It doesn’t take long to figure out that ponies are for girls and horsepower is for boys. At least, that’s the way things used to be. But, behold, the times, they are a changing. Forget all the chitchat about Ipads and Angry Birds, THE hot new social renaissance involves a passionate group of geeky, tech-savvy guys and gals, who happen to love the new television series currently featured on Hubworld: “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.”
With websites dedicated to the noble pony pals like Equestria Daily, fans are encouraged to wax rhapsodic about the ponies, their mystical surroundings, friends, alliances and adventures. So, why are a group of guys drawn to an online cartoon that was meant to target 6+ year old girls?
According to several online reports, the combination of beautiful drawings, intriguing story lines and complicated characters makes for truly compelling story telling. Well, we were keen to get our own take on the ponies appeal, so we dove right into a few episodes on Hubworld.
The first thing you’ll notice when watching “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” is the caliber of production values. Every scene is deliciously designed in candy colored hues, with utterly adorable, hand drawn style ponies, animated in a visually entrancing manner. And, these ponies have incredible story lines. Remarkably upbeat and witty dialogue combined with charming pony performances, make the latest generation of My Little Pony episodes truly not to be missed.
Each episode, we find the ponies proving their honor as they deal with major challenges. Successfully confronting an infestation of adorable but ravenous insects known as Parasprites is a big fan favorite. Upon successfully dealing with invaders and challengers such as these, they meet with the Princess Celestia to review strategies and lessons learned. Pony reconnaissance, such as it is. So, perhaps that’s part of the appeal. These ponies are both magical and involved in friendly police actions on behalf of the crown. And, even though it’s fairy tale fiction, what’s really interesting is the way the writers have managed to merge real world equine issues such as fly prevention with mystical storytelling. So, there is truly something for everyone from the true pony enthusiast to the person who’s never even met a pony. (One thing to be said about fantasy toy ponies, . . . except for the toy horse cookies and bales of hay, there’s no horse feed bill.)
Now, the thing that makes this tiny phenomenon particularly fascinating is that it’s actually news worthy. We’ve always been proponents of the idea that both boys, girls, men and women should love and enjoy ponies and horses. Yet, except for certain niches like rodeo riding and horse racing, most horses are loved and/or owned by women. Why? Because you can’t build a potentially explosive nitro burning funny horse that goes 250 miles an hour, that’s why. And, you can’t pop a horse into a toy hauler, race out to the dunes and surf the sand with it. Horses and ponies are primarily girl toys, so, in the popular conscience, horses and especially ponies, have become synonymous with the female psyche.
So, the fact that a product, designed to target women, is somehow of interest to men, this is a quandary for some people. We had to ask the question, “why?”
Why Do Increasing Numbers Of Real Men Love “My Little Ponies?”
One of the overwhelming concerns may be that enjoying, “My Little Pony,” products means that a man might be gay. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) According to BroNYCon’s organizer, Jessica Blank, “Actually, the overwhelming majority are straight.” BroNYCon was created by My Little Pony fans called Bronies—a mash-up of “bro” and “ponies.” There is some debate as to whether the term Bronie applies both to men and women or just men. According to sources, some women prefer to be known as, “Pegasisters.” This group has been the catalyst for other pony-inspired sites and is spearheading a new subculture of artists who enjoy expressing themselves through the My Little Pony fanstyle.
One of the things that we noticed immediately was how adorable the “My Little Pony” horse games, are. You can dress up a pony, create a castle for her, etc. My only complaint is that none of this stuff was around when we were kids. Our ponies had to walk uphill to school, both ways, in the snow, when we were children. Today, ponies are available through a computer, phone or idevice, near you, 24/7!
At the end of the day, whether it’s watching young riders get packed around a 1 1/2 foot high course by real life, tiny pony hunters or an animated series replete with fantasy ponies, absolutely nothing on the planet thrills us like ponies. They are the chocolate bon bons of the horse world. And, if a select group of red blooded young men want to join in the fun, we say, welcome aboard!