I’ll Never Be A Brony
I think most men in my generation have fond memories from their childhood and youth. I still laugh at some really stupid comedy, I have some favorite movies that are just escapist adventures, and occasionally I re-read some of the books I loved as a child. Having little kids around gives you an excuse to play a bit. I’ll even admit to quoting Winnie the Pooh from time to time.
But I’ll never be a brony.
A raucous gathering at an Anaheim hotel on a recent Saturday night looked like any fanboy mini-convention — about 150 people, mostly guys in their late teens and early 20s, watched animation on big-screen TVs, recited dialogue from memory and jumped out of their seats to cheer for a storied franchise.
But it wasn’t a Marvel superhero, a Christopher Nolan blockbuster or a million-selling video game that had them rapt. It was the rainbow-hued fantasy world of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,” a reboot of a classic kids TV series airing on cable network the Hub, that has found its way into the hearts of an unexpected demographic: adult men.
“My Little Pony” has spawned a testosterone-fueled subculture in Los Angeles and around the country so strong that its devotees have a name, “bronies” — combining “bro” and “ponies” — and produce a steady stream of flying-pony-inspired blogs, rock bands, fan art and YouTube videos.
(Los Angeles Times)
National Review’s Greg Pollowitz asked “‘Testosterone-fueled subculture?’ Really?” It’s one thing to have a quiet appreciation for Thomas The Tank Engine (especially the early episodes narrated by Ringo Starr) … at least those stories were written for boys. But young men celebrating a little pony with cutie-marks and brushable rainbow mane?
You don’t have to go hyper-masculine to choose a hobby that doesn’t call your gender identity into question. Whatever good qualities MLP might have, this particular expression of them is not the stuff of manliness, Bro.