A friend of mine admitted on Facebook this weekend that his 8-year-old son is a Brony. This launched a Facebook frenzy as his friends tried to figure out what a Brony is and then submitted their own 2 cents about it. One woman threw sensitivity out the window and added, “That boy ain’t right!” Thanks for your support Ma’am.
I have a few things to say about the Brony trend (because I have a few things to say about everything) but I should add that I am not a Child Psychologist. I am a mother, which makes me the worst kind of Know-It-All in the world, but I do think I can offer some insight on Bronies.
If you don’t know what a Brony is, here is the definition I found on Urban Dictionary: A name typically given to the male viewers/fans (whether they are straight, gay, bisexual, etc.) of the My Little Pony 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.
Think about the confusing the messages we send to our kids today, especially little boys. “You are suppose to be rough and tumble and TOUGH, but don’t be a bully. Be a Renaissance Man who enjoys art and music but for goodness sake DO NOT BE GIRLIE!”
When little girls decide they don’t want to be a Princess, they are encouraged. “Be strong, be yourself!” But when little boys decide they don’t agree with the gender-definitions they’ve been assigned, they often get raised eyebrows from their parents. My own kids call this “Mommy Face.”
I think that this is exactly why Bronies have become a THING. I watch “My Little Pony” with my girls (my personal favorite is Pinkie Pie. I want to have Margaritas with her) and no, it’s not the GREATEST show in the world. It’s fun to look at and at times, surprisingly funny but I’ve never seen anything subversive about it. That’s probably why boys enjoy it. It’s cute and funny but it’s also a safe way to say, “I’m not the BOY the world wants me to be. Plus, Pokemon is lame.”
Does that mean we should scorn little boys who decide they are Bronies? I think we should treat it the same way we treat little girls who say, “I am not a Princess!” We should encourage them.
I will admit that I’ve made fun of Bronies in the past, but I was thinking about the grown men who go to Brony conventions. I still don’t know how I feel about them but as a show of support for young Bronies, I promise to TRY and be open-minded.
I’d like to add a Wikipedia quote about Bronies and how they identify with the show from MLP creator Lauren Faust:
“The fact that they did and that they were open-minded and cool enough and secure in their masculinity enough to embrace it and love it and go online and talk about how much they love it—I’m kind of proud.”
Wordy but well-said Lauren. Now, when are you, me & Pinkie Pie going out for drinks?