I’m just going to come out and say it — If your daughter is “popular”, if boys call the house, if her friends look like the cast of “Mean Girls”, and especially if she’s ever been “Prom Queen”, “Homecoming Queen”, or worst of all “Head Cheerleader”, you probably aren’t doing your job well.

Yes, I know that’s hard to hear. You’ve been her leading man since she was born. You’ve been her tireless chauffeur to the mall, and to every Hanna Montana-themed birthday party. And you’ve made countless sacrifices so she could buy those <whatever-brand-name-is-popular> jeans.

Still, you’ve most likely failed.

You see, your only job as a Father, other than providing the necessary basics, is to make sure of one thing – that your little “princess” becomes a total, absolute nerd.

My Dad is available for consultations if you’re interested.

You may wonder why I’m calling out girls, and not boys too. But folks, the world is changing and so this is my battle cry to the next generation of females.

Invariably, there are 3 truths we must all accept:

  1. The future is female.
    (see: the most recent election results)
  2. It’s still a jungle out there.
    (see: #metoo)
  3. Survival skills are critical.
    (see: every woman who’s done anything important, ever)

And it’s not that a popular girl can’t cut it. It’s simply that the social status most fit for this sort of environment is…NERDS.

Here’s why — nerds are forced to develop a few defining skills that serve them better on average in the real world (I know, because I was one):

  • Focus: We learn from a young age that we’re outcasts, so we stop trying hard to be popular and instead focus on knowledge and creativity.
  • Chip on the shoulder: We get made fun of a lot, which doesn’t make us impervious to ridicule but it sure does make us angry…and deeply motivated to prove them all wrong.
  • “So you’re saying I got a chance?!”: Lastly and very critical, we get rejected on a daily basis. So after time, the best of us see “no” as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.

I am certain you are the kind of reader who demands scientific evidence, so I present you with this proof-of-fact quote from Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise:

“There could be a nuclear war; there’d be nothing left but cockroaches and nerds.”

Nerds are trained for many types of battle from the time they are born, from renaissance to intergalactic.

As further indisputable evidence, I present you with an excerpt from Silicon Valley philosopher-king Paul Graham in his essay “Why Nerds are Unpopular”:

Why is the real world more hospitable to nerds? It might seem that the answer is simply that it’s populated by adults, who are too mature to pick on one another. But I don’t think this is true. Adults in prison certainly pick on one another. And so, apparently, do society wives; in some parts of Manhattan, life for women sounds like a continuation of high school, with all the same petty intrigues.

I think the important thing about the real world is not that it’s populated by adults, but that it’s very large, and the things you do have real effects. That’s what school, prison, and ladies-who-lunch all lack. The inhabitants of all those worlds are trapped in little bubbles where nothing they do can have more than a local effect. Naturally these societies degenerate into savagery. They have no function for their form to follow.

When the things you do have real effects, it’s no longer enough just to be pleasing. It starts to be important to get the right answers, and that’s where nerds show to advantage…Out in the real world, nerds collect in certain places and form their own societies where intelligence is the most important thing.

But don’t freak out, Dads of popular girls — there is hope. It’s not too late to ensure your daughter stops getting invited to Homecoming and starts getting invited to math clubs. Based on scientific evidence and my own 100% reliable experience, I’ve devised a fail-safe, 3-Step method to convert any “socially accepted” girl into the nerd you should have raised (had you not fallen asleep at the parenting wheel). The nerd who will go out there into our female future, lean in harrrrrd, and only say #metoo to being a BOSS.

Ok, here it goes…

Rule #1 — All serious daring starts with an optometrist.

While not all nerds have glasses, most do (scientific evidence HERE). And your situation is dire — the clock is ticking so you need to speed up the time-to-nerd velocity. The quickest way is by taking your sweet girl to the optometrist, and getting her diagnosed with some condition that requires glasses 24–7. It sounds simple but I promise you, there is nothing like panes of glass between a young, insecure girl and the outside world to really make her feel like a freak. (Bonus points: The thicker the prescription, the better. And the bigger the glasses, the greater velocity she’ll achieve.)

