Parallel Tuesdays

My Little Brony

Rainbow Brite custom MLP by Smantha Claridge as featured on Blog.Spoon Graphics (see link below).

Recently, when we talked about our favorite Saturday morning cartoons, the topic of bronies came up. What are bronies? Bronies are teen/adult male fans of My Little Pony, or MLP (and now I’m hearing Will Smith’s MIB…thank you very much). You know, bro + pony = brony.

And, then, a little light bulb went off…hey, my son is a brony too. Okay, he’s only six, so maybe it doesn’t really count. But he does love the MLPs.

And it’s one of the things (along with Avatar: The Last Airbender and Zelda: Twilight Princess) that he can really enjoy with his older sister. Often, they’ll get out my old MLPs and theirs and create epic pony adventures across the living room and up the stairs. Many a time have I heard shouts of “Unleash the Ponies of Doom!” “Ponies Unite!” and “Ponies, we ride at dawn to save the Princess!” I may have even heard, “Run! The zombie ponies are coming!” a time or two (which is all the fault of Plants v Zombies, of course).

I love that my son loves MLPs and that both my children can enjoy them together. There are no cries of “That’s girls’ stuff!” (as if girl is a dirty word) or “You can’t play; you’re a boy.” For the moment, at least, neither one of them cares that some folk might cringe at the thought boys playing with girls’ toys and vice versa.

*shrug*

Who, in this house, is going to think twice about such gender-biased silliness? Certainly not their dad and me. Growing up, I was just as likely to play Indiana Jones as Princess and my hubby has shown himself more than willing to play ballet, Barbie, monsters or golf with the kiddos.

Apparantly, though, some controversy rages over whether it’s appropriate for men to enjoy a show aimed at little girls. Rebecca Angel at Wired defends bronies, discussing the arguments for and against enjoying the show as an adult, especially a male adult. I don’t really have any thoughts on the subject of adult fans of the show other than, “Check out the show before you decide that it’s too little-kiddish.”

What do you think? Is it appropriate for teens/adults, especially guys, to like a show such as My Little Pony? Is it just too silly of a fandom or does My Little Pony have something timeless to offer? Got any favorite MLP customizations or fan sites?

More Pony Fun…

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26 thoughts on “My Little Brony

  1. Bronies. That’s a new one for me!

    Between Cabbage Patch Dolls, The Smurfs, Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony never stood a chance in our house, but sons and daughters watched/played with all of he above indiscriminately.

  2. I have a little brony as well. His love of the show (and my obsession with MLP as a kid) inspired me to write a short story for “Bronies: For the Love of Ponies,” an anthology based on the brony phenomenon published by Kazka Press. I can’t say that I understand the allure for adults (having watched the show with my kids), but I am intrigued by it.

  3. Ooooh, ponies! I love that your son plays ponies with his sister 🙂 My Hubs used to play with them with his neighbor as well, although he’d rather die than watch the show now (Pinkie Pie annoys him. Hell, Pinkie Pie annoys me!). I am, obviously, a huge fan of the new show. It’s adorable, and fun, and actually quite good for a kids show. Some of the villains are actually scary – at least I’d be terrified if I was a little pony! (*sigh* only at heart) I can totally understand why guys like them as well, since the only one that’s really “girly” is Rarity, and she’s not in all the episodes.

    But don’t believe this Brony thing is a new development. Back when I collected (2000-2006) there were a number of guys who collected too. One of them paid his rent by selling ponies and hosted pony fashion shows (look up “King of the Ponies” on youtube – it’s pretty funny).

    And thanks for linking to my blog! It was your pegasus post that inspired those custom pony posts ^_^

    1. LOL about Pinkie Pie. Totally agree…all that sproinking around.

      I had no idea bronies weren’t new. I never had any boys want to play ponies with me when I was a kid. *sniff*

      😀 about my post inspiring yours which then inspired this. 😀

      1. They sound incredibly imaginative. Maybe you could have some fun doing the literary equivalent of the Axe Cop webcomic.

