Back in the day if you liked nerdy things like not-cars and not-sports you'd be pounded into the ground by an angry greaser or jock. I guess I'm talking about way back in the day, but the point is that being a "nerd" not only meant that you were singled out and bullied but also that you had glasses or a pocket protector or some other ultra-geeked out accessories that would seal your fate. Nowadays, though, anyone can be a nerd, because nerdery has gone mainstream with things like video games, electronics, science and fantasy being pretty commonplace. Here are some ways that nerds and nerdy things are accepted and celebrated in today's world.
Oh, so now fantasy is cool? I guess all that had to be done was to take out all the things that make it fantasy in the first place like elves and dwarves and then still keep in mainstream things like humans and naked human boobs. Still, Game of Thrones does have dragons, so points for that.
Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man and Batman have all smashed box office records in the last few years while Thor, Captain America, The Green Lantern and X-Men all released to big opening weekends just last summer. What was once dorky comic book fodder is now triple-A, astronomical budget box office smashing success. Still, I'd say we have about four more years before there's a superhero movie backlash and fans have to go back to buying and reading comic books in secret.
Alton Brown, Andrew Zimmern, Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain are just a few among so many certified food celebrities today who are very big with young demographics. They get paid to engage in various food porn and extreme food activities (like eating jaw-splitting sandwiches, doing science experiments with meat, finding the most disgusting foods in the world to try and eating the beating heart out of a snake to name a few) and we celebrate them for that. Before them, the biggest food personalities were people like Julia Child and Wolfgang Puck, who catered a lot more to an audience that was looking for something normal and comforting to cook for the family dinner. In the lives of today's foodie, if they know what wine pairs well with the French meal they're about to consume or happen to know the best type of animal fat to sauté cauliflower in, then that's actually pretty cool.
Star Trek is a good example; their fans don't seem quite as nerdy anymore because their weird, antiquated space travel series got a sleek reboot with popular actors, high-intensity action sequences and loads of special effects. On the other hand, if you went to a Trekkie convention that would still be a lot like plumbing the depths of unabashed nerdiness with horrifying results.
Star Wars nerds seem cooler than they used to because all they do anymore is hate on George Lucas for ruining the Star Wars franchise. OK fine, there's the glut of games, merchandise, novels, re-releases and fast food tie-ins that have completely permeated pop-culture too.
The holy mecca of nerdom; Comic-Con draws fans of comic books, video games, technology, anime, movies, TV, sci-fi and more to one spot each year where they can soak it all up like nerdy sponges. Years ago this would have been niche, and now it's something that produces media headlines, draws huge crowds and has longevity due to the never ending amount of well-loved classic and exciting new intellectual property's that fanboys go apeshit crazy over each and every year.
Hipsters don't need hipster jokes because they are the joke themselves. They’re also a great example of a prominent group of modern nerdery having ripped off hippie, nerd and snob culture making it into something that's aggravating, banal and...celebrated? The caveats here are that A) hipsters only glorify other hipsters and B) society glorifies psuedo media-made hipsters i.e. Zooey Deschanel on New Girl.
...despite the fact that they're attractive. Girls, if you can pull this off then you are an auto-nerd (automatically and endearingly considered a nerd) and many of us will love you for that, unless you can beat us at our favorite games. That kind of emasculating domination will not stand.