History was made today for nerds everywhere: one of their own, Steve Kornacki, was listed as one of People‘s Sexiest Men Alive. After years of the list being rife with pretty boys and sculpted himbos, a humble, Gap-khaki wearing political analyst was added to the official annals of thirst.
Many would agree the inclusion was fully warranted after the MSNBC analyst displayed a lust-inducing Samsonesque feat of sheer stamina during election week, when he stayed awake for 45 straight hours to breathlessly agonize over election returns, deftly caressing his touchscreen electoral map while rapping a stream of political minutiae. The performance led to a slew of thirst tweets, including from SNL‘s Leslie Jones—”This is how I like my reporters to look, disheveled and concerned”—and a 90 percent sales increase in Gap khakis.
Kornacki wasn’t named to People’s list for his ridiculously symmetrical features, nor his ability to bench press a Prius. Rather, it was his thick, sexy mind in an age of willful ignorance that had people tuning into MSNBC for all the wrong reasons. The political analysts’ ascendance to sex symboldom seems to confirm a staggering truth: nerds are hot now.
Of course, as a DC resident named Margaret puts it, “Nerds in khakis and J Crew were always sexy [here], this is DC not LA.” She argues that Kornacki didn’t create the concept of sexy nerddom but rather brought the ethos of the DC dating scene—which Kornacki effortlessly channels despite not living here—to the national stage.
What this means for the dating lives of the geeks that roam our streets will have to be revealed in a post-pandemic world, but it seems logical to conclude it can only be a boon for those who have always believed rambling political discourses were appropriate pillow talk. No longer will they have to fear rejection when bringing up the Electoral College at bars more than ten miles away from the Capitol—the world is their oyster!
However, it should be noted that Kornacki’s rise to hotness will only behoove the true nerds of our city. As Katrina Schmidt points out, “Hot and nice nerds have always been sexy, this does not elevate Deloitte consultants who think they’re nerds because they studied poli sci at Upenn.”