In movies and television, the term “geek” and “nerd” used to come with a lot of negative connotations as it was most likely associated with a socially-awkward person who withdrew from social contacts and engaged in various unamusing activities.
Today the same word has a completely different meaning due to changes in social landscape. Now geeks and nerds are considered “cool” and perhaps “s*xy” in many TV shows and movies.
Whether or not you realize it, the media and entertainment industry has been navigating to change the negative image for quite a while.
A lot of nerdy and geeky fictional characters on-screen are often depicted by actors, both male and female, known to have undeniable attractive physical appeals and sense of styles.
Although nerdy characters are not traditionally cool, the following actors have helped the audience shift the typical perspective toward the geek stereotype.
And since the main characters of The Big Bang Theory are pretty much established “heroes” for modern nerds all around the world, you will not see any of them in the following list.
10 Stranger Things’ Barbara (Shannon Purser)
Nancy Wheeler is probably more popular with the boys in Netflix’s Stranger Things, but her best friend Barbara – played by Shannon Purser – isn’t always rocking that nerdy geeky look in real life.
The flamed-haired female actor has suddenly become a serious hit after portraying Barbara “Barb” Holland, the straight-laced girl in the show’s first series.
Purser herself has said that Barb wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, but fans’ opinion was the exact opposite.
Barb was a much loved nerd because Purser did the job of portraying the character remarkably well, although in real life she has a different view when it comes to fashion and grooming.
9 Orphan Black’s Cosima Niehaus (Tatiana Maslany)
One of the great things about Orphan Black is how it allows audience to see the amazing range of Tatiana Maslany’s acting talent.
The show tells a story of the secrets and intrigues along with the life complexities that may arise from cloning. Among the characters that Maslany portrays is the geeky Cosima Neihaus.
In many old TV shows, geeks and nerds typically came as people with no style whatsoever.
Things are a little bit different with Neihaus; she has a PhD in Experimental Evolutionary Developmental Biology and smokes marijuana.
She probably is not your typical s*xy girl, but Maslany undoubtedly is and then some.
8 The Office’s Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer)
At least during the early seasons of The Office, Pam Beesly was a frumpy receptionist and living in a quiet desperation.
Beesly had no love for her job; it did not necessarily make her a geek or nerd, but what she did to make her usual work day more enjoyable actually had some clear nerdish aspects.
She became the right person to handle pointless projects and non-productive tasks. Beesly was portrayed Jenna Fischer.
Just by looking at some of Fischer’s online photos, you know that in real life, she is much s*xier than Pam ever was.
7 Family Matters’ Steve Urkel (Jaleel White)
In the Department of Nerds and Geeks, the best character to be the face of the whole office is Family Matters’ Steve Urkel.
With his prominent klutziness combined with suspenders and massive pair of glasses, Urkel was the epitome of traditional nerd on screen.
As a matter of fact, his geeky antics became true assets of the entire show. In later episodes, he became some sort of mad scientist. Steve Urkel was portrayed by Jaleel White.
Two decades after the show’s last episode aired, you wouldn’t believe that how charming the actor has become.