Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Becoming a Brony

I design t-shirts at my job. I research pop culture trends and make t-shirts about them. About a month ago it came to my attention that that's a large group of people on the internet calling themselves Bronies and obsessively posting pictures of ponies on forums.
What's a Brony? Well, a brony is someone who loves "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" but they are not part of the show's intended demographic (little girls). When I was first told of this phenomon I was weirded-out. I mean, I loved My Little Ponies in the 80s, they were my favorite toy, but a show all about ponies being popular with grown men? What?
So I did some research - these bronies are prolific, they're all over the internet spreading pony values of love, friendship and tolerance. They spam message boards with pictures and videos of ponies and a lot of people respond with hate (the Bronies respond with this...)

Even after all my research I still found myself asking - "WHY?"
So, I sat down with my husband and we watched the Episode 1 of Friendship is Magic. After about 10 minutes in, I stopped asking "Why" and began to realize the appeal.
Something you should realize is MLP FIM was created by Lauren Faust, the woman behind such wonderful cartoons as The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (both shows saw acceptance beyond their indented demographic). So yeah, Faust is awesome - but the level of fanaticism surrounding ponies far exceeds that of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's - what makes this show different?

Here's my theory:
We all have preconceived ideas about My Little Ponies - we think we know what to expect from a TV show about them - Faust disregards those ideas and introduces views to a well thought-out world with consistent lore and plot lines, includes witty and hilarious dialogue within heart-warming and just darn adorable stories about friendship, coming-of-age and problem solving. It's next to impossible to resist if you give it a chance and get get over the idea the show if just for little girls.
My fashion teacher says that surprise and juxtaposition of two different elements makes for great designs. The same is true to TV shows, when the ponies do things you wouldn't expect pretty ponies to do - it's adorable, endearing, funny and you just can't look away. When you think you have something figured out and you see it in a whole new and different light - it's exciting.
I started watching the show with low expectation and skepticism, as episode one drew to a close my husband and I looked at each other and he said, "Let's watch the next one!"
I recently rewatched episodes 1 and 2 with my best friend, when we were done she said, "I feel so good."
What was the last thing you watched that made you feel truly good?
So here are some of the Brony T-shirts I designed for, we partnered with Equestria Daily, a brony blog to give away a shirt and promote the store (it was very successful).


Peter Hogan said...

Don't do it, Melody.
Bronies are the cancer that is killing the internet.

Corrie Jane said...

Love it!


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