When Geek Girls go mainstream

When Geek Girls go mainstream

Since I can remember I have always found myself being labeled as a “geek girl” by those around me.  It was a title that I wore with pride, but I also remember the “taboo” that was associated with it. Then with the popularity of sites like YouTube came a new wave of women who weren’t afraid to be seen as the strong, proud, intelligent women that they were.

They weren’t afraid to be different and to show that smart is indeed sexy.

Now that I’ve grown up (mostly) I find myself noticing that the women from the online world that I had looked up to, were popping up more and more in mainstream media. This has given me a chance to renew my past interests as I once again find myself intrigued by the lives these women lead, and who the women behind the characters are.

So with that, here are my top five geeky women who have made their way into the mainstream, deservingly so:

Chloe Dykstra

When Geek Girls go mainstream

If you know anything about the cosplay world then you undoubtedly know the name Chloe Dykstra, and if you don’t, you should.

She is best known for her amazing transformations into Lara Croft, Aela the Huntress, GLaDOS, and Elizabeth from BioShock long before she graced the mainstream media. Chloe is an accomplished game journalist, actress, and YouTuber whose online credentials are nothing short of amazing.

Between her show Just Cos on the Nerdist, her YouTube channel which boasts over 27K subscribers and her talk show Chaotic Awesome, she can still be seen in the mainstream media on shows like Syfy channels Heroes of Cosplay as well as movies like Drag Me To Hell and Spiderman 2.

For me, the draw of Chloe is that she has never lost her way; she started out as a Cosplayer and will never apologise for being one.

“Being a geek means unapologetically loving something in a passionate, unadulterated way. Also, sometimes it means falling asleep to Doctor Horrible” ~ Choe Dykstra

Michele Boyd

When Geek Girls go mainstream

If you are anything like me then you probably recognise Michele from her reoccurring role as Riley from the massively popular web series The Guild, or as the funny and loveable comic bookshop attendant in Geek Cred. But if not, she has had a career in the mainstream media that has stretched much further than that, from appearances in Sons of Anarchy, The Young and the Restless to How I Met Your Mother. Let’s be real, its hard to miss her.

Even though she is a gamer-girl at heart, one who has spoken about having a bad World of Warcraft addiction, it wasn’t always a given that she would end up making a career out of her passion for all things nerdy. She got her Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, focusing on neuroscience research at Harvard and the National Institute of Health before settling into her career as the geeky actress we now love.

She now hosts the show Game Changers where she tries out various stunts and tricks from video games, like flying jet packs, parkour and lock picking in the real world.

For me Michele is the perfect example of following your heart and also constantly serving as a reminder for you to make your life what you want it to be, while always staying true to who you are.

Rosario Dawson

When Geek Girls go mainstream

When I see Rosario Dawson, I see Sin City. But for many, she is now known as Claire Temple from the Marvel Studios/Netflix series, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Rosario is one woman who has so much to her, that it’s hard to know where to start describing her.

She is a self-professed Trekkie, who can speak Klingon (making her possibly the nerdiest woman on my list) she has created her own, hugely successful comic book mini-series O.C.T, and is involved in more charities and organisations than would fit in this article. She has been actively involved in various causes including The National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy, Save The Children and Doctors Without Borders.

For me she is the woman who shows that no one can put you in a box, you can be anything and everything that you set your mind to!

“It’s extremely important for women to be writing their own stories and giving them to people to really be emotionally impacted by” ~ Rosario Dawson

Mayim Bialik

When Geek Girls go mainstream

Probably best known for her role as the adorably nerdy Amy Ferrah Fowler in the smash hit The Big Bang Theory, Mayim has much more in common with her beloved character than what people think. Similarly to her character Amy, Mayim has her PhD in Neuroscience. She is a published author and runs the highly successful woman centric blog called Grok-Nation, which focuses on discussing her views on news, Hollywood, parenting, woman, popular culture and faith.

For me, Mayim brought smart back. She showed me that you don’t need to fit in, and instead standing out might be what makes you awesome.

“It’s wonderful to be appreciated for being quirky, and to see Zooey Deschanel and the quirky, indie film types get mainstream play is amazing for women, because women are much more complicated than what we’ve see on TV in the past.” ~ Mayim Bialik

Felicia Day

When Geek Girls go mainstream

When I think Felicia Day I think of The Guild. It was watching this show, loosely based on her life as a gamer that made me fall in love with her. She is just this one-woman force, a writer, producer, actor and comedian that you can’t help but admire and respect. Much like her role in the Guild, Felicia is an accomplished Violinist.

At the age of 16 she went to study on a full scholarship, double majoring in mathematics and music performance, and graduated at the age of 19 in the top four percent of her class. As a creator most people know her for The Guild but she also wrote and starred in the Dragon Age web series as well as launching one of YouTubes most popular premium channels, Geek & Sundry.

In mainstream shows she has been in everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eureka, the Internet musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog to her recurring role as Charlie on Supernatural. For me Felicia shows that you don’t need to wait for anyone to help you get far in life, if you want an opportunity, make one.

“I think the whole definition of a geek is somebody being passionate and focused, and being proud of saying that they’re passionate and focused, on a narrow range of subjects.” ~ Felicia Day

These are just a handful of amazingly geeky women who have truly made it by being their unapologetically nerdy-selves. They have made standing out cool.  You should never let anyone, be it friends, family or society put you in a box and tell you that what you love and what you are passionate about, is wrong. When you accept all the things that make you and you follow your heart; you may just discover that you end up doing what you love, and it will have been one of the best decisions you ever made. Who knows, you might just be on a list like this one-day.

Even if you don’t, just be yourself – because that’s amazing.

Who is your favourite geek girl who went mainstream?

I'd love to chat to you some more.


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