome and thus replace one another. Nor to they act as the other's inhibitor. Lets see more positive exposure for sexy men and women who are intelligent (in my opinion the two go hand in hand anyway) and sexy people who do not fit into the ideal of beauty set by media in today's society. Exposure such as the work done by ScienceGrrl in their latest calendar, showcasing great images of real men and women in science (example image shown below). That is the type of meme I can really get on board with.
Tilly Blyth (l) and Alison Boyle (r) pictured with Babbage's Difference Engine No 2 in this photograph by Greg Funnell and featured in the 2013 ScienceGrrl calendar.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!