Thursday, September 24, 2009


Years ago, I used to love reading the book “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” to my daughter. And now, with the release of the animated movie version of that book, it was the perfect opportunity for some daddy-daughter bonding time.

At least I thought so. When I mentioned this to Maddie, her comment was
“That wasn’t daddy-daughter bonding. We were just sitting next to each other watching a movie and eating Skittles!”
“But we were eating the Skittles out of the same bag, right?”
“Whatever, dad.”

Anyway, the movie was funny and the animation was cool. The 3-D didn’t impress me all that much but that’s because I have depth-perception problems and REALITY doesn’t look very 3-D to me, either… so I’m not the best one to ask about that.

The thing I liked most about this movie, though, and something that affected me more since I WAS watching it with my daughter, was the little sub-plot involving weather reporter Sam Sparks. (That’s “Sam” as in “Samantha.” You know… the girl kind of “Sam”. This is relevant. Keep reading.) Without, hopefully, giving away too much of the movie, the gist of this storyline is that Sam is a closet nerd who was teased as a child about her science-loving tendencies. She decided to change her looks and act ditzy in order to fit-in better.

While this may seem a bit contrived, I once knew someone personally – a very attractive young woman – who did the same thing. She would occasionally let things slip out that hinted of a much higher degree of intelligence than she usually displayed. I finally asked her about this and she eventually confided to me that she actually felt she had to “dumb it down” in order to get guys to like her more.

Where did she ever get that idea and what kind of guys did she hang around with?

I’m a guy and I’m here to state loud and clear: NERDY CHICKS RULE!!!! Looks are nice and all that, but as far as I’m concerned it’s brainy nerdy women who are totally awesome!

And I’m glad “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” echoes that theme as well. Sam Sparks does, in fact, embrace her inner nerd and is liberated by the experience.

(Here’s a relevant clip:

This seems to be a welcome (and much overdue, in my opinion) trend in our current culture. It’s becoming cool for women to openly embrace a love of science, technology, critical thinking and learning. Things such as the Skepchick movement are demonstrating that not only can women be attractive and cool in spite of being nerdy; they can actually be attractive and cool BECAUSE they’re nerds!

And I hope in between the Skittles my sarcastic smart-ass daughter picked up on that. I certainly don’t want to force her into science if that’s not what she likes, but I want her to feel free to embrace that option if that IS what she enjoys.

(And speaking of her being a sarcastic smart-ass, I wonder from where she picked up THAT trait?)


  1. "I once knew someone personally – a very attractive young woman – who did the same thing."

    Bonnie? Janet? That chick that grabbed your crotch?

  2. Actually, it was Emily W., with whom we used to work. Actually, now that I think about it more, she always liked redneck-types who drove big pickup trucks... so maybe in her case playing dumb actually worked.
    As for Bonnie, she would NEVER EVER play dumb! I was her lab partner in Senior Physics. She was smart as hell and didn't care who knew it! Think of her as a proto-Skepchick.
    Janet? Think about it. Asian. Thick glasses. Playing dumb wouldn't have worked for her! :-)

  3. Oh yeah, she didn't need to act dumb to get a guy, she needed to act dumb to get a braindead redneck guy. She could have had any smart guy she wanted, but she didn't like those types.

    Didn't she end up marrying a rodeo performer? God, you can't get more braindead redneck than that. He could probably make the dumbest NASCAR driver seem intelligent.