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Drop a grand on your image, and pet the pelts of possibility!

By shirobara in MLP
Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 10:51:03 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Geek Boys: Can't get a date? Urban girls will take you shopping! Get ready for an emergency Silicon Valley Fabulizing...


From the Salon Inbox on December 7, 2000:

You live life in front of your computer; you wear T-shirts you picked up at a trade show, khakis and ancient tennis shoes. Your haircut cost you $8, even though you make a six-figure salary. You haven't had a date in a year.

Fortunately for you, Geek Boy Services is here to help. For a paltry $1,000 ($700 for clothes, $300 for services rendered) and three hours of time, a genuine Cool Chick will take you shopping: "You will have more confidence. More hip clothes, more action."

Geek Boy Services' website is appallingly unattractive, but is their idea sound? On one hand, maybe there is a need for this kind of service - one wouldn't spend $1000 on something of the sort if one thought it was unnecessary. They promise an "insider's view of this city (San Francisco), boosted self-confidence, and a great time with a girl you can question on the sly." Perhaps such a service would help otherwise extremely introverted young men learn previously disdained social conventions, introduce them to more varied into social circles, and help them deal with women constructively, not unrealistically.

On the other hand, the service plays into many bad stereotypes about lonely, unhip computer programmers and superficial women attracted only to outside appearances. It calls to mind every movie where the hero or heroine takes off his or her glasses, puts down his or her books and suddenly becomes the life of the party. What kind of expectations might this be setting up?

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Poll
Would you consider using a service like this?
o I'm male - no, I wouldn't 55%
o I'm male - only if I was really desperate 8%
o I'm male - yes, I would 3%
o I'm female - no, I wouldn't 2%
o I'm female - only if I was really desperate 0%
o I'm female - yes, I would 0%
o I don't have that kind of money in the first place! 29%

Votes: 120
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Get ready for an emergency Silicon Valley Fabulizing...
o Salon
o Inbox
o Geek Boy Services
o Also by shirobara


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Drop a grand on your image, and pet the pelts of possibility! | 42 comments (39 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
somebody'll say it (3.71 / 14) (#2)
by h2odragon on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:16:56 AM EST

may as well be me...

For a kilobuck, the young lady had better be prepared to do much more than take me shopping... and for longer than 3 hours, too.

Taking you too literally (4.25 / 4) (#12)
by the Epopt on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 10:25:57 AM EST

It's only $300 for the girl's services; $700 buys you clothes.

And as for "longer than three hours" -- what would you do after the first three minutes, big boy?
-- 
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

K5_Arguing_HOWTO
[ Parent ]
shall I say it more clearly (4.20 / 5) (#13)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 10:27:54 AM EST

Like a hooker, but without the sex.

But thats the question. You know...

Yeah yeah. Its *just* shopping.
Yeah yeah. Its *just* a massage.
Yeah yeah. Its *just* executive stress therapy.
Yeah yeah. Its *just* a date for the school reunion.

Yeah yeah.

Yeah yeah. Your dating a hooker.

You *must* have seen the Fraiser where Niles makes that mistake...
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
Don't laugh.... (4.25 / 4) (#28)
by ucblockhead on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:26:45 PM EST

I've looked at the site a little, and it strikes me that this is nothing more than a repurposed "escort service". I'd bet big money that these young ladies didn't get hired for the shopping experience.

Though more likely than not they'll get you into fashionable looking clothes...

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
and then.. (3.75 / 4) (#31)
by molo on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:31:06 PM EST

Though more likely than not they'll get you into fashionable looking clothes...

And then get you right out of them!

--
Whenever you walk by a computer and see someone using pico, be kind. Pause for a second and remind yourself that: "There, but for the grace of God, go I." -- Harley Hahn
[ Parent ]

silly as this sounds... (4.00 / 11) (#3)
by daystar on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:18:04 AM EST

... it's a great idea. I had a friends wife take me out and pick my clothes. It made a HUGE difference in my life. Sure, I had to call her up early in the morning for awhile to remind me what clothes go with what, but once I got the hang of it I was looking MUCH better, and I got a lot more positive attention.

I wouldn't bother spending MONEY on this, but get a friend's SO to repair your sense of style. You won't regret it.

