My Little Pony Essay

There has been a recent social development concerning a very well-known series of toys, and a cartoon that has been airing for decades; namely, My Little Pony. Hasbro has marketed the line of toys since the early 1980s and along with that, created a cartoon, targeted toward toddlers and young girls. The cartoon has aired many different generations and adaptations of the show from 1984 to present. Since then, My Little Pony has been popular among the younger female audiences. (Bellis 1)

A following has emerged with the creation of a new adaptation of the cartoon, called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

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The following originated from the internet; in particular, on internet forums where people discuss cartoons. The following figure shows the amount of threads per days posted between just October 2010 and February 2011. However, these posts have not been made from young girls, like the supposed target audience Hasbro has aimed for, but from older men and women, ranging from young adults to full-grown adults.

Male fans of the show have begun to call themselves ‘bronies’ as a name that combines the word ‘bro’ and ‘pony’. Females have picked up the term ‘pegasisters’ as a more female term to describe a fan of the new series. There are many people that have noticed the increase in popularity of the show through media like news channels and internet articles. These people exert differing perspectives on why exactly older audiences have decided to create a massive subculture in the realm of My Little Pony.

The first perspective comes from the perception begun by people who aren’t fans of the new My Little Pony series. ‘Looking in’ from ‘outside’ the following, they view it as juvenile, and as they notice the increase of male fans of the show, quickly gather the opinion that male fans of My Little Pony are using the show to suppress homosexual thoughts due to the feminine qualities of the show. A second perspective, made by males and females, usually ones who are fans of the cartoon, claim that they legitimately enjoy it because they find it clever, witty, funny, and cute.

A relevant third perspective is that the cultural reemergence has come from the irony built into the juxtaposition of a show that has primarily targeted towards young females, and the unexpected older male following. The viewpoint that fans of the show are juvenile and that male fans are homosexual is to be expected. In a society where the term ‘gay’ was once popularly considered to mean ‘un-cool’, or ‘stupid’, there’s no doubt that there would be an attack on something that combined a male and a subject that is targeted toward females.

Chuck D. Finley puts this viewpoint into an easy-to-read perspective in his article entitled: The My Little Pony Abomination: What is a Bronie and Why They Make God Cry. In this article, he states: “The sad fact is that many fathers today wish to spend time with their children, they will sit down to watch the cartoon with their daughters. And that is when they have got you. ” Other statements in his article include name-calling and blatant hate for anything regarding following of the cartoon.

Not only does this article ridicule the following for My Little Pony, but it radicalizes a level of dislike towards others who enjoy the show. Another viewpoint comes from the fans and their love for the cartoon. Of course, they are aware of themselves and of how popular the show is becoming. To contrast from a wide belief held by people who hold the previous perspective, this perspective doesn’t only include male fans. It also includes females. Nor does this perspective hold a gender stereotype upon itself on the reason why an older audience adores the new My Little Pony series.

The viewpoint is rather simple, they like the cartoon because they enjoy it. People who watch the cartoon find the characters funny, clever, and relatable. (SquadSix)The creator of the current generation of My Little Pony, Lauren Faust, helped to support this claim in a general message. She was asked by someone “What do you think about the weird cult of manchildren [again, in reference to the first perspective, specifying male fans] called ‘bronies’ that worship you? ” Her response was as follows: Hi [Constitutional], In general, I am still inspired by bronies.

As a group, they have not succumbed to society’s pressure that young men must hold contempt on anything feminine no matter what. They’ve been able to see beyond the preconceived notions that they were most likely raised with to judge something for it’s merit. (Faust) So, Lauren Faust has shown support for the following of this series, no matter what age or what gender it may include. She explains an opposing side of the aforementioned perspective that being a fan of My Little Pony is ridiculous.

That side includes the fact that the strains and expectations of gender stereotypes are loosened in favour of a more general approach where attraction to the show is independent of other perspectives. A more abstract viewpoint for why there is a large cultural following is that it’s ironic. Some people think that an older audience enjoying the show is somewhat of a counterculture. And therefore, by that logic, going against society’s norms of gender and age will promote an evolution of culture, where social norms are essentially broken.

This type of mass following ignites something new and different in one’s understanding for what ‘culture’ is. This perspective holds that these broken reigns of social norms may be part of the excitement for fans that enjoy the cartoon. Through these few perspectives we can see that there are different reasons that people have given as to why there is an emergence of the popularity of My Little Pony, specifically, the new tv series, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

There are some who hate the following of the show and think that the male fans are watching it for suppression of homosexuality. Then there are the fans who like the show simply because they think it’s a good show to watch. And then there are others who hold the perspective that the following is a collective attempt at creating a counterculture through the previously mentioned ironic qualities. These different perspectives help to create a flourishing exploration on why such a cultural phenomenon has appeared.

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