Geeks, Nerds and T-Shirts

I like slogan shirts. From classic Keep Calm logos, to designer parodies such as Féline and Homies, to the age-old argument of Team Edward v Team Jacob, (are we still banging on about this?) to humorous play on words like Comme Des Fuckdown, slogan shirts are hugely popular among celebrities, bloggers and the now the general public. Yeah, I like them. Funnily enough, the only slogan shirt I've ever owned was the one I mentioned in a previous post – an asymmetric red long sleeve with the words “I love my attitude problem” printed in silver glitter (yes I know, I have already hung my head in shame on numerous occasions, thanks). Although I was probably craving a rebellious nature, my 12 year old attitude problem was non-existent so it was kind of a meaningless broadcast. Because after all, a slogan shirt is supposed to reflect the person wearing it, right?

So when I first walked into Primark and was greeted with a range of crop tees bearing the words geek, loser, nerd and other such labels, I was slightly confused; since when was proclaiming that you are someone who receives a lot of social stick in everyday life deemed as cool? Since when was it ‘in fashion’ to be degraded? After all, those words were created to offend, were they not? I went home empty handed, kind of pissed off and kind of STARVING because I’d spent a grand total of 1 hour shopping and was for some reason dead beat (Primark drains the soul).

I believe it is perfectly acceptable for individuals who are proud to be considered a geek or a dork to wear a piece of clothing that confirms this – if they themselves are comfortable enough in their own skin to conform, respect to them. Personally, I would consider myself a geek (I’m not sure how stereotypical we want to go here); I wear glasses, adore video games, spend way too much time on the computer, and have definitely broken out in acne on more than one occasion. I’m not proud of my deteriorating eyesight or my terrible skin, was verbally attacked on many occasions during my childhood because of these factors, and wouldn't be comfortable bearing a cotton reminder of how crap I felt back then. However, I have nothing against people doing so – each to their own, as I like to say.

What I don’t believe is acceptable is when individuals who bully, criticise and demean others for being geeks and nerds, yet have the audacity to stroll around with a t-shirt bearing those words. Why are the popular kids in school walking around with ‘loser’ sprawled across their chest when just a few hours ago they shoved a kid down the stairs for spending too much time at the library? It just doesn't make sense to me.

See, it’s a bit like Converses.

At the tender age of 14, my first pair of Converses was bought for me by my dad (who later decided he will not have a daughter walking around in trainers that are scribbled over and ripped to shreds and so chucked them in the bin – I cried for a week). They were high tops, in a deep green hue, the brilliant white laces the cleanest they will ever be. I adored them. Other kids outside my social circle however, did not.
“Err man, look at those goffs (yes, here we go again with the goffs), look at their stupid trainers. You lot look well stupid.” Yeah, well so does your face.

Anyway, we didn't care – our Converses were our pride and joy, and we wore them until wear and tear did us part. A few years later, I was walking through town and noticed a couple of the boys that used to bug us on the green wearing, you guessed it, Converses. All of a sudden, Converses seemed to have boomed among tracksuit-wearing individuals ever since Nike took over – for some reason, those ‘stupid’ trainers that were scorned were now being donned by every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Chaz...and Dave).

Hey, I’m not bitter, just bemused!

Either way, geek shirts are indeed in fashion and probably will be for some time – and I'm still, and probably always will be, in two minds about them. Personally, I’d rather spend my money on the Sherlock boxset.(WHEN IS IT BACK ALREADY?!)

Let me know your thoughts :)


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