Beauty and the Geek: Changing Gender Stereotypes on the Gilmore Girls

  • Karin E. Westman


“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d rather be a geek than a girl. But I hate having to make that choice,” comments Annalee Newitz.1 Her words reflect a society that has traditionally assumed that geeks are male, with the result that a female geek betrays society’s gendered expectations. Though this paradigm persists, female geeks have flourished in the popular media, especially during the past decade. To succeed, however, these women must often carry a passport for public acceptance: the passport of beauty. To be recognized and accepted as intellectually brilliant frequently depends on a physical brilliance, a beauty underwritten by cultural norms of Western aesthetics. While female geeks can sometimes achieve public acclaim without this passport of beauty, brilliant women in the media’s spotlight must be beautiful if they are to be valued for their intelligence.


Information Technology Popular Culture Popular Medium Chief Information Officer Cultural Perception 
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© Sherrie A. Inness 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin E. Westman

There are no affiliations available

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