A Concept – People are openly professing their love for all things nerdy during regular conversations, openly and with pride.
There has been a shift in the universe. It is 2018 and the world has changed a great deal, in some ways for better and some for worse. Geek culture has grown in popularity over the years and this has given some OG geeks and nerds pause. While nerdy hobbies were always popular to a certain extent, (they wouldn’t have existed for so long if they weren’t) there was a time when it was less mainstream and not as well received by the masses.
It’s fair to believe that like many things in life, the geekdom has reached its full circle moment and become trendy. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, many longstanding members of the nerd community furrow their brows because of the not so fond memories of days past. It was once considered weird to partake in activities that were deemed alternative. Watching anime, reading manga and comics, participating in cosplay, and being a gamer (of certain games) were not mainstream hobbies.
The definition of weird has shape-shifted over time; it seems to no longer be deemed a bad thing. Weird and nerdy have become common adjectives people use to define themselves. The things that you may have been made fun of for in the 90’s and 00’s could be what makes you cool today.
Some may find this phenomenon a bit frustrating; being a geek or nerd once meant that one was a member of an exclusive and limited crowd. It was rare to find and connect with someone not only on the level of interests, but also the experience of being ridiculed for those interests.
First of All I’m 6ft and they live with ME, put some respeck on my name. LOL…aaaand goku & naruto are real ones 🙌🏾 lol https://t.co/QspyHD2zwH
— Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) February 23, 2018
The wide web is a vast place that can dictate popularity, specifically when celebrity influence can be a factor. This reasoning could tie in with the trendy aspect of the geekdom. Michael B. Jordan professed his love of anime to the world during his Vogue 73 Questions interview and numerous times over the years via Twitter.
His recent tweet caused an eruption of opinions from men and women about how anime lovers were once and still are perceived. It spurred the question whether some people bandwagon because of their favorite celebrities.
Me: what's your top 5 anime
Someone who just heard michael b jordan and kim k watch anime: pic.twitter.com/Jpvr288z2m
— Kisame (@FijiChakra) March 7, 2018
Many say that the love he’s getting is selective, primarily because of his celebrity status, because years ago males were ridiculed for watching anime, not praised. This argument, though relevant in some aspect, is easily countered with the fact that women like anime too and face the same issues.
While it could be considered a bandwagon, it could also mean that celebrity ‘approval’ of such a previously stigmatized interest makes it easier for people to talk about.
A More Feasible Reason
It is also possible that social media has created a more comfortable environment for people to communicate things they may not have shared years back. On Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to connect with new people by joining or following groups that cater to your interests. This, in turn, creates online community much like we have here on Quirktastic. Back then, there were not many outlets to engage in conversation about less mainstream hobbies with a massive group of people. Maybe some people were geeks all along but never felt comfortable admitting it.
Honorable Mention: Black Panther
This discussion could not be complete without considering the worldwide phenomenon that is Black Panther. The movie, based on Marvel’s comics, was expected to be incredible and it exceeded all expectations. Its cultural impact has appealed to everyone, even those who do not follow the comics or movies. The record-breaking turn out for Black Panther increased interest for the already highly anticipated upcoming Avenger’s Infinity War movie.
I can tell who all the fake superhero fans are. It’s not about the culture nobody cares y’all seem to have forgotten Marvel/DC fans are a cult themselves. Every Marvel movie has led up to this. This is literally what we’ve been waiting for not Black panther.
— 𝖍𝖆𝖗𝖒® (@HARM0N0) March 21, 2018
Some longtime comic readers and movie goers were a bit annoyed about the opinions of some newfound fans. Such as, the expectation that Black Panther should play a huge role in the upcoming movie and the demand for Marvel to utilize their ‘best’ character. Some of the long-timers have expressed concern that the new fans will ruin the experience with their complaints about Black Panther’s screen time being shared with the extensive roster of other characters. The only way a movie experience should really be ruined is if it is trash. Marvel is not known to disappoint, so there’s that.
We should have always been comfortable sharing our love for anime, manga, and any other quirky hobbies without worry of being made fun of. The world may be more understanding now than it was back then, and maybe it is evolving for the better in that respective sense. What are your thoughts on the growing popularity of weirdo-ism and geek culture? Do you feel robbed of teenage popularity? Are you salty that it’s so cool now? Or, are you happy that more people are open about it and into it? Share your views!