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The Reality of Being a Female Nerd

Why We're Making a Name for Ourselves

Let's blur the lines

The Geek community has been around for years. A community most popularized by the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. This community houses fans from all genres including video games, DC and Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, and several other franchises. There have been many changes to the community. The community that was originally laughed at and stereotyped to be the awkward, glasses wearing nerds has now become that majorly cool group you want to be a part of. Spawning multiple conventions across the world. Making names for popular gamers and cosplayers. It's a community that continues to grow. However, I think the biggest change has been the growing popularity of the female nerds. 

Women tend to be told we need to be prim and proper and pay attention to our looks and social status. Let's be honest being a nerd hasn't always been cool. The geek community has an abundance of male influence, but hasn't, until the last 10 maybe 15 years, had much of a female influence. Names like Felicia Day, Yaya Han and Jessica Nigri have made huge changes to that. Opening doors to great opportunities originally offered to men. Their names have been popular all over the country and even the world. Yaya Han even became known to have a successful material line and even a tv show. It's incredible how much has changed. For this purpose, I'll be breaking this community into two sub-units: Cosplay, and video gaming. 

The cosplay community welcomes female cosplayers and nerds. It's a chance to use our creativity to create and shine. It's a community that tells us its okay to be ourselves and to remember to have fun. You walk into a convention and you'll see females cosplaying everything from superheroes/ villains, Disney characters, strong video game characters... you name it and you'll probably find it. Its great to be able to connect to other female cosplayers who share similar taste. It's also a community that has spanned a lot of controversy due to the pressure being a put on body image and the growth of sexual harassment and assault. Unfortunately, this is an issue due to the popularity of the sexy female cosplayer. Yes, men make up most of the community and this is a side effect of that. This hasn't broken us though. In fact, many female cosplayers have become ambassadors for Cosplay isn't Consent and promoting positive views towards body image. The movement has already made significant changes in how we are viewed. It tells us that we are welcome no matter what we look like and that we should be respected. This is a change I'm very proud of.

The gaming community is a little different. A community that is still heavily run by male influences. It hasn't been until the last 10 years maybe that women have started playing a big role in gaming. Gamers such as Ihascupquake, LDShadowlady, and Stacyplays have really made significant impacts on this community. I, myself, look up to them. Until recently I wasn't taken very seriously as a gamer and have often been laughed at. They either assume I'm lying about my gender or that I'm only playing to get male attention. I really just love shooting zombies in the head in L4D2 or building creative houses on Minecraft. I love the storyline in Halo and the action-packed structure of CoD. I don't play for anyone but me. And yes my Blood Elf is bad-ass. I worked hard for that. Recently I watched one of my favorite YouTubers talk about their experience at E3 claiming it was testosterone fueled. They claimed there were very few women there and those that were there got some funny looks. This proves that we are still fighting for our place in this part of the Geeky community. 

Being a nerd has been one for my favorite attributes of myself but it's no secret that we as women have had to fight for our place in this community. I'm very proud to be a female and a nerd. I love cosplaying and I absolutely love video gaming. Both have helped me significantly come to accept myself for who I am. As someone who was bullied for most of their life its refreshing to finally be welcomed. I've made so many friends and it helped me to become closer to my boyfriend. That similarity is one of the reasons we get along the way we do. 

If you are a geeky female I welcome you to the community and advise you to embrace what makes you great. This wonderful community is perfect in any way but we try our best to be warm and welcoming. Share your creativity, strut your style, and play that game like a boss. In this community we accept everyone just the way they are. 

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The Reality of Being a Female Nerd
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