The definition of what Americans look like has changed over time. Nonetheless, because of historical figures and the media, Americans still tend to be characterized as accomplished white males. However, even white males can face discrimination. In Stuart Edge’s social experiment, a nerd (a socially constructed identity based on interests and looks) asks girls innocent questions until another, more “masculine” man approaches and makes fun of the nerd.
Because the nerd does not fit the standards of what Americans look like, he is singled out and mocked for his differences, such as his glasses or his word choice. This can also be seen in various movies and television shows, especially when comparing the reception towards nerds versus superheroes. Interestingly, the girls (in this case, the experiment’s subjects) come to the nerd’s defense even if it means going against the opinion of the other man. By accepting the nerd as he is, these girls are helping to redefine what Americans really are: diverse, varied, and unique.
In a time when fitness and looks are important in defining masculinity, is it possible for males that have “nerdy” traits to be considered attractive?