Don’t try to pigeon hole us.
We’re not all incandescently nerdy.
Like imperfect feminists, we may indulge in fandoms and passions that swerve from the cause.
Because girls are not just one thing, and nerd girls certainly aren’t either.
We grew up on Sailor Moon’s confused tropes of #squadgoals and #infatuatedwithaguywhoteasesme.
Maybe we only really crushed hard on Pikachu when Pokemon ruled our PJ tops and back packs and playing cards. (We may not have realised Ash was even Ash)
Harry Potter was our first purchase from our seminal book fair, when we were only wee little hobbitses of the tender age of seven.
We took Harry and the gang with us. We obsessed over the first online quiz to grace the internet in his name before Pottermore ever existed.
We had HP stationary, and a board game reminiscent of Clue. We had Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and A History of Quidditch, when we were just 9.
We read all of Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series and both her books in the Trickster series because we liked female knights asserting themselves and strong, smart women succeeding against the adversity of political intrigue more than characters who communed with animals and Gods.
We knew random names of superheroes but not which were created by DC or Marvel.
We’re highly critical of the genre and consider the whole thing one big homage to the male ego and with a lot of plots devoted to senseless vigilanteism and cringy man pain.
We hate Star Wars. (*Cue the gasps)
We saw all the Lord of the Rings movies in theatres.
Our older sister took us to them.
She taught us the benefits of watching the extended versions that came out on DVD in pretty boxsets.
She made us appreciate the simple life of eating potatoes with melted cheese on them as we alternated between watching the films with audio commentary switched on or off, and then the beauty of doing the same for the Special Features.
We may have done the sacrilegious thing and seen the movies first and only read the books later.
Reading the books may have changed our views on Eowyn.
We may have stopped thinking she was a whiny infatuated girl and seen a true strong woman develop out of the sentiments we could understand, into an admirable, two-dimensional leader and the killer of the Witch King.
But though we had a large LOTR poster on our wall, we may have strayed from the fandoms.
We loved the Spice Girls and their anthem of Girl Power.
Watching the Spice Girls movie years later still brings on all the feels.
We started reading historical novels and old romances.
While feeding our obsession for history we may have simultaneously begged our sister to introduce us to the secrets of how to apply eyeliner.
Ten years on we can draw on liquid liner like a boss but still don’t know the difference between Marvel and DC (and still don’t care about the manpain and silly women).
We watched shows like Merlin (2008) and Teen Wolf for amazing rounded female characters like Gwen and Lydia, who may not wear black leather super suits but kick ass anyway.
Because they’re smart, loyal, choose positive solutions and the benefit of the people over violence and quick fixes. They also don’t get the guy, but a best friend first and a love interest later.
We read Mallory next to Uris, and started fashion boards on Pinterest next to others devoted to mugs with fandom themes or sassy quotes.
We unashamedly stopped watching Doctor Who halfway through season 6.
(Sorry not sorry Pond. You were the worst.)
We may not be able to join theatre clubs and hate, yes I said hate, broadway or anything that sounds like a show tune, but that’s because we like drama and poetry and sarcasm and we prefer the safety of our bedrooms to the loudness of a lounge.
We have secret raves to whatever the popular pop of the hour is (right now it’s Ed Sheeran, Zayne, and Alan Wolf). The party is off the hook, and it’s a party of one.
We wait for Game of Thrones impatiently and have a favourite Green brother (Hank all the way.)
Bad nerd girls suck at video games but are so so at bowling.
We don’t like being called “Lit nerds” due to our love for Shakespeare and Joyce, because we know, like Lizzy Bennett, we don’t deserve such censure nor such praise.
We enjoy a great many things.
Maybe we slide into cliches like a love of a cat mugs and memes and unicorn onesies and maybe we talk insincerely about that hike we should take and that traveling we should do but we really only half mean it and hope that the adventure actually happens in a book.
Maybe we want to be the heroine of one of those books and hope that a slightly nerdy cute hero appears out of thin air, knowing that it doesn’t work that way.
The truth about bad nerd girls is that like everyone, we try to fit in and we try to be accepting but when someone doesn’t like our fandom we feel a sudden aversion.
How could you not LIKE IT!?
At the end of the day a truly bad nerd girl will overlook that.
We’ll pull out a graphic-t, prep some popcorn and put on Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and then maybe, when we stop dreaming and laughing and becoming our stronger selves in the safe confines of our rooms, we’ll remember to catch some zzzz too.
And tomorrow is just waiting for us to be fabulously bad nerd girls.