This subject has been swimming around in my head for a day or so and I think this is something that ESPECIALLY us Nerdy Parents need to address not just to our children, but ourselves. Chances are pretty high that if you are a Nerdy Parent, you were once a Nerd Kid. If you were once a Nerd Kid, you probably had a really low opinion of yourself. As a matter of fact (and experience with the subject & research), you probably gave up on yourself a time or two and just let yourself go into full Geek Mode, unwashed, smelly, and covered in acne.
|Wasn't like you were getting any invites|
to leave the house any time soon.
Depression has a big part over my discussion about self-image because depression is a big factor in how we feel about ourselves. I urge you to research Depression Online so you too can be mindful of the symptoms and what you can do to treat it in yourself or your child. Also, just because I choose not to be medicated, does NOT mean medication isn't necessary for everyone. I know myself enough to know that my brand of depression will never be cured. It's just that the right counselor/psychiatrist is VERY hard to find. The only counselor I ever really enjoyed lives 2 hours away and I don't know if he's even retired yet. I digress...
Back to Self-Image. Nerdistry, though trendy as it has become, is still looked down upon. For us REAL nerds, it's like being a part of "Thug-Life"; we didn't choose it, it chose us. Real nerds, for the most part, are not the most aesthetically pleasing. Heck, we're people the majority try to avoid because some how, our obsessive fandom waves reach out and creep people out because it thinks it's funny. It's not. There is the occasional "Hot Nerd", like my husband's cousin (let's call her Velma). Those are the rare people that you think "Seriously, you're only nerd because it's trendy." until they correctly reference that latest anime you've been watching that hasn't even been dubbed yet. Hell, I just found out that Velma plays World of Warcraft & League of Legends. Nice.
But what if I told you that's utter bull-shit thinking? Seriously!
Here's the point I'm trying to make is this, nerds have a particularly unique advantage when it comes to building self-image. If you don't like who you are in real life, then become someone else! As long as it's someone more on the side of good. We don't need any IRL Sepheroths trying to destroy everything for the sake of Jenova.
I, myself was a LARPer of (real) Vampires for 10 years. I came into my group at the age of 18 having a less than desirable outlook on myself. I was overweight, had very few friends, and was disappointed in who I was as a person. After gaming, I'm still overweight, have very few close friends, but now I'm pretty happy about myself, who I am, and even how I look for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I have no disillusions about the severity of my sexiness. I definitely dress for my body type. I just have a better view of myself and who I am.
Do you have advice on how to boost a nerd's self-image? Do you have body image issues you face as a Nerd Parent? Do you have any questions about depression? Feel free to make a comment or start a discussion on the Knerd Mom Facebook page.