What’s Wrong With Smart?

When did it become fashionable to be an idiot? 

Celebrities, especially female ones, tend to downplay their intelligence.  They’d rather be thought to be trendy, skinny, or cute than smart.  Even men – macho, strong, good looking, but not smart.  It’s gotten to the point that when someone who is famed for being an actor, or a singer, or even just famous, does or says something intelligent, one of two things happen: people don’t believe them, or they become a joke.  Intelligence is important – with it, you can better understand the world and its people, you can advance in a career, you can make a mark on the planet.  Try telling that to the trendsetters, or teenagers.

I like being intelligent.  This does get me into trouble (the liking, not the brains) because I can (and sometimes do) come across as a know-it-all.  But I like feeling smart, I like hanging out with smart people, I like reading non-fiction and occasionally enjoying a PBS special or museum exhibit.  Intelligence is good, it is something to revel in.  Most of my characters (especially females) are very clever or smart, most of my favorite book and movie characters are as well.

So why are we so eager to downplay our brains?  What is wrong with being smart?