When I visited my parent’s home for Thanksgiving, my brother said something I thought would never come out of his almost-13-year-old mouth: “We should totally watch ‘My Little Pony’!” My response then being: “… What?” My brother went on to explain how ‘amazing’ the show is and how much he and his friends love it. Perhaps this just proves how removed I am from what’s hip with young people these days. That same day, we went to Hot Topic so he could purchase a ‘Brony’ shirt for his best friend. I had no idea that ‘My Little Pony’ was that popular with teenage boys – popular enough to have t-shirts and accessories at Hot Topic.
According to my brother, it’s not ‘My Little Pony’ that’s awesome, it’s just ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’. If you have been living under an internet rock like I apparently have, ‘MLP: Friendship is Magic’ is a television show for children on the HUB station. The series begins with the pony Twilightsparkle getting sent to Ponyville by Princess Celestia. Twilight thinks that she is merely in Ponyville for a routine inspection, but in reality she was sent there to make some friends for godssake. She meets Pinkypie, Rarity, Rainbowdash, Fluttershy, and Applejack- who each represent one of the elements of harmony. Princess Celestia’s evil little sister escapes from her moon prison and tries to take over the world! The only way to stop her is to combine the elements of harmony: laughter, charity, loyalty, kindness, and wisdom. However, there is a sixth element- magic. And as we know from the series title, Friendship IS Magic! So therefore, since Twilight stopped being such a loser and made some friends, the world was saved, sisters were reunited, and teenage boys everywhere found a new obsession.
To clarify a few terms: a ‘brony’ refers to a boy (above the age of 10) who likes ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’, ‘pegasista’ is a girl (above the age of 10) who likes ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’, and a ‘clopper’ is someone who has sexual fantasies and fetishizes the characters from ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’.
FimFic.net is a fan fiction website dedicated solely to ‘MLP: FIM’. While my brother has dabbled in MLP fan fiction, I would much rather bring up a story written by one of his good friends. For the first few chapters, it’s your typical fan fiction. Then there’s clopping. Supposedly my brother’s friend only added this chapter to get more views. Supposedly. While I have not explored this phenomenon any further than this particular fic and a quick google image search (not recommended), I cannot support it. It’s creepy. It’s gross. It’s cartoon bestiality. It’s cartoon bestiality pedophilia.
For Christmas this year my brother got an expensive video camera- exciting right? Anypony would be pumped. Well, the next present my brother unwrapped was a Pinkypie- he went berserk. He ripped the paper off with a fury and tore her from the box- then proceeded to gently comb her pink hair. If I wanted to violate my brother’s privacy, I would post the pictures (because yes I took them).
I had a rare opportunity over New Years to accompany my brother and his friends on a MLP hunt at the mall. The boys weren’t sure where they would be able to find the ponies, so we split up. Joanna and I went to the toy store first (because we knew there wouldn’t be any ponies at Spencers). We found the giant pony display and sent a photo-message to my brother. A few minutes later, I received a desperate phone call: “Where are you?… We’re on our way!… Colin don’t get left behind!” etc. My brother and his friends were now tearing through the mall screaming wildly. I looked back over to the display and a teenage girl and her friend were picking out their ponies. Not knowing how my brother and his friends would react- being super hip 13 and 15 year olds. The boys crashed through the doorway and yelled at me to show them to the ponies. I did. While one of the boys sort of hung back, my brother and his best friend marched right over to the ponies, won a fist-bump from the girls, and emerged victorious with two Rainbowdashes in tow.
I asked my brother and his friends over an XboxLive session: “What if the kids at school found out you were bronies? How do you think they would treat you? What would you do?” My brother and his best friend answered that the kids would probably call them things like ‘faggot’ or ‘gay’, but they would keep wearing their brony shirts and watching MLP proudly. The other friend, the one who hung back (and interestingly the one who wrote the clop-fic) declined to comment.
When I originally planned to write this post, I thought it would be more about my brother and his friends’ struggles as bronies. However, my brother has suddenly developed a newfound confidence about himself and his hobbies. He likes MLP and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Thus far, my brother has found supporters in our family, except for his father. His father bought him a weight-lifting set for his birthday. While in the beginning I may not have understood my little brother’s obsession with MLP, and I’ll admit I was a little disturbed when the video game posters were replaced by hand-drawn pictures of the ponies, I am glad that he is embracing his less hyper-masculine side to balance his love of Call of Duty.