Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Pretty Vintage Nerd

I've been a nerd for most of my life.

I'm not sure if I could have helped it if I tried.  I grew up watching Star Trek and Star Wars with my dad (an equal-opportunity nerd, like myself).  We watched X-Files.  I read the Star Wars books that my dad owned and dragged home countless more from the library.  I had a Star Wars birthday party when Episode I came out.  I also wore a Padawan braid for part of that same year as well.  (I know, I know, it's positively shocking that I was single for so long.)  I wrote fanfiction.

Honestly, I think I was part of the last generation of kids where being a nerd wasn't cool.  And really, even if it had been cool, I probably still wouldn't have qualified.  Because... well, you read that last paragraph, right?

Along with being an introvert, being a fairly obsessive and fangirlish nerd is part of my very being.  It's practically in my blood.  When I like something, I really, really like it.  I write about it.  I watch it repeatedly.  I collect items from it.  I learn trivia about it.  

And I really like Star Wars.  I love everything about it, with the notable exceptions of Jake Lloyd, Hayden Christiansen, Jar Jar Binks, and most of George Lucas' poor decisions.  I love the lore of it.  I love the improbability of it.  I love the music and the characters (see above exceptions).  I love the books.  I love the (up-to-now) strictly maintained canon.  I love the pure nerdiness of it, and of all my fellow Star Wars nerds.  I love that rare fellowship when you recognize a fellow (probably equally awkward) nerd out in the wild.

I do appreciate that that being a nerd is "cool" now.  I'm not jealous of all the young nerds out there who essentially get a free pass to skip the uncool label.  I love that it's perfectly acceptable for us all to come out, blinking, into the sun (for short, well-sunscreened, periods of time) and to shyly complement each other's badges of nerd-dom.  It doesn't actually make me cool, by any means, but it's nice to have the nerdy company.

And lately, I've been more in touch with my nerdy roots.  I read a Star Wars book for the first time since high school.  And I haven't been content with merely buying geeky T-shirts for my equally geeky husband.  Instead, I've been incorporating my nerdiness into my vintage style.

As it turns out, "nerd" and "vintage" are not mutually exclusive.  And why should they be?  After all, many sub- and counter-cultures tend to find each other and band together for warmth.  As I've learned, dressing vintage is a way of expressing myself.  Expressing what I love with what what I wear is really just the next step.

My pin/jewelry obsession is to blame thank, really.  It's such a subtle, stylish way to declare to the world that yes, I am a huge geek because yes, that is an AT-AT necklace.  Thanks for noticing.

I also have a few nerdy T-shirts of my own when I really can't resist.

It's not just Star Wars, of course.  It's Harry Potter and Firefly and Doctor Who and Game of Thrones and Pirate of the Caribbean, and... I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The point is: it's a whole new world for nerds now.  We're popular.  We're cool.  We're stylish.  We're even (gasp!) attractive.  We're fetishized and idolized.

There are burlesque shows specifically catered to geeks. There are dresses covered in the TARDIS, or in Daleks.   There are conventions all over the country, for every imaginable fandom.

Yes, we geeks and nerds are still awkward as hell and can bore you in no time with obscure facts and fan theories, but gosh darn it, we can look good while we do it.

It's safe to say that I've grown up quite a bit from being the teenage girl skulking through the hallways with a Padawan braid.  I'm the slightly-self-proclaimed Pretty Vintage Girl, after all, and hopefully will be for the foreseeable future.

But fandoms were my first love, and you never forget your first love.

And because of that love I know I will always be a nerd, be it pretty, vintage, or otherwise.

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