Lindsay Kriz is a nerd. She has been a nerd for a while. In fact, as she shares in a recent column in The College Heights Herald at Western Kentucky University, “I’ve basically been a nerd all my life.”
Her nerdiness initially sprang from an intense fascination with the external design of computers. Then came a fixation on the fashion worn by performers in music videos. Pokémon followed. Nowadays, in her universe, Star Trekreigns supreme.
But Kriz is not a nerd by many of the most classic, outdated characteristics — social awkwardness, acne, unwashed hair, pocket protector, huge glasses and conversations centered on only comic books or lines of computer code.
As she explains, the nerd stereotype worried her. She was “afraid that people would automatically put me into this category of a person who is socially inept, has very few friends, and is in a mindset where interacting with the real world does not compute for them.” The truth, as she wrote simply, “Being a nerd just means you’re passionate about something.”
To that end, she is calling for a massive nerd redefinition. At a time when NBA nerd chic and tech-oriented geek chic are both en vogue, Kriz believes “we need to get past the 1970s or 1980s-type nerds from movies like Sixteen Candles, the ones who wear the big glasses and drop their things and keel over when a pretty girl comes by.
“That would only happen to me if Brad Pitt showed up.”
In this Q&A, Kriz discusses the benefits of fandom, the term “functioning nerds,” the rise of girl nerds and a bit about her current Star Trek focus.