--
There is no God, and I am his prophet.
I must be silly too... (4.20 / 5) (#8)
by theboz on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:34:20 AM EST

Most of the clothes I wear were gifts given to me. Yes, I do have all the t-shirts from expos, and I prefer jeans to khakis, but the nice clothes I have were given to me by either family (mom, sisters picked out) or even more by my girlfriend.

In fact...right now, I have a leather jacket my mom bought for me, a shirt my girlfriend bought for me, and the rest I got but basically I never look too dorky. The only complaint I get from them is how wrinkly my clothes are. That's what happens when I do my own laundry and decide it is more efficient to dump them onto a chair rather than hang them up. Why should I hang up clothes when I will have to put them in the dirty basket as soon as I wear them?

And, I have to admit I voted +1 to this, because I found it extremely amusing. If these people want to spend $1000, why not use it to buy an airplane ticket and a hotel for a good weekend vacation somewhere on the beach so that hot girls will flock to them anyways just for having the XY configuration rather than the XX?

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Count me as silly... (4.00 / 3) (#11)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:44:09 AM EST

I hate shopping for clothes. Rants and raves about the homogenous nature of Old Navy aside, that store has been extremely good for me in the sense that you can get a lot of fairly cheap, well-fitting, mildly stylish but also very basic garments there. My old plain white long-sleeved shirt wears out? Hello new plain white long-sleeved shirt. Add a pretty necklace and all a sudden it's not just a cheap plain white shirt!

[ Parent ]
Huh? (2.27 / 11) (#5)
by greyrat on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:18:43 AM EST

What? The rest of you don't have a beautiful, devoted, smart, steady girl friend?

You mean all this geek loner stuff is really true?

Brrrr. I feel sorry for anyone who has to stoop this low.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

Nope.. (4.00 / 3) (#33)
by titus-g on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 01:03:13 PM EST

Some of us have beautiful, devoted, smart, steady wives :)

And mine does in fact generally help me with my clothing choices.

unfortunately she doesn't have much taste, pre marriage I generally dressed pretty well, now I wear soft cotton (excersise) trousers and tops...

Hmm actually that's not quite fair, that's just what I wear at home...

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

Yeah -- well, what I meant was... (3.66 / 3) (#34)
by greyrat on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 02:37:19 PM EST

Actually, I have one of each (yes, she's and ex-wife). But they both have done well by keeping me in style and leaving me to my own devices...which ever they could stand at the time.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
*pfft* (1.50 / 6) (#7)
by pb on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:33:38 AM EST

Maybe I'm giddy from being up all night (ok, I am), but that was *really* amusing (and somewhat pathetic).

I couldn't help myself; even though it was MLP, I had to vote (+1, Front Page).

Is that just more proof that Kuro5hin needs a Humor section, or what?

P.S. Thanks for the game reference, again; I still need to find it for Lisa...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
Horrilbe and Insulting (3.14 / 7) (#9)
by reshippie on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:34:21 AM EST

Paying $700 just for the woman to walk around with you? That's lame and, well, some other words that I can't think of right now. Stores have people that are there to help you find stuff, and sometimes they are even helpful.

Are there really that many people that have such low self esteem that they need to shell out that much money? $1000 is a small percentage of a 6 figure salary, but it's still a $1000. This kinda reminds me of the story yesterday about the high-tech houses-some people just have too much money.
</rant>

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)

not $700 for the date (3.66 / 3) (#17)
by Karmakaze on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:04:39 AM EST

Actually, you're paying $300 for the woman to walk around with you. You're paying $700 for new clothes that the $300 woman walking around with you is going to select.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
Dyslexic I am (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by reshippie on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:48:12 AM EST

Doh! read it wrong.

I still think it's outrageous. $700 worth of clothes? I don't want that much clothing, and I sure as heck don't want to spend that much on only a week's worth of clothing.

Give me my jeans and t-shirts and I'm happy.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

The sad thing (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by ucblockhead on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:28:10 PM EST

The sad thing is that $700 of "fashionable" clothes makes up two, maybe three outfits.

