The triumph of the nerds: Geek chic!

They're hardly classic pin-up material, so why are women falling for them?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY
Share
Related Topics

Blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth. Well, catch the eye of admirers, at least. Open many a magazine and newspaper and it is specs, rather than pecs, that are increasingly earning unsuspecting men the title of the nation's latest pin-up.

Step forward The Choir's Gareth Malone, whose prime-time antics on the BBC teaching Brits to sing – most recently military wives, who are now vying for the Christmas No 1 spot – have attracted plaudits and, apparently, raised a few heart rates in the process. Not having watched his on-screen exploits, I can't really see it myself but a brief, highly unscientific straw poll in the office proves me wrong. Nice guy and mums' favourite Malone is, it seems, the crush du jour.

And he is not the only geek to claim that crown this year. You only had to glance at Twitter during the seventh series of The Apprentice this summer to realise that there was a lot of love in the ether for the eventual winner, bespectacled inventor Tom Pellereau. The result was claimed as a kind of victory for nerds everywhere. Then, of course, there is TV's particle physicist – and former D:Ream keyboard player – Professor Brian Cox, who has done wonders in boosting interest among women in the stars (those in the sky that is; not D:Ream).

There is even some, er, evidence to back up our collective geek love-in. Celebrity magazine Heat's annual Weird Crush list – compiled from readers' admissions of unlikely lust – is topped this year by Richard Osman. He is the bloke off the BBC teatime general-knowledge quiz show Pointless, co-presented by Alexander Armstrong; the one with all the answers. Other nerds gracing the top 20 include "new entry" Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne at number 15 (really?!), and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who has moved up one place since last year to 16 (again, really?! No offence, Yvette). Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg are 14th and 13th, respectively. I think the readers of Heat and I will just have to agree to disagree.

Of course, the rise of the geeks doesn't mean women are suddenly steering clear of men with muscles and good looks galore. The heart-throb statuses of Hollywood A-listers Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and George Clooney are pretty safe for now. But, thanks perhaps to our propensity to share just about everything through social networking sites, our so-called "weird" or guilty crushes seem to be less secret now. Rather than confiding in friends, people are sharing with the Twittersphere, and finding they are not alone in their fancies. And let us not forget that geekdom is not limited to the male of the species: there are plenty of female nerds out there too.

Naturally, liking geeks is nothing new. I'll admit that, back in the day, I had a youthful crush on the TV character Doogie Howser MD (the 16-year-old doctor prodigy). And, as a teenager, it was Dean Cain's TV portrayal of the character Clark Kent that piqued my interest far more than his performance as Kent's alter ego, Superman. (Admittedly, that may be because Superman used far too much hair gel for my liking. Sure, it probably made him more aerodynamic, but is there really any need for so much grease? I think not.) While Malone, Pellereau and co are often labelled as "unlikely" pin-ups, is it really that surprising that women are attracted to intelligent, articulate, nice, kind men, who are not unattractive?

You definitely don't need to be a nerd to work that one out. And who knows what lies beneath those geeky specs, bowties and suits?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all