I wouldn’t call myself a nerd I’m a bit of a nerd, but not in the “I love Star Wars and collect rare African marbles” way. I’m more of the “I know why lemurs like to stay in trees, I’m not into parties, and I’d rather wear black-on-black Converse than Louboutins”. That’s always been who I am. It can be a bit of a social-life killer most of the time and because of that, sometimes I wake up and say “I’m gonna switch it up and wear something different today” (which in my case, “different” means “normal to everybody else”). So today, I ditched my jeans, button-down, and black Vans for a maxi dress, cardigan, and flip-flops. I put on a little eye-shadow and walked two blocks to the Blue House, which is the little blue house (hence the name) across the street from my high school where we sometimes hold small events or meetings. As soon as I approached the house, everyone on the front porch was in immediate shock, awe, and approval of my mini-makeover. Me, being a girl who’s not comfortable being the center of attention, smiled sheepishly and proceeded to take a seat on one of the many ancient couches in the house. As time went on, I was surrounded by a group of “cool” teenagers and was sharing the couch with a group of “cool” girls. They talked about the usual: who got into an altercation with who, that party where everyone was drunk and high at the same time, that girl who’s forever labeled as a “ho”, etc. Me, not being involved in any of that stuff, sat there quietly and laughed when the others did. I sat there daintily with a wedgie under my cleavage-baring maxi dress surrounded by the “cool” kids and felt like a different person. In a bad way.
Everyone, even my father, has labeled me as being anti-social and I’m not. The truth is, there aren’t many people who I enjoy being social with. I’m not into parties and talking about how that girl in 8th period is such a bitch. I don’t care about that stuff. I don’t care that much about looking sexy during the school day because really, it’s just school. Most of that artificial teen girl stuff doesn’t matter to me because that’s just who I am and I won’t judge the girls who do think it matters either because that’s just who they are. However, it’s always the girls like me who do suffer and bear through the criticism and judgment.
It was around 8000 B.C. when people started giving women two stereotypes to fit into. You can either be a Jackie or a Marilyn. If you’re a Jackie, you’re a respectful, intelligent woman who carries herself “like a lady”. If you’re a Marilyn, you’re a sexy, buxom woman who’s both outspoken and unpredictable. But what about us girls who fit into the “Other” category and don’t fit perfectly into either roles? We get labeled as strange and ugly and get told to “comb our hair” and “show our boobs” once in a while. Well newsflash: WE DON’T WANT TO! Women didn’t fight for their right to vote and create punk bands with names like “Pussy Riot” so we can all be pressured into wearing short skirts and wear hair extensions. Some of us are more like Lena Dunham. We’re intelligent and outspoken, but don’t care about fitting into a sequined size two dress. Some of us are more like Tavi Gevinson: fashion-conscious, while still being outspoken and intelligent. We don’t have to be one of the other. We don’t have to choose social acceptance over intelligence. We’re not puppets of society that should be forced to fit into cookie-cutter roles. We’re women, which is just a short way of saying “we can do whatever we want”.