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Well, it is a little outrageous (4.00 / 2) (#37)
by Karmakaze on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 03:27:56 PM EST

On the other hand, $700 would buy about a week's worth of (quite) nice, properly tailored, lawyer-suits. There are some industries where that would be considered a normal expense.

Of course, one of the things I heard quoted most as to why people prefer computer careers is that they don't have to maintain a wardrobe like that.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
not $700 for the date (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by Karmakaze on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:12:55 AM EST

Actually, you're paying $300 for the woman to walk around with you. You're paying $700 for new clothes that the $300 woman walking around with you is going to select.


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]
Stereotype of geeks (1.83 / 6) (#10)
by darthaya on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 09:41:42 AM EST

Is out-of-shape, wearing thick glasses, and sitting in front of computer typing and chatting all day long.

Hrm... (4.62 / 8) (#14)
by Electric Angst on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 10:46:09 AM EST

What does this say about geeks in society? After growing up shunned by society, you work hard and use the skills and knowledge that you were previously mocked for to become sucessful and rich. What do you do with your newly-aquired wealth?

You spend it attempting to look good and fit in with the society that mocked you.

If you don't like yourself, then no clothing is going to change that. Paying an attractive woman to fawn over you isn't going to change that either. Self esteem comes from within.

This is sad, because it just proves that geeks will be as shallow as anyone else.

(Okay, I'm rambling, I'll just post this now and hope for replies so I can develop the thought further...)
--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
They aren't as shallow as anyone else? (4.00 / 2) (#16)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:02:42 AM EST

I don't find it too hard to believe that one could find 150 people who'd do this sort of thing. Of course, the marketing for this particular idea is towards "geeks" but you could probably find 150 (or many more than 150, sadly) people in other professions and social groups who'd want to give this kind of thing a shot. It's a little more striking in this case because it's so blatantly marketed...

[ Parent ]
Shouldn't they know better? (4.00 / 4) (#21)
by Electric Angst on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:17:33 AM EST

I don't find it too hard to believe that one could find 150 people who'd do this sort of thing.

I agree, there are plenty of people who would do this sort of thing. In fact, it's not too far off from the "personal shoppers" that high-dollar stores offer to help people. The difference is the marketing, and the fact that those who describe themselves as "geeks" should know better. Being outside of the mainstream, they should be able to have a better perspective about what's going on. (Of course, looking at the poll results, it appears that they do.)

This service, essentially, is worthless. If you really need someone to pick out your clothes and have that kind of money, you can have a personal shopper from a high-class store help you pick out your clothes, and they'll do it for free. (Since they're payed by the store to do it...)
--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
I suppose the promises sound good... (3.50 / 2) (#22)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:22:38 AM EST

It's not just the clothes (though in reality it does seem to be just the clothes; that's what you're spending the $700 on ^_^) - it's the whole attitude. On your side - you dress better - on our side, we'll get you this whole new life. I can see how that would be very, very tempting.



[ Parent ]
A whole new life? (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by MrSpey on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 03:15:14 PM EST

on our side, we'll get you this whole new life

I don't want a whole new life. If I wanted a whole new life, I'd go live a different one. I can understand the idea of a group of people who are very fashion conscious and would prefer to help geeks marketing a professional shopper service towards computer professionals in s.f., but getting them a new life?

Mr. Spey
Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

[ Parent ]
That's what they say, o_O (4.00 / 2) (#38)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 03:29:24 PM EST

They start with the assumption that your life lacks style, confidence, interest and of course dates. After you go drop $700 on clothes and spend time with a couple "lifestyle consultants" (as referred to in the Salon article), then you'll magically have all of these things!

Ah well. I suppose it'd be a nice (though pricey) learning experience for some people.



[ Parent ]
Inner Stirrings on the Same Note (4.75 / 4) (#24)
by Mad Hughagi on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:38:33 AM EST

My first reaction when I saw this was very similar to what you have proposed, but then I realized it had more to do with my personal outlook than the 'geek' subculture in general.

While I find that some people put way too much emphasis on appearence (usually for the wrong reasons, non the less - I believe this is what you are commenting on), there should be no reason to come to a quick judgement on how people enjoy themselves. If you've spent most of your life not caring about your appearence, and you make a quick decision to change it up, then good for you!

