While the women embody society’s view of beauty and femininity, the men of Beauty and the Geek represent almost the opposite of the masculine ideal. The geeks are all intelligent and most were interested in technology, but other than that, they would not be considered ultimately masculine. Kilbourne writes, “Boys are shamed for being too small, too ‘weak,’ too soft, too sensitive,” (261) meaning the ideal male is big, strong, confident, and dominant. None of the geeks are very big and strong, and their self-esteem could probably use a boost, since the reason they are on the show is to become more confident with themselves and others. The men admitted they were intimidated by the good looks of the women. The women actually seem to be more dominant than the men because they have noticeably high levels of self-confidence. For example, Matt said he chose Andrea as his partner because he liked the way she took control of the room when she introduced herself. The show’s aim is to instill confidence into the geeks and to show them that they can talk to attractive women and have a lot to offer besides their brains, so in a way the goal is to make these men become more masculine by the end of the competition.
Kilbourne, Jean. "The More You Subtract, The More You Add: Cutting Girls Down to Size." Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Eds. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2003. 258-267.