As we reported earlier, BronyCon got its little pony on this weekend, with an overnight celebration of the My Little Pony fandom attracting more than 4,000 revelers in an event described as similar to “a Grateful Dead concert.”
BronyCon is not an entirely new concept to people who attend fandom conventions, but the phenomenon of Bronies is perhaps a new one to much of society.
If you’ve escaped hearing about bronies since they came to be, we’ll bring you up to speed. As with many retro toy franchises, My Little Pony has been reinvented again and again — and perhaps you’ve seen or heard about the most recent redux, called Friendship is Magic.
The MLP restyling was created by Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends alum Lauren Faust — and being as those were perhaps the two awesomest cartoons of the past decade, it’s probably no surprise that Friendship is Magic caught on even with adults. But the fact that it caught on in particular with young adult men was kind of a shock, and thus “bronies” were born.
How much can a young, adult male like My Little Pony? Enough to travel to Seacaucus, New Jersey to commune for a weekend with fellow MLP fans at a convention called BronyCon. Their numbers were estimated at around 4,000 attendees, which — lest we forget — consisted largely of adult males who had traveled overnight to be at the first BronyCon.
One attendee, 25-year-old Dale Fjordbotten, gave the AP a basic Brony 101 lecture
“I thought about what people would say. ‘It’s creepy. It’s weird. It’s a … show for little girls,’ …It’s just a great show … the story line, the plot, the beautiful animation.”
19-year-old James Penna of Mastic was unashamed of his Brony status:
“I discovered that there’s nothing to be ashamed of being a Brony… People are into what they’re into.”
Faust herself was at BronyCon, and she lauded her Brony fans for bucking stereotypes and loving Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie without reservation — she explained:
“We live in a society where saying that something is for girls is the equivalent to saying that something is stupid, or saying that something isn’t worthwhile,” Faust said.
“I think that’s awful and I think that kind of attitude needs to be changed,” she said. “And these men are doing it. … They’re proud that they’re forward-thinking and modern enough to look past this misogynistic attitude.”
Faust and others are working on a Brony documentary filmed in part at BronyCon 2012.