Rise of the Bronies
Bronies are a unique bunch. Standing outside of the traditionally-accepted limits of orthodoxy, Bronies have rejected the yoke of age and gender roles that others have decided on. The popularity of My Little Pony has grown with Friendship is Magic, which is written in a manner that people of all ages and both genders can enjoy.
MLP and The Origins of Brony Culture
Several factors gave rise to MLP’s rise in popularity among males and females outside of the traditionally accepted “MLP age limits.” Some pinpoint MLP’s rising popularity on 4Chan. Others cite the fact that the new My Little Pony show: Friendship is Magic essentially guaranteed this shift, given the show’s engaging story line. There is even an annual conference known as the BronyCon.
The growing number of Bronies has resulted in 2 separate documentaries so far. In 2012, Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony was released. And just recently, A Brony Tale (2014) came to fruition. Both of these explore and explain the Brony phenomenon.
The effect of Bronies
Some have argued that the gender-neutral nature of ‘Bronyism’ had helped transcend traditional gender roles and allow people to truly express themselves without fear of ridicule. It’s no surprise then that Brony culture contains a strong anti-bully sentiment (even drawing the attention of people like Glenn Beck). The idea that one should be able to enjoy My Little Pony regardless of age/gender has many advocates, and one does not need to be a Brony in order to recognize this. But the degree to which Bronies have shattered typical gender stereotypes can best be summed up in Brones – The Musical.