by Candice Huber, The Dissenting Cupcake
Being a nerd, I’ve liked Felicia Day and Geek & Sundry, her Internet empire, for a while now. I’ve watched most of The Guild and The Flog, and I’ve kept up with the geeky things she regularly puts online. When I heard she was writing a book, I was interested in hearing what she had to say, but I was also a bit apprehensive. A lot of books claiming to be “nerdy” and “geeky” just end up being a long list of stereotypes about glasses-wearing, video game playing, non-bath-taking LARPers. And most of the ones I’ve read do not shed a good light on female nerds especially. I figured Day’s book could go one of two ways: it would either perpetuate stereotypes and be a major disappointment to me or it would shed new light on what it is to be a female geek, and she would become one of my heroes. After reading You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Day has definitely become one of my heroes, and I’m convinced that she should be every nerd’s hero. Here’s why:
- She is unapologetic of her weirdness.
- She is the real deal when it comes to being a nerd.
- She has overcome depression and anxiety to become, arguably, the biggest Internet personality there is and build an amazing business.
- She is a voice for the voiceless.
- She had crushes on Jesus Christ AND David Hasselhoff; she has TWO college degrees (math and music – she uses both sides of her brain, yo!); she was legitimately addicted to WoW; and she played FREAKING ULTIMA.
The book begins with a foreward by the nerd king himself, Joss Whedon (again, arguably – can we just determine that any title I give someone can be argued, and I’ll just stop saying that? Thanks.), after which Felicia Day introduces herself to whomever it is that picked up her book with a story about how, as a grown adult, she fearlessly walked into a Build-A-Bear store in a mall and made herself a stuffed Santa. Wearing a tutu. And holding a light saber. In July. Well, maybe not *fearlessly*, but still. From there, the book is filled with stories from Day’s life, beginning with her childhood and explaining why she’s weird, to her first kiss, to her WoW addiction and spiraling into depression, to her OCD and super heavy Type A personality, to filming The Guild, building her business, and surviving #GamerGate. She paints an accurate picture of nerd life, admitting her insecurities and addictions, her fandoms, and her lack of friends. She discusses the struggle to find like-minded people and shows how easy it is to melt into the background, behind your keyboard, and forget the world.
But she also proves that getting up, shaking off, and fighting for your dreams is totally worth it. You will find many life advice gems in this book. Like this:
“I’m proud to be able to represent something, however small, to some people. Because, in my own experience, sometimes a little representation is all it takes to inspire people to follow a path they never would have considered.”
“No matter what you feel is holding you back in life…You can attempt anything. Repeat that motivational cup sentence until it gets in your gut and doesn’t sound like something stupid on a Hallmark card, because it is the basis for anything that will make you happy in this world.”
You will also find things so geeky that you may question your own nerdiness, and that’s okay. This book will make you cry laughing until you snort, give you the confidence to follow your dreams and be who you are without getting permission and with no apologies, and show you that nerds are not only people too, they rule the world. At least on the Internet.
This was originally posted on Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop blog in 2015.