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November 22, 2012
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#97) I am an open brony with everyone, except my parents. I'd tell them, but my dad will not approve. He even disapproved and called me gay when I was really into "Phineas and Ferb". Imagine if he found out [about "Friendship is Magic"]! There's no way he would approve. But I want to buy merchandise, shirts, and other stuff. So what do you think I should do about telling my parents?

Answer: Your dad sounds like a royal prick. I don't know what his upbringing was like, but your sexuality isn't defined by watching a simple TV show. "Phineas and Ferb" might be geared towards an audience younger than yourself, but I'm not sure why it would be considered, in his eyes, to be 'gay'. I think he might be getting mixed up between watching something that's distinctly effeminate and watching something that targets kids in general. If anything, "Phineas and Ferb" is a show pitched at boys (although, naturally, it does have universal appeal) and so I can see why you'd be worried about the "Friendship is Magic" thing, given the warped mentality your dad is demonstrating here.

But, y'see, here's the real kicker: the fact that you watch "Friendship is Magic" isn't important. You know that you aren't gay just because you watch the show (not that there's anything wrong with being gay in the first place your dad using it as an insult is relatively incompatible nowadays) and I know it too. In fact, any rational person would tell you the same. Slipping on a pink shirt doesn't make you gay, either. Your dad is living in the past, and he needs to understand that there's nothing inherently wrong with you watching this TV show. Hell, it's not even particularly 'girly' in the sense that your dad would likely perceive; slapstick comedy and humorous turns-of-phrase take centre-stage here. It's only a TV show surely your dad can find other things to work himself into an early heart attack over?

That said, this is a two-way street. Just as "Friendship is Magic" shouldn't be a big deal to your dad, neither should it be a big deal to you. I don't mean that you shouldn't enjoy watching the show and interacting with its fandom: that's fair enough. However, do you really need to make a bold statement about liking the show? Do you need to 'come out' as anything to anyone? People seem to think that being a 'brony' is either some sort of new-age religious movement, or even some kind of high-octane sexuality. Neither of these are true, and people need to stop overreacting about a TV show.

I don't know about you, but I watch a lot of TV shows. I don't, however, make an effort to tell my parents what I'm watching. Just as I don't actively go out of my way to tell people that I check out new episodes of "Friendship is Magic", neither do I boast about being a fan of any number of other shows. I don't quite understand why you would need to 'tell your parents'. You haven't received a bad mark at school, and neither do you have some sort of life-changing revelation to thrust upon them.

If your dad really is the bigoted, narrow-minded asshole that he appears to be, then there doesn't seem to be much point in reasoning with him. You could try and tell him and see how he reacts, although I don't quite see the point in giving him ammunition to use against you. You are between a rock and a hard place, but you do have to understand that as much as you may like the TV show, it is only a TV show: one that will be replaced by something better after a while.

I don't know how old you are, but if you want to buy merchandise, go and buy merchandise. Or, if your dad is the kind of dick who would do something drastic like throw your stuff away if you did buy it, hold off on buying what is essentially more peripheral, commercial crap. As a wild assumption, I take you as being the sort of person who has been positively influenced by "Friendship is Magic" - that's the kind of thing that sticks. Buying shirts and toys doesn't make you any more of a fan than someone who doesn't; there isn't a tangible scale of how much of a fan you are or anything like that.

Take the positives that you can from this show, but if you really expect some sort of giant backlash from your father (and your mother?) if you reveal this interest of yours to them, don't even bother doing so advising you to 'be proud of who you are' is one thing, but I don't see any purpose in creating a domestic disturbance when there's simply no need. You've been getting by fine up to this point without telling them I imagine you still manage to watch the show and so on privately, so it's not as if you're suffering. Not everything needs to be shouted from the rooftops, and, at least for now, you might want to consider keeping the pony thing to yourself.*

Probably better than being called 'gay', if that's a word that offends you terribly.

*Alternatively, educate your dad and tell him to stop being such a fucking homophobe. Force him to watch "Friendship is Magic" until his tiny brain develops a friendship tumour that kills him.



#98) I'm an artist and a pony fan who draws ponies pretty frequently. I really enjoy them, since I can let loose with my style and not have to struggle with complicated animal anatomy every time I draw. (Not to mention they're cute as heck! ) The problem is, I gained a lot of my watchers drawing animals, and now I've been faced with the dilemma that many of them just do not like ponies at all. They openly complain in my Livestream the second I switch from drawing animals to ponies, even just a warm-up doodle to keep me going when it's late at night. I do appreciate that these people still watch me, even though I mostly draw ponies, but I admