I’m sure many little girls in the 1980’s fondly remember brushing the florescent or rainbow colored manes of their My Little Ponies and taking them on great adventures with the other toys in their rooms. Even if you didn’t own a My Little Pony, most are familiar enough with the toys or TV series to assume that the target demographic would be young females. That assumption may have been true in the past, but fast forward to 2010… what would you say if you found out there was a growing fandom of the new My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic TV series that’s made up of adult males?
Well folks, that’s a Brony (Bro-Ponies)! Many are surprised and confused when they learn that bros are into ponies, and a lot of people find themselves thinking, “Guys shouldn’t watch My Little Pony, especially adult males.” Despite the potential social stigma associated with being a Brony, the culture has grown large enough to have a full-blown convention, BronyCon, with thousands of adult males attending to socialize with other Bronies. There is even a documentary about the Brony phenomenon, “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.” So, when I first heard about Bronies, I wanted to learn more because I thought it an awesome way to challenge gender stereotypes.
However, what I discovered is that Brony culture is not about gender. Instead, being a Brony means that you embrace friendship, acceptance, and tolerance. Bronies take social lessons taught within the different episodes of the TV series and apply them to their lives in an effort to challenge the struggles and hassles of daily living. They love and accept all people no matter what shape or color they are. The Brony community is a safe place for individuals to express themselves and to be creative. Bronies that were interviewed within the Brony documentary appeared to be highly intelligent individuals, but many of them seemed nervous and anxious in social situations. Incredibly, the Brony community didn’t care and actually helped these individuals move past their anxieties to see that they could be extroverted around other Bronies.
With that said, the Brony community is likely a safe haven for Aspies (i.e., individuals with Asperger’s), so coming soon, ”Bronies Part 2: Why the Brony Culture is Perfect for Aspies.”