If you are like me, you probably had not heard the term “Brony” thrown around a whole lot in daily dialogue and may not even know what it means. Let me explain: the term “Brony” is a name typically given to the male viewers/fans (whether they are straight, gay, bisexual, etc.) of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show or franchise. They typically do not give in to the hype that males aren’t allowed to enjoy things that may be intended for females. In it’s plural form, “Bronies”. This new fad-phenomenon is generally embraced by males between the ages of 12 years old and 35 years old. Also, some say the term Brony is an all-encompassing title including the older female fans as well, while others debate that the female fans should be referred to as a “PegaSis” or “PegaSister”. The fandom has become so widespread that it has led to My Little Pony sites like “Equestria Daily” and “Ponychan”. Read on!
Appreciation of the show by an older audience came as a surprise for Hasbro and Faust, but they have come to embrace the older fans while staying true to the targeted audience’s appeals. The franchise has reciprocated fan enthusiasm with participation in conventions by voice actors and producers, recognition of the brony fandom in official promotional material, and incorporating background characters popularized by the fans, such as “Derpy Hooves”, into in-jokes within the show. Adult male fans have come under some ridicule for their enjoyment of a “girl’s” show, but other groups including Faust, have been known to defend the fandom. In my opinion, I always say live and let live, but I have actually asked alot of male peers what they thought about the subject and was met with quite mixed opinions. One of the first critical reviews of the show, published shortly after the initial broadcast, was by Amid Amidi, writing for the animation website, Cartoon Brew. Though the show was already discussed on 4chan’s cartoon board prior to the essay’s publication, the alarmist nature of the essay led to more interest in the show, resulting in a positive response for the series for its plot, characters, and animation style. This discussion soon spread to other boards of 4chan, where elements of the show quickly caught on as recurring jokes and memes on the site. The number of Friendship Is Magic posts, so unlike the usual attitudes and image of 4chan, caused a clash on the site. Fans were so unrelenting in their defense against trolling attacks from other 4chan boards that anything pony-related was temporarily banned on the site, although it was quickly overturned.
Honestly, I personally do not have a problem with guys watching a show about ponies. Furthermore, I can also say I’m a self-proclaimed PegaSis only because I’m now savvy to the lingo and I had watched the show before I knew what a Brony was. Stating this I do have to ask: Why now Bronies? Why love ponies now? When I was a little girl I would have loved to have little boys to play ponies with, now that we’re all adults…not so much. Now that I have that question out of the way, I would like to wrap up by saying I have to commend the loyalty the fans express for their pony heroines and the magic of friendship. If anything, I believe this can all be taken in a positive attitude just as easily as it can be taken in a negative one and maybe, just maybe if we all embraced the love of ponies just a little in some strange way the message of love and tolerance could spread.