Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nerd-Girl of the Year, 2012 - First Annual Award

Each January from now on I will choose my favorite nerd-girl of the previous year. What makes the perfect nerd-girl in my mind? First, she should be successful in her nerdiness, not some sad goth queen living in her parents' basement or the go-to wench at a Renaissance fair. She shouldn't  let her love of things nerdy get in the way of being attractive, though that shouldn't be her first priority, and her nerd-look could be anything from bookish to out-there. She should be a stand out in her nerdly field, be it comic book designer, librarian, or Shakespearean actress. And she should be a model for other nerd-girls.

Therefore, after much contemplation, I have chosen as Nerd-Girl of 2012: Tina Fey.
Ms. Fey is a nerd-girl on many levels: actress, (having been one myself for many years I know they are among the nerdiest of all people), writer (enough said) and comedienne (almost all female comedians are ultra-nerdy). A self-professed "Super Nerd," her character on 30 Rock, Liz Lemon, is nerdiness personified.

After honing her craft at Second City in Chicago, a rite of passage for many great comedians, Tina became a writer on Saturday Night Live, ultimately moving up to head writer, performer, and star of Weekend Update. She went on to write and act in films, and created 30 Rock, hands down my favorite comedy show on TV. I'm heart-broken it's coming to an end. She's won boatloads of Emmys and SAG Awards, even a Grammy, and was the youngest recipient ever of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.She and Amy Poehler were glorious on the Golden Globes this year, and the two of them were just named ABC News's Persons of the Week, though I'm not sure Diane Sawyer would recognize a nerd if she saw one (perhaps her husband Mike Nichols qualifies).

One of Fey's greatest achievements is that she was, in my opinion, almost single-handedly responsible for winning the 2008 election for Barack Obama. With her uncanny portrayal of Sarah Palin, she showed voters what a true debacle that situation was; especially young voters, who may not have been interested otherwise.

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin
Is she a nerd-girl in the same ways I am? I'm not sure - I'm pretty sure she doesn't write time-travel novels. But then, nerds don't always agree on what makes them nerdy. Yet a nerd, especially a nerd-girl, has a certain undefinable something that Tina definitely has, and which has caused me, after much careful consideration, to choose her as my first Nerd-Girl of the Year. I hope she will accept this honor with due humility. If she decides she wants a plaque, I'll put it in the mail.

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