by Kyra Draws
Part 1 | Part 2
Bronies Changing the Definition of Masculinity?
Shortly after airing, it's said by many
that childrens' cartoons are nothing more than marketing ploys
to get children to buy more toys with no actual redeeming
qualities. No matter what Hasbro's intentions were, the
production team behind Friendship is Magic made sure that the
cartoon they were producing was indeed of high quality, and as
a result, the show gained the popularity that it has today.
Many users of
4Chan, a popular image board, latched onto the show. Users
began to post thread after thread of endless pictures of
ponies. At one point, pictures of ponies were even banned from
the site due to abuse, and a large number of users rose up
against the show expressing hatred toward those who even
mention something pony related. To this day, there are still
many who think poorly of bronies. This is likely due to the
fact that some bronies end up spamming pony related images and
references where they are not wanted.
It was likely the "anti-pony" movement that made bronies what they are today. The more something is opposed, the higher the supporters must rise up, and rise up they did. Bronies soon began to create their own websites. After seeing so much opposition from 4Chan users, bronies moved on to create PonyChan, an image board just for My Little Pony related content. Not only did 4Chan later create a brand new board just for ponies, but many brony-created sites are around today ranging from Facebook alternatives such as Bronysquare to media networks such as Ponyville Live.
The show is centered around six main characters, known to the fans as the "Mane Six." Each of these ponies have a very unique personality, as well as a magical element known as The Elements of Harmony. Together they are able to harness their powers to defeat evil villains and mythical beasts, be it through the sheer power of magic or through more conventional means. When they are not fighting monsters or going on epic quests, they live out their lives in a peaceful and quaint town called Ponyville. They have jobs, homes, friends, and hobbies. This balance of adventure and a friendly small-town feeling gives the show a whole lot of heart, as well as action and adventure.
The show also contains various pop culture references, ranging from James Bond to Tay Zonday's Chocolate Rain. The show heavily embraces the brony fandom and gives many shout-outs and references, sometimes subtle and other times in plain view. This offical TV spot gives a direct shout-out to bronies by name; further proof that the show is aware of and embraces the fandom.
Bronies are known for their creative works. Art, music, animation, and fan fictions are just a few things that bronies create based around their favorite characters, or original characters that they create themselves. There is so much brony-created content that much of it actually rivals the show itself. There's even full length fan made episodes, multiple high-quality animations, many other crossovers and even live-action shorts.
Bronies often meet in-person at scheduled meetups and conventions, as seen in the image near the top of this page. These meetups can range from a couple bronies watching an episode together, to annual conventions that bring out the best artists, game designers, and musicians by the thousands. Bronies also work together to support charities, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through various campaigns.
The brony fandom is dynamic and expansive. If you're interested in the show itself, the series is available on iTunes, Google Play, and even Netflix. Some episodes have also been uploaded to YouTube by fans, but those are usually promptly taken down by Hasbro. Keep in mind, to fully grasp the show you must see more than just one or two episodes. Any brony will tell you that some are better than others.
Aside from the show itself, there are tons of great brony websites out there ranging from informative sites such as this one, to social networks and forums, to massive networks covering multiple media formats. Check out the various links above for details, and see links to informative articles below.
Thanks for your interest in Bronydom!
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