Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Little Feminist Pony

I can't even believe that I'm going to write a blog post about My Little Pony. But here it is. Last summer I worked at Hasbro (and will work there again this summer), so I have become very knowledgeable about this brand. For those of you who has missed it, the brand has recently been revamped and now has a TV show that is as popular with college aged kids (called "bronies") as it is with five and six year olds. (By the way, if you love the Powerpuff Girls or Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, check out My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - they were all created by the same woman, Lauren Faust.)

Here's what I love about the series though. While the Pony brand is generally coated in a garish shade of pink, each of the characters is very different. They're all female, but they all have their own brand of female identity. I find it encouraging that the show provides young girls (and people of all ages) to embrace who they are.

The best example of this is Rainbow Dash. She's the blue one with the (surprise, surprise) rainbow mane and tail. She's 100% a tomboy. Loves racing and athletics. Speaks in a gravelly voice. Hates frills or anything cutesy. There's even a ton of fan fiction suggesting that Rainbow Dash is actually a lesbian. But her rock n' roll attitude is never a problem. To her friends, she is undeniably awesome and 20% cooler than everyone else, despite being an atypical girl. Applejack (the orange one with the cowboy hat) is also a sort of "fluffy princess" alternative. She speaks in a Southern drawl, loves some hard work, and doesn't mind getting her hooves dirty. 

I could spend a lot of time describing every character, but I'll sum it up by saying that the show illustrates that there are all kinds of ways to celebrate being a girl and it's important to be who you are. In this one group of friends we can find a bookworm, a neurotic optimist, an athlete, a diva, a kind soul, and a "do-it-yourself"-er. I like that not all the characters are the same kind of "female."

I realize this has to be taken with a grain of salt (it's easy to be yourself when you're a beautiful technicolor pony who lives in the mystical land of Equestria), but at least it's doing something different than a lot of shows today. 

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