Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Little Pony



I hear there are boys and men who like "My Little Pony."  Four thousand of them recently gathered at a MLP convention in New Jersey ("BronyCon").  (Story here.)

Because of my age, I wasn't sure what MLP was until I read that Hasbro released toys named "My Little Pony" in 1983.  Their success later led to a movie and three animated television shows.  The current TV show is called, "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic."

Some people question boys and men liking this show because they perceive MLP as entertainment for only little girls.  Some even hint that males enjoying the show might be sexual predators because why else would a man like something intended for girls.  That kind of awful gender-restricted thinking ignores the appeal of the show.  One 26-year old male attendee of the convention, when asked why he likes it, explained "It's colorful and innocent, which is something I don't have in my life.  I like the community...".

The current TV show was created by animator Lauren Faust.  When asked about male fans, her response was: "We live in a society where saying that something is for girls is the equivalent to saying that something is stupid, or saying that something isn't worthwhile.  I think that's awful and I think that kind of attitude needs to be changed.  And these men are doing it. ... They're proud that they're forward-thinking and modern enough to look past this misogynistic attitude."

Do you know about My Little Pony?  Were/are you a fan?  How do you feel about boys liking it?

18 comments:

  1. I love your posts!! My 14 year old son came up to me recently with a very serious look on his face. He said quietly,
    "Mom, I have something I have to tell you."
    Having older kids in their 20's too my stomach did a flip thinking he may have done something horrible. I asked him what he wanted to tell me.
    He said, "I'm a BRONY."
    I just looked at him and told him "That's wonderful!"
    I've loved the Little Pony thing since his older siblings were young. The cartoon, which we now watch together on Netflix streaming, is such a happy colorful cartoon with sweet voices and carefully illustrated graphics. They live in a colorful happy land and if that's all I have to worry about with my youngests tastes for right now, I'm totally pleased!
    He even asked me if he should tell his dad. I told him that was entirely up to him and in no way something to feel embarrassed about. The fact that Hasbro has found a way to market a typically geared "girl" toy and make it appealing to boys is fantastic! I think it's wonderful how our boys today are growing up to be more well rounded and more open to their feminine side without being ashamed of it. Through My Little Pony, Hasbro has my approval all the way on this one. We even have a complete collection now of each little character on a special shelf just for them. ;)
    Our BronyCon is coming this August. My son is saving up all his allowance starting now.

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    1. And I must add, since my son has been aware of his "Bronyhood" his compassion for others has increased.

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    2. Great response, Joni. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I am definitely aware of "Bronies" - however I've only seen clips of the show. I think it's great that there's something out there that people can connect with. I don't really see the fad as anything different than the legion that jumped on board with Pokemon. I can see the appeal.

    I grew up as a girl who liked Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. I don't see why it's any worse for boys to like "girl things" than it is for girls to like "boy things" (which are invariably just called "things").

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    1. The reason it's worse is sexism, which devalues anything feminine or female-related. We need to combat that attitude.

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  3. I was just clued into the Bronie thing this weekend actually - I had no idea. But I take the stance of who am I to judge? I'm a chick who likes to sit around and drink beer with my husband, not exactly a female activity, so hey, if I want to do that, they can love their ponies. More power to them!

    I grew up with the original MLP and I have to say - far superior to what is out now, but that's my only critique, lol. 80's child through and through I guess!

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  4. My youngest daughter loved my Little Pony and I'll bet that we have some vintage ones in our toybox that are now worth a pretty penny.

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  5. I loved My Little Pony as a kid! I liked the original better than the newer version (of course). I think it's great that there's a community of men and boys willing to admit that they like the show. Far too often, I see boys start out liking "girl stuff" as a young child, then shunning it once they get to school because it's not cool. Our gender restrictions are all socially created and don't make any sense, especially for boys. I dressed up as Robin Hood as a kid and no one saw anything wrong with that, so why is it that if a little boy wanted to dress up as Maid Marian, he would be taunted and tormented? It makes no sense.

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    1. Agreed. Heartfully agreed. Thanks, Diana.

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  6. I'm not a fan (but I know Claire sure is!), but I don't see any problem with men liking it. (I'm a Pokemon girl myself!)

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  7. I loved MLP _- in fact i had my bedroom sheets and covers with MLP.
    I do not like it when because you are a boy you have to like something or if you are a certain age a certain something is for you.
    You are an individual, you chose what you like and what you don´t.

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  8. I'm not a fan. That was after my time. Little boys liking it is fine. But I have to admit, if I met a grown man all excited about going to an MLP convention, my first thought would probably be, "Pervert."

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  9. OMG!!! I am a HUGE brony! (It refers to male and female fans, but some female fans prefer Pegasister.) I mention it on my About page.

    BUT--you have the wrong pony pictures in your post! Those are G3 ponies from the early 2000s cartoon. The term "brony" refers to fans of the G4 show called "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" which is is different than the old MLP cartoons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Little_Pony:_Friendship_Is_Magic

    I love the show because the characters are wacky and loveable. It's by the same team that made "The Powerpuff Girls."

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    1. Thanks for the correction, Sage. I have NO idea which of the several series these pictures are from. And thanks for the link.

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  10. My Little Pony makes me sad. All I can remember is wanting to watch it when I was like, four, and my dad wanted to watch boxing or something, and he kept changing the channel on me. I'm still bitter.

    I have to say, I don't quite understand why adults would be so gung ho about the show, but I'm not going to judge. I'm with Kat--I'm a Pokemon girl, and I still enjoy watching that, so I guess there's not much difference.

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  11. I read a big thing on feministing, I think, on how MLP was very feminist (ie not gender-normed) in nature. I wonder if I can find it.

    Maybe it was this: http://globalcomment.com/2011/welcome-to-the-herd-a-feminist-watches-my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic/

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  12. I LOOOOOVED my little pony when I was a kid. I still have the pink one my mom got me in my keepsake box. I used to brush her tail and mane everyday and kept it so shiny. I used to love the smell of the plastic.

    At the Comic Con they have a whole section dedicated to it and every year they sell a limited edition one. I don't buy them but love to look at them.
    Daphne.

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  13. the one with the ROSE, what is her Name :? I never found out all of there Name's when I watched it, and still haven't :/ :( And YES, I Still LOVE - My Little Pony :D Proud Of It :D

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