Does this rule make you feel guilty? STOP! Consider the early days of these very powerful & accomplished women:

Ruth Bader Ginsberg at 6 months old — pondering social injustices while other babies made poopy.
Before she became the best actress in the world, Jennifer Garner was a GIGANTIC FREAKING NERD (wind instruments are recommended add-ons for acceleration, btw)
A little-known fact, it was a pair of thick, black glasses that made Sacagawea indispensable to the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Grace Hopper, tech nerd hero, and all around badass who does not give AF what you think, Mister.
Christen O’Brien, now a major + important leader in Silicon Valley, had help picking these glasses from…guess who?? Her Dad! (really folks, he is available for phone or in-person consults)

Rule #2 — Public ridicule is like saying “I Love You”

One day, my Dad dropped my cousin and I off at high school for the Homecoming dance. We didn’t have dates (shocking), but we knew this might be the night that everything changed — that everyone would see us in our frilly, tulle-trimmed dresses and realize how cool we actually were.

As we neared the school entrance, I asked my Dad to let us off there. He kept driving.

“Dad, what are you doing??”, I shouted. “Just let us out here”.

He looked at me with a teasing smile, pulled right up to the entrance where all the kids had gathered, rolled down the windows, and then proceeded to hit the gas and slam the breaks. Gas. Breaks. Gas. Breaks. As the car jolted forward and backward, and the breaks squealed, he hung his head out the window and started making the sound of a rap beat: “Pow pow — CHICK! — A-pow-pow — CHICK!”.

Mouths opened and heads dropped. We tried to make our escape quickly but not before my Dad yelled to us across the crowd of popular kids:

“Yo, Christen! Pick you up LAY-TA’! Peace Owwwwwt!”.

Truly, there is very little in the world that embarrasses me now which means — I am a fearless female.

You don’t get this way by having your Dad drop you off 100 yards away, people.

This was pretty much my Dad. Except for the tats and the cornrows.

Rule #3 — Teach your kids to code

I don’t mean this one literally, though I DO think every parent today should be enrolling their kids in coding classes. But — what I do mean is teaching them to love something that involves a “code” most people don’t know. It’s basically a passport into nerd-dom.

For example:

  • Music — This is a code that few popular kids ever understand. Trust me, Eddie Vedder was not the football jock. And btw — preferably a wind instrument as referenced above; anything that involves “wetting a reed” offers great velocity.
  • Art — Another secret underworld only inhabited by freaks and geeks, the ability to draw or paint will ensure they have nothing in common with popular kids, and draw deep into their inner spirit animal.
  • Writing — If you wanted to find the biggest group of nerds in my high school, you only needed to look in 1 place: the Newspaper club. I was the Editor, leading a team of nerds who were determined to expose the injustices of high school society. Nerds, nerds, nerds.
My high school newspaper was “News at its Finest”.
Side note: This is an advertisement they created recently to sell advertisements. More scientific proof; Only a nerd genius would come up with something like this.

In conclusion / Exclaimer:

While it is true that *sometimes popular kids go on to challenge the status quo, create things no one ever dreamed would exist, build game-changing products and works of art, challenge themselves to greatness, create thousands of opportunities for others, and drastically change the world, we live in a time of odds. And so I am giving my readers a method based on indisputable, scientifically proven odds to ensure their daughters have the greatest chance of becoming future Ginsburgs and Hoppers and **O’Briens.

I leave you with the wise words of Judd Apatow who once again has predicted the future:

“Eventually, the nerds and the geeks will have their day.”

That day is today, Fathers. Now get out there, and do your job.

Writer’s Notes:
* never
** not verified as scientifically, socially, or economically important; Not a reliable source either.