Merely asking such a question will probably raise some eyebrows, however this blog is meant to be a resource for those with such questions. The answer can vary depending on who you ask which is why we’re going to take the time to explore all the aspects.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: My Little Pony is a kids’ show. It is rated TV-Y and is enjoyed by young girls and boys around the world. On the other hand, the brony fandom was forged in the depths of the infamous 4chan image board and some communities are definitely not child-friendly.
Let’s take a closer look below!
Are bronies child-friendly?
The brony fandom is an internet-based fandom. This means it’s not just one organized community but instead it’s a vast number of sub-communities across hundreds of websites and services. You can find brony sub-communities with a foundation in just about any interest but most of the larger ones are media-centric. For example: YouTube or DeviantArt.
The simple question to ask yourself then is whether or not websites with user-generated content is appropriate for you or your child. YouTube is a huge resource that just about everyone has heard of, but that certainly doesn’t mean it is entirely child-friendly or free of potentially offensive content. Just the opposite is true in fact.
Okay, much of that goes without saying. The internet is a big place that is inhabited by all sorts of people young and old. Got it.
According to the latest brony census [yes, that’s a thing] the brony fandom majority falls somewhere in the middle between adult and teen but leans toward young-adult. Although this data is from 2014 and there are many other factors to consider [for example the fact that everyone represented in the graph is now years older] generally it’s a pretty good baseline for factual information regarding brony demographics.
More detailed information on brony demographics can be found here.
Can a child be a brony?
Although the brony fandom typically welcomes all it is safe to say it may not be suitable for very young children. This is true for virtually all of the internet and isn’t necessarily a fandom-specific thing. For example: YouTube probably shouldn’t be used by unmonitored 6 year olds just as 6 year olds probably shouldn’t be discussing cartoons with strangers in their 20s and 30s. It’s not necessarily about risk for the child, but rather it’s a simple divide in personality and interests which can lead to a community being overrun by swarms of overbearing children who don’t quite understand the intricacies of internet socialization yet.
There are websites and apps intended for young children that may also have My Little Pony communities, but this generally doesn’t apply to the brony fandom as a whole since these communities are often closely moderated and strict about content and privacy.
In short: kids can be fans of My Little Pony without belonging to the brony fandom specifically.
Can a teenager be a brony?
If you or your child is a teen the fandom is likely to be more than suitable. In some cases, that statement may depend on browsing habits and the level of parental guidance. It is true there is adult content in some pony-centric circles, but the same is true for any other cartoon or pop-culture media. At its heart the brony community really is just a community of people who are interested in a fun cartoon. We love the characters, the stories, and the fan-created content. Some of that fan content may contain “bad words” or mature themes, but it’s safe to say the fandom as a whole is one of the more friendlier and welcoming ones on the internet.
There are no specific rules as to who can be considered a brony. There was a time during its inception that it referred almost exclusively to young-adult males, but that time is long past and plenty of female fans are proud to call themselves bronies. Something very similar is true for age ranges as well, as more and more young fans are calling themselves bronies as well. It is generally accepted that a brony is someone who’s a fan of the show that is outside the target demographic. Young children are probably excluded from that definition but plenty of teenagers have been a part of the fandom since the beginning.
I’m an adult and I still think brony content is weird!
Maybe you’re just looking for the wrong type of content! It’s easy to make fun of people for watching a little girls’ cartoon and because of this some inappropriate pony content is flaunted by anti-bronies. Don’t buy into it.
Also be sure to check out Ponies For Parents for more information specific to the fandom and parents of its fans.