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My Little Brony

January 24, 2014

A look inside the fan base of
‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’

 

Gray Taylor is pictured with his collection of “My Little Pony” memorabilia. – Photo by Derek J. Amaya

Gray Taylor is pictured with his collection of “My Little Pony” memorabilia. – Photo by Derek J. Amaya

John Sadler
Feature Editor

 

It is a fandom that inspires music, fan-fiction, comic books, paintings, sculptures, fan-made action figures, fan-made plushies and YouTube videos.

 

What kind of series could create such a devoted following? “Star Trek”? “Star Wars”? “Harry Potter”?

 

How about “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”?

 

“Bronies are all fans of ‘My Little Pony’ in the most general sense, but we all love the show for varying reasons,” said James Ortis, a junior biomedical engineering major.

 

Ortis said a brony is any fan of “My Little Pony” that would fall outside of the show’s original target demographic.

 

James  Ortis enjoys decorating his apartment with “My Little Pony” merchandise. – Photo by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

James Ortis enjoys decorating his apartment with “My Little Pony” merchandise. – Photo by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

“Some people describe a brony as any teenage or adult male fan of the show,” Ortis said. “I think it’s anyone outside the target audience that likes the show.”

 

Ortis said the fandom of the show helps people to not feel judged for enjoying a show some people would claim is strictly for young girls.

 

“When people are repeatedly told that they have a weird hobby and people think they’re weird for it, they tend to shun that reasoning when they’re around each other,” he said.

 

Ortis said in some circumstances, however, there are rifts in the brony community.

 

“Some bronies think that the term brony should only apply to male fans, and female fans should be called pegasisters,” he said. “I think that’s honestly contradictory to the acceptance that the fandom advocates.”

 

Gray Taylor, a junior communication design major, said the show’s fans all like it for different reasons.

 

“The previous ‘My Little Pony’ shows were all made to sell toys,” he said. “This show actually has thought put into the writing. The characters have distinct personalities. They aren’t shallow.”

 

Taylor said he and a few other students ran Bronies of Louisiana Tech, an organization for bronies to meet up and hang out. He said the organization has been dwindling in the past year.

 

“When a season ends, we kind of run out of things to base the meetings around,” Taylor said. “I’m looking for someone to help me revive the group.”

 

Taylor said the brony community does suffer from a social stigma, but it is an unfounded one.

 

“People tend to think that bronies are all social outcasts,” he said. “But all of the bronies I have met have been normal, cool people.”

 

Taylor said the fandom tends to attract artistic and creative individuals.

 

“We have artists and musicians in the community that base their works around ‘My Little Pony,” he said.

 

“There is actually an entire fan-fiction series combing the ‘Fallout’ video game series and ‘My Little Pony.’”

 

Caleb Richardson, a sophomore cyber engineering major, said the show eventually just becomes another hobby to its fans.

 

“I was really into it at first,” he said. “But now it’s just another thing on my list of interests. Most fans just aren’t crazed about it.”

 

Richardson said he has no experience with being judged for liking the show, since even his family members like it.

 

“I told my parents I liked the show, and they were like, ‘Hell yeah,’” he said. “My dad and sister watch the show with me, but I don’t think most people’s parents are as cool with it.”

 

Richardson said the reason most people judge bronies is because of the tendency of the fandom to be very blatant about their love for the show.

 

“You can love this show, but think of it as a hobby,” he said. “Don’t force it on anyone else. It’s just a TV show.”

 

Ortis agrees.

 

“I imagine in a conservative sense, it’s pretty scary,” he said. “It’s just not something I feel like I need to bring up to everyone. It’s the same thing as bringing up an ideology.”

 

Ortis said he hopes the brony fandom will continue to spread.

 

“The fandom is a free card to like what you like with nobody judging you,” he said. “Don’t be scared of the stigma.”

 

Email comments to jts040@latech.edu.

 

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