Now, whether or not I would entrust my fashion into the hands of someone who is getting paid to do it is another question - Personally I think that fashion sense is more of a creative outlet to express individuality than an 'oh, I'm going to pick up so many chicks/guys with these new Gap kahkis!', and by paying someone to decide your appearence I think you are missing out on the real fun of creating your own visual personna (I like to think that it's Halloween 365 days a year! - one costume after another).

In the end though I don't think I'd go as far as painting geeks as a whole shallow. Just like any other sub-culture there will be those who have the more idealistic outlook, and there will be those that find enjoyment in the popularistic outlook. I guess it comes down to your personality.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Surprised if this is sucessful (3.66 / 6) (#15)
by ignatiusst on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:02:37 AM EST

Anyone who has an $8 hair cut and who wears trade-show t-shirts, khakis, and old tennis shoes probably doesn't care whether he/she (why is it "Geek Boy Services", anyway? Why not Geek Girl?) is fashionable or not.

This sounds like an escort service...

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

It's easier for us.... (4.25 / 4) (#19)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:12:56 AM EST

As Hedy Lamarr said - any girl can be glamorous; all you have to do is stand still and look stupid. No need to pay $1000 for that ^_^

[ Parent ]
Yes, you DO know some hip women. (4.50 / 8) (#20)
by Sax Maniac on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:17:24 AM EST

First of all, skip the moronic Flash to get to the actual page.

Now, most importantly: you don't need to pay for this. Unless you are a hermit, you probably have a cousin, or friend's SO, who has a good sense of fashion. Ask them to go shopping with you and give suggestions. I bet you they'd be thrilled. Wouldn't you go and help your cousin with her computer if they asked? It's the same thing.

Best thing is that she will know you personally, and not try dress you up like a Ken doll. Having some anonymous chick dress you up in clothes that don't fit you will leave you with nothing but an empty wallet and a pile of clothes you don't wear in the back of your closet.
Stop screwing around with printf and gdb and get a debugger that doesn't suck.

The moronic Flash sets the whole tone... (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 11:24:14 AM EST

I thought about linking directly to the page, but it's just not the same without that idiotic introduction... "URBAN GIRLS WILL TAKE YOU SHOPPING!" ^_^



[ Parent ]
Thrilled? (2.75 / 4) (#26)
by priestess on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:11:00 PM EST

Ask them to go shopping with you and give suggestions. I bet you they'd be thrilled. Wouldn't you go and help your cousin with her computer if they asked?
Humm, well, possibly I'd go help but I definately wouldn't be thrilled. Free tech-support to friends an families is too dull and happens too often for it to even begin to thrill me.
Pre...........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Thrilled, maybe. (none / 0) (#42)
by Sax Maniac on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 02:59:13 PM EST

Good point. I guess a better analogy would be helping out a relative buy a new computer. I wouldn't suggest calling your fashion advisor every week, saying "What do I wear now?" or "How do I wash this sweater?"
Stop screwing around with printf and gdb and get a debugger that doesn't suck.
[ Parent ]
Don't even need to know anyone... (3.33 / 3) (#27)
by ucblockhead on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:24:12 PM EST

Hell, you might as well just go to some fashionable looking store, find a salesgirl, and say "please dress me".

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Wear black (4.50 / 8) (#30)
by Paul Crowley on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:28:18 PM EST

If you don't know what to wear, wear black.

I've given this advice to lots of people, but seriously, it's hard to go too far wrong with black. Just wear black shoes, black socks, black jeans, and a black T-shirt. It'll all match, and you'll probably look mostly OK.

Other than that, the advice on getting fashion consultancy from a friend or acquaintance is good. If you wear glasses, sort out a good pair of glasses first - drop a ton of cash on them, get them coated with everything and ultra-light plastics, and make sure your fashion consultant approves of them. Use posh shampoo with posh conditioner, or get a number 1 - get someone to recommend a good hairdresser and take their advice. XL t-shirts are good - I'm very skinny and I wear XL t-shirts exclusively. Shave - facial hair is mostly unpopular. Wash regularly, have your teeth seen to, wear clean clothes (buy a fuckload of clothes and get service washes). Don't wear a watch unless you're sure it looks good - you can always use your Palm Pilot to find out the time.

