Stereotype: Nerd

Everybody gets stereotyped.

Agree or disagree, it is actually true. Even you do. Nobody gets excluded from it -even the popular people and those well-liked also get labeled.

I’ve always been stereotyped as a nerd (or a geek) since forever. When people ask me if I am, well, I am unsure of what to say. When I was younger, when people labeled me as one, honestly, I really felt bad and took it offensively. That was before.

Maybe because physically, I wear eyeglasses, the more now that I wear black thick-rimmed ones (or what they call “geek chic” or “emo” -wow, another stereotype!) I’m also short and not athletic at all. And I always tie my hair in a ponytail. I’m not saying that being short or tying your hair makes you a nerd though. These are just some of the things that make me physically distinct from “typical” people, I guess.

More than the physical, well, maybe I do act like a nerd. You would see me browse my book in-between periods when there would be a test; take notes even if there are Powerpoints (which are the notes I’m actually copying) posted online; being a useless player in our team for P.E. “Hey, look, it’s the ball! Why didn’t you even hit it?! IT WAS ONE FOOT AWAY FROM YOU!

Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about nerds. (Source)

“The stereotypical nerd is intelligent but socially and physically awkward.”

Well, I’m not intelligent, but yes, I do agree that I am physically awkward! Socially awkward -I’d have to say that I’m in between.

In film and television depictions, nerds are disproportionately white males with very large glasses, braces, severe acne and pants highly lifted up.

I have glasses, but not the ones with really large lenses. I do not have braces. I have acne -bacne. I do not wear pants highly lifted up either.

“…rejecting slang that “cool” white children use.”

Yes, I completely agree. And speaking to my fellow countrymen who conform to the norms of the society, mind you.

“They typically appear either to lack confidence… with the result that they become frequent objects of scorn, ridicule, bullying, and social isolation.”

Do I lack confidence? Maybe. Am I a frequent object of the aforementioned? Not really. I don’t know, maybe.

“Some nerds show a pronounced interest in subjects which others tend to find dull or boring…”

Emphasis on this. I like the society, current events, politics (basically social sciences) and the media. My peers find these topics absolutely dull, needless to say. You have your mainstream music, your Grammy-award musical series; and where writing on a wall is not considered vandalism. To each his own.

“…or just simply too complex and difficult to comprehend…”

“Maita, you want to change the world, right? How the heck do you even do that?!” (I don’t know how to either, but I’ll try.)

“Maita, how do you even know the coding scheme (geographical location) of plate numbers?”

“Maita, how do you know these deep Tagalog words?” (Kachichas -deep ‘yon?)

“…or overly mature for their age…”

An adult asked me once, “Government? Public service? You’re that young and those are what you actually think of?”

“Maita, you think too much. You’re too deep.”

And, physically speaking… (off-topic)

Relative: Maita, what grade are you in?
Maita: First year.
Relative: College?

I accept the fact that I look old mature.

Even my friends label me as a nerd. Once, we played Taboo, and the word my teammate and I had to guess was “geek”. Guess what they said? Maita. That was the first word they said.

Stereotypes give wrong impressions too. A close friend said, “I thought that you were a silent nerd, but when I got to know you more, you were totally different and undeniably better than my opinion.” (Aww! I love you.) Basically, stereotypes are derogatory and shouldn’t be a “basis” to make assumptions of a person.

As I’ve said earlier, when I was younger, I felt offended when people called me one, because my impression of a nerd was no friends, the library as a second home, a study-study-study-i-have-no-life sort of person.

But somehow, growing up, I came to realize that being labeled as a nerd isn’t so bad after all -compared to being labeled as a b**ch, slut or even a**hole, is it? It doesn’t really give a negative connotation compared to the ones I mentioned. I try to see it as a compliment -labeling me as a nerd probably implies that I fulfill my duties as a student, I study well and get good grades. Some of them are maybe jealous or what (but I don’t like using that word) so they take out all their frustration and feel one step higher by calling me a nerd. If you are labeled as a nerd, people think you’re smart -better than seeing you as an airhead. More than that, people will more likely look up to you.

After all, stereotypes are only impressions and a generalization.

So, yes, maybe I am a nerd.

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