Yuki’s Note: This is unorganized and I probably got a few things wrong about nerd culture in the mainstream. Whoops.
I love scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing ads from companies such as Sugoi Shirts and Kaomoji. Seeing their flamboyant Japanese street fashion inspired clothing makes me smile at the expense of my wallet. But who cares as long as it could make me look good. I just wanna rock a fuckin’ shirt with an anime girl with a censor bar across her eyes in public! It just makes me feel good about myself and feeds my ever growing ego. But man, who would imagine vendors online selling stylish and fashionable weeaboo shirts on Facebook?
Nerds have come a long way since the darker days of our passion when we were shamed for simply enjoying our nerd culture. If I were to wear my weeaboo attire 20 years ago, people would mock me. Today? People (for the most part) tend to mind their business. Shit, just the other day, when I went to my local head shop the store clerk saw my shirt and we started talking about Fate series for a few minutes (he thought my sunglasses were something based off Fate). It was a lovely chat until he said that Rin was the worse girl in the Fate series and that Saber was the best.
I ain’t never going back to that headshop.
Anyway, you wanted to catch a superhero movie in full cosplay back in 1996 and you were over the age of 13? You got roasted! Now it’s the norm for people to cosplay as their favorite Marvel or DC superhero at opening night. If there was a nerd in a TV show, they were the laughing stock loser who never get the woman. They never got anywhere. But shows such as Silicon Valley has ended the stereotype that nerds are losers and that their hobbies won’t get them anywhere. I gotta say, this is the golden era of the nerd.
Everything that I’ve mentioned above now leads me to this question: Are nerds trendsetters?
The obvious question is yes, of course. In fact, I even answered the question my self. So leave my page. I want to say that, but I do enjoy going deeper with my theories and exploring them. We (well, I) have come up with the conclusion that nerds are trendsetters. But why? Why are us nerds trendsetters, and how can we take advantage of this before the inevitable nerd bubble breaks and we’re back to being shoved into lockers and having our lunch money stolen by the jocks (well, you weak nerds are getting shoved into the lockers, I’m knocking anyone out who tries to do that to me).
This is my theory:
People were tired of the old shit and wanted something new. Everyone and their moms love reality TV, watching sports, drinking at the local bar, what have you. Meanwhile, the nerds were in the background; creating and working on their passion. We spent our time inside, communicating with our peers, showcasing our talent online. As time went on and technology advance bringing the advent of social media people were started to take notice of the group they once shunned away: The Nerd.
Social media lead the way for nerds to showcase their creative talent (although we’ve been doing this shit years and years before that came along through online forums, blogs, etc.) As more people gain access to the internet, the more nerds were given exposure. Yes, there were TV channels such as the Sci-Fi Channel, Tech TV, and g4, but they were only viewed by their niche target market.
Now? Well, I mean they’re still being watched by their niche market, but the normies are getting into them as well. Oh and g4 is dead. So perhaps that doesn’t count. Shows that were once for nerds with cahs (meaning they could afford internet and cable packages) are available through streaming services such as Hulu, Crunchyroll, Netflix, etc.. The video game industry makes more than the movie industry. Anime is…catching up. It still has a some catching up to do, but with anime (slowly) creeping into the mainstream, I say it won’t be long until anime in the West is treated like film.
It’s funny to think about how nerds are shaping things up. We’re like rockstars (almost). Seriously. Go on YouTube right now and you see that some of the top YouTubers are people talking about video games or streaming themselves playing games. Two decades ago folks would scream at nerds that playing games isn’t a real career. Today? Playing video games and screaming at a game for hours on end is considered a real job. Of course, you have those normies who think that isn’t a real career, but they’re just mad that they’re slaving away at some corporate or labor gig they hate while the nerds they used to bully are making hunder of thousands of dollars playing video games.
So, to anwser my own question: Yes. Nerds are trendsetters.