By Abbey McNeill
Imagine a place without judgment, a happy place embracing ponies and rainbows: a place where friendship is cultured and a place where wearing wings and a unicorn spike is acceptable and normal. This is BronyCon: a society of adults who frequently gather to discuss all matters pertaining to My Little Pony.
Some would consider it a fan club; others consider it a cult. You may be thinking how this club came to be; so a little background. Hasbro is a world famous toy producing company who produced My Little Pony in the 1980’s, targeted at girls ages 2-7. Hasbro’s first hit was Mr. Potato Head; following were many well known toy lines such as: GI Joe, Transformers, Easy-bake oven, Cabbage patch kids, Furby, Lincoln logs, Pokémon, Tinkertoys, and last but not least, My Little Pony. You get the idea: this company has had tremendous effect on the toy industry. They launched a My Little Pony TV show in October of 2010 in hopes to reach children and promote a new line of pony toys. They were successful in reaching the children and parents, but the show also attracted a much unexpected audience of people as well.
Three-day conferences are held annually and are comprised of men, woman, little boys and girls who are My Little Pony enthusiasts. There’s a twelve hour concert for entertainment, and plenty of vendors selling pony-phernalia. So come one, come all, with brightly colored hair, body glitter, face paint and a pony costume, you’ll fit right in.
The anything-but-ordinary movement has been labeled “men’s version of feminism”. Founded in the metropolitan area of New York in 2011, the fans consist primarily of male teenagers and adults. The term “brony” was adopted by the group, which is a married expression of the words “bro” and “pony”. Some critics say that these men, who are sometimes upwards of age 25, have perverted motivations, to which a brony answered; “they just don’t understand. Ponies bring happiness to my usually stressful life” Another said; “The show is about friendship and happiness and life lessons. There aren’t many positive shows on these days, this is a show that families can sit down and enjoy together”.
Being a brony is about adopting a lifestyle. The people that are really involved in BronyCon often dress up like ponies regularly to attend meetings and congregate all around the city to socialize about the show and their favorite ponies. This is what qualifies them as a style tribe: they dress in a distinctive manner to portray their membership. It is definitely nothing less than distinctive and memorable.
This groupie fan club is actually getting quite popular in the northeast. The very first BronyCon conference had around 100 attendees and has grown immensely. Don’t believe me? The most recent event in August of this year had over 8,000 attendants. Certain aspects of their culture seemed to have made it to mainstream style, such as their brightly colored hair: which many celebrities and others have adapted. The bronies have inspired several independent styles, perhaps even your next Halloween costume
Amy, L. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/08/style-tribe-the-grown-up-kids-of-bronycon.html
BronyCon. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BronyCon