Evolution of a Nerd was created during my original blogging days. It was my most popular posts … and one that people still bring up to me. Of course I had to republish Evolution of a Nerd, including an update to get caught up with the past 15 years!

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A Nerd Is Born…But You Can’t Tell Yet

I started out normal enough. I look like any cute happy baby. The bow taped to my head to signify that I am a girl. But really, nothing to indicate the horror to come.

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My Glory Days — Oh How I Miss Them

Me at 2 years old. Or, as I like to think of them, my glory days. I have my long blond hair. A cute smile. Appropriate clothing. Seriously, wouldn’t any parent want a daughter like this?

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I'm Holding My Own Still

I believe this was Kindergarten. Look at the blue eyes. The pulled back sophisticated hair. The Mona Lisa smile. OK…the clothing is not the best but it was the 1970s and my mom dressed me.

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The Signs Are Beginning To Show

First Grade. The hairdo (although perhaps appropriate in the 1970s) is not so cute. And what the heck is up with that outfit? Really — was my mom color blind?

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The Beginning of the Long Slide To Nerd

I believe this was the same year as the previous photo. What is significant is that my beautiful blonde hair is cut. And how about that dress????

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And BOOM! There You Have It: The Exact Moment I Became A Nerd!

I mean LOOK AT THOSE GLASSES! And the horrible haircut. And the knitted vest! If this is not the classic nerd photo, I don’t know what is. Don’t I seem to know that something bad has happened to me?

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The Transformation Is Complete

Another unfortunate choice of glasses. Another bad hairdo. More poor clothing choices. (Could my collar BE any bigger?)

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The Horror Continues

I remember picking these glasses and thinking “Maybe no one will notice them as much.” Well, if you wear glasses half the size of your head, people notice. And look at the unfortunate accessory choice: a necklace sticking out of a turtleneck. And a denim vest. Good Lord. And how about that hairdo? I believe this was my Farrah look. And could my teeth BE any bigger?

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Can You Believe I Had My First Boyfriend This Year?

Me neither. Back to the big giant plastic frames. And look at the bizarre and unfortunate hairdo. And again with a vest!!!!

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Perhaps Contacts Will Help

This is my 8th grade graduation photo. I don’t know if you can see it, but my grandfather typed on the bottom and added “contacts” in parentheses. This cracks me up that he did that. The collar is not my fault; I was in Catholic school at this point. The contacts helped a bit; this also marks the beginning of my “go to” haircut.

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The Start of the Perm Experiment (1982 - 1985)

Well, I got my contacts (which helped) but then I began perming my hair — with increasingly bad results. Can you believe this was from my PROM photo? Can you believe someone asked me to a prom looking like this? I must have a good personality.

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My Official High School Senior Portrait

I worked hard to achieve this photo–my best school photo EVER! (And the one I wanted people to remember me by.) Helps to have a professional photographer and soft focus.

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The Reality Is That I Looked Like This In High School

See how deceptive photos can be? This is what I actually looked like, but I was trying to erase that image from my high school friends’ minds with my “glamour” shot.

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College … Yes … College

Up to my old tricks with the gigantic plastic glasses. Did you notice them? They are clear, chosen to “blend in” so no one notices I’m wearing glasses. Did it work? Did you notice the glasses?

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A Dramatic Self-Portrait Taken After College

Back to the giant, dark-colored glasses –combined with a perm. And how much do my arms look like turkey legs?

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I Wonder Why I Had Trouble Getting Dates After College?

My only real saving grace was that I was super skinny.

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Back to Contacts and the Long Hair Experiment (@1993)

I always felt that if I could grow my hair long again, I would regain my former glory. (You know, when I was 2.) This was not true. Do I look like a vampire? Or Bette Midler? I swear we have the same nose.

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The Long Hair Experiment Continues

Unfortunately, my fashion sense leaves something to be desired.

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Me In My 40s

I’ve pretty much just given up and accepted my inner nerd. At least the glasses don’t take up half my face. And I’m married now…so I don’t have to worry anymore about fashion…or make-up…or hair.

This is me…at 41. A Nerd. But a Happy Nerd.

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Me in 2022

The original Evolution of a Nerd post ended with the previous photo. But since it is now 15 years later and I’m 55 and republishing the Evolution of a Nerd photo essay, I thought an updated photo was needed. As you can see, same old Jen–a little older, a little grayer but still a Happy Nerd. May it ever be so.