the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

A Geek Speaks

(Richard trying to look non-geeky with Mindi)

One of the summer’s more popular reality shows is "Beauty and the Geek."  Women seem to love it, because women love to change a man, whether it’s a geek to a hunk, or a jerk to a nice guy.    Television executives seem to instinctively understand this.   What’s more fun for a woman viewer than watching these geeky eggheads become cool dudes (with a little help from some women, of course)?

As a board member of JAGS (Jewish American Geek Society), my biggest problem with "Beauty and the Geek"  is the unrealistic portrayal of a geek.   You non-geeks of the world would love to think that deep down, all geeks want to be just like you ordinary mortals.  Put a little hair gel in our hair and we’re like every other guy on the corner, salivating over the bikini blond at the beach.  

Hogwash.   Geeks do not like the beach, especially without SPF 100.

The whole idea of geekiness is that you sublimate your sexual interests into something obscure, like physics or comic book collecting.   A real geek would easily trade one of these silly girls for a mint condition edition of Batman #5:  Batman meets the Joker.    There have been known instances where the libido of a male geek is brought into the open — after much assistance and therapy — but I doubt any red-blooded geek would be salivating over these dumb, poor-spelling girls for very long.  

Geekiness is something ingrained, like homosexuality, and cannot be changed with a "makeover."  A real geek would be bored very quickly.    Adam Mesh from "Average Joe" is average, but not a real geek.  Richard of "Beauty and the Geek"  is closer to being a real geek, but someone as annoying as him would not be allowed to vote at one of our board meetings.


  1. Leese

    What is so wrong about being a geek? Why would people want to change them?
    Sure they talk in binary code but most are really cute and make no less than a six-figure salary. They can write in complete sentences and capable of having intelligent conversations. What’s there to change?

  2. Neil

    I think I hear the words of a female geek. And Leese — let me ask your husband if you didn’t try to change him. It’s in a women’s genes.

  3. maribeth

    I found it strange that most of the “geeks” on that show were actually pretty cute and seemed to be decent, interesting people not very much in need of a makeover. (The guy whose tagline is “Mensa member” needs to get a life, though.)

    Don’t tell me central casting couldn’t find five other doofy, uncoordinated, and annoying people like Richard to make over — I met six on my first day of graduate school.

  4. Neil

    The other geeks on the show are real geeks like Diet Coke is real Coke.

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