Basically, if you have money but no style, you can spend money to look better much more efficiently than by hiring these people. But I recommend vanity as a life strategy - I learned to be vain about ten years ago and I've never looked back.
--
Paul Crowley aka ciphergoth. Crypto and sex politics. Diary.
False advertising... (4.20 / 5) (#32)
by ucblockhead on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 12:34:10 PM EST

The reason that people are attracted to certain sorts of clothes is because they expect certain sorts of people in them. The way people dress is a form of communication, and more than anything, it reflects the sort of person you are. If you buy clothes that don't match your personality, anyone you attract is likely not to last too long once they find out that your not the sort they thought you were.

So perhaps if you are only interested in one night stands, wearing different clothes might do the trick, but for God's sake, don't do this thinking that your new wardrobe is going to find you the woman of your dreams!


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
It's not the fashion advice the bothers me ... (4.25 / 4) (#36)
by MrSpey on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 03:27:34 PM EST

... what bothers me is the way they say they'll change your life and make you cool. What's wrong with my life?

Ideally, members of the geek community are comfortable with who they are and what they do. After all, isn't that the point of having a geek community at all, so that we can all hang out with people we like and who like us and accept us as who we are? But the advertising pitch of this service is that they'll help you fit into the cool crowd. I would have thought that most of us would have been over that by now, or at least close to it.

I suppose you could look at it as the 'in crowd' wanting to take out money to be able to be part of them. I'm not sure if that's a step towards social equality or not, but it's interesting (to me, at least).

Mr. Spey
Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

One of the things I thought as I read this was... (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by shirobara on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 03:37:56 PM EST

...I remember reading Slashdot and k5 posts every so often about the "cool girls" in school that people seemed to have unrealistic infatuations with, the girls that didn't want to have much to do with the whining posters. And here the cool girls are now, more than happy to take the money and change the image of the guys they wouldn't have bothered much with in school. There's a very interesting dynamic in that...



[ Parent ]
::cringe:: (4.60 / 5) (#40)
by clarioke on Fri Dec 08, 2000 at 05:23:06 PM EST

This grates against me on many different levels.

  • Shouldn't one's choice in clothes be a direct reflection of the self? It's the first thing someone notices, the quickest way to make a first impression. *Mental note: I should get out of my PJ's when a prospective new roommate drops by tonight...* So if you're wearing trendy clothes, odds are you won't attract the sort of people you really want to attract anyway. Just me, but trendy clothes tend to turn me off.

  • $1000 is way too much. Get a friend to help. Something funny? Some people who don't dress in the trends du jour have a pretty good sense as to what's out there. ::shrugs:: that could just be me. I know what's trendy, but I'll be damned if I'll willingly wear them.

  • Changing people's sense of expression is bad. Just, inherently, bad. And the way we dress is a form of expression.

  • If you look like everyone else, no one will notice you. The coolest people I've ever met have been attracted to my non-trendy style..and they dress differently as well. They think it's awesome that I do what I do and wear what I wear. Even though it pisses off my GAP-wearing roommate. ;)

  • One last thing: Nothing like good friends/relatives/SO to really instill selfconfidence.

    I think that's it.

'New money' syndrome (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by nstenz on Sat Dec 09, 2000 at 12:31:13 PM EST

(Assuming this also happens in real life-)
Know those movies where the poor loser suddenly gets a ton of money and starts hanging around the rich snobs, and the rich snobs can tell he/she is 'new money' and just suddenly came across a bunch of cash? The snobs just know them when they seem them - they don't fit in. If this service is for people who "need to be made cool", how is this going to be any different? You show up dressed in all expensive clothes, still being the same old you inside. You're not going to act much differently...

I don't see the point either. Get a girl friend to take you shopping. Mine want to turn me into a 'preppy boy', but at least with friends you can feel comfortable arguing and somewhat getting your way. With a so-called 'fashion consultant', they could very well pick out clothes you don't like at all, but you assume they're going to be right, so you buy them. Then you get home and are more comfortable with what you were wearing before, and said expensive clothes sit piled at the bottom of your closet. There goes $1000.



Drop a grand on your image, and pet the pelts of possibility! | 42 comments (39 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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