And a little scared. When I first read this story about a group of strange college students who have an unbelievably strong love for the cartoon, My Little Pony, I threw up a little in my mouth. The Cromwell in me wants to call for a complete ban on public funding of universities. The law and order in me wants stronger drug laws. The Catholic restorationist in me is glad these guys aren't in the seminaries.
But who am I kidding? All I really want is a bourbon on the rocks. Read and marvel.
From the Truman State Index:
'My Little Pony' Draws Male Fans
By Emily Wichmer
Since it first aired during the mid-1980s, the animated television show “My Little Pony” has seen several changes, and not just in its animation, characters and storylines. The audience demographic has changed as well.
The show has given rise to a new type of viewer — college-aged men. Freshman Zach Wallis said the show originally was aimed at young girls, but has sparked a fandom predominantly composed of 18 to 25 year old males, who watch the show for its entertainment value and good morals. Wallis said members of this group call themselves “Bronies,” a name mixing the slang term “bro” with the show’s characters, ponies. Wallis said the fandom also includes “Pegasisters,” the Bronies’ female counterparts.
The Brony community began about two years ago when the new version of the show, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” first aired. While he has met a few Bronies at Truman State, Wallis said the community mainly exists online in the forum “Equestria Daily.”
Wallis said the show’s creators are aware of the Brony community and they appreciate the community’s support.
“There’s a mutual relationship between the creators and fans,” Wallis said. “If the Brony community likes something, the creators will put it in the show. For example, they’ve added and developed characters the Bronies liked. That kind of relationship is something you don’t see very often.”
He said the main characters of the show represent different values and characteristics, such as kindness, charity and a strong work ethic. The setting is idealistic, Wallis said, and the premise of the show is based on love and tolerance. He said he enjoys the show because everyone can take something away from it. Like fairy tales, the show introduces a moral, but does so in a way that is relatable, insightful and funny, Wallis said.
Wallis said the Brony community has taken the messages of love and tolerance to heart. He said the community is a welcoming and open place to be, and the friendly atmosphere has inspired members to express their creativity.
Freshman Brony Devan Baetz said the creative output of Bronies is wide-ranging.
“Bronies have produced original writings, artwork, games and music,” Baetz said. “The artists are very passionate about the show, and their passion shines through in their work.”
Baetz said he enjoys writing, and the Brony community has inspired him to pursue writing a few pieces of Brony-inspired fan fiction.
Although he has had positive experiences with the community, Baetz said individuals outside the Brony community associate negative attributes with the Bronies, such as being “creepy” or “pedophiles.”
Wallis said he encourages skeptics to watch the show, because its message supports the Brony community.
“The show’s primary point is that it doesn’t matter who you are,” Wallis said. “You can be very different and still find your place and make friends. The show teaches you to accept people regardless of your differences, which is something we are sadly lacking in our world. People are treated badly or made fun of for silly things, like enjoying children’s shows. It’s something people think diminish you, but shouldn’t.”