        If you’re not familiar with it, Axe Cop is a collaboration between a 29 yeard-old comic book artist and his 5 year-old brother. When they play together, the 5 year-old generates the ideas and the 29 year-old translates them into storylines and draws them as webcomics, giving his little brother the credit for the writing.

        The result is tremendous fun 🙂

        http://axecop.com/

  4. My boys love MLP, too! I never had any, so they don’t have the toys, but when I bought a coloring book of MLP to join them coloring, guess whose coloring book got used up!

    I work very hard to encourage my boys to not limit themselves – or others – by gender stereotypes. It’s surprisingly hard. Society really does work to keep us all in line, I think.

  5. Haha! I love the idea of zombie ponies. Your children are imaginative indeed! I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying MLP as an adult. Thinking like a kid is so underrated!

  6. I have a 12-year-old Brony in da house, and he just read your post over my shoulder and said, “tell her I think her son is awesome.” Now as to how I feel about having a middle schooler who likes MLP, I got vote strongly ambivalent.
    Run, the zombie ponies are coming…
    😉

  7. I’m just sad there isn’t a word for us adult women who like the show!
    I want to push forward “Grony” for grown-ups who like the show.

    I usually hate shows aimed at little girls (or, for that matter, adult women), but that’s because they’re aimed at little girls like they’re a different SPECIES.

    MLP:FIM isn’t. They have different personalities and GENUINE humor. I love it. It’s cutesy, but that doesn’t have to override the actual plots.

    The brony thing is artificially created controversy, and the only reason it finds any purchase is the same as usual: it’s considered demeaning for a man to act like a woman, but nobody ever really wants to think about why that is.

    Man dresses like a woman? Demeaning. Woman dressed like a man? Normal.

    Man likes women’s entertainment. Demeaning/sissy. Woman likes male entertainment. Normal/Awesome.

    Me, I say break down the stupid artificial gender barriers. Let us be human beings and figure out for OURSELVES what we like, rather than having society help us along. Stereotypes often have a basis in fact, but when you project them instead of simply recognizing them you make it hard for people who don’t fit the type.

    1. Amen! Amen! Amen! I remember a guy in high school who wore long skirts because he hated that girls could wear pants but boys couldn’t wear skirts/dressses. He said he liked the skirts because they were comfy. LOL. I preferred pants for exactly the same reason.

      I love the term “Grony.” I think I’ve heard “pegasisters” for women who love MLP. But grony fits everyone.

  8. I live in a house full of bronies ranging in age from 11 to 24. They love the show because it has great characters and interesting storylines, the same reason they love any show. It doesn’t bother them in the least that the show is supposedly for little girls. Most of them read the pony fanfic and write their own stories, too.

    My 9yo daughter is the only one who designs pony fashions in her notebook, though. That must be a girl thing since it involves lots of flowers and lacy bits.

  9. Being the father of four daughters, I have found it smart to know a bit about the shows they watch, including ones like My Little Pony (which the youngest daughter loved). I don’t think its odd at all when considered in context. I love my daughters, they love these shows, by watching the shows I now have a subject to talk with them about that we both appreciate.

    Just my two cents. Interesting post, Sonia 🙂

  10. *Squee* That Rainbow Brite is so CUTE. I can’t speak for the newest My Little Pony show, as I think kid shows in general have been dumbed way down, but if you watch the original, you’ll find sarcasm and puns that no 4-year-old is going to understand, but is hilarious for adults. Back then, the creators knew to make it interesting for kids and their parents. Also, how can anyone have a problem with guys or adults watching MLP when you consider Cartoon Network. Last I checked (way back when I still had cable), there was some awful trashy stuff on it for “adults.”

  11. Hi Sonia. I think if a man is man enough to admit he likes MLPs, then the ‘appropriate’ debate is moot.

    I found with my kids that my son naturally gravitated to trucks and trains while my daughter’s favorite toys were potatoes, dress up clothes, and MLPs. Both gender toys were available to both kids, but that’s just what they liked.

    Thanks for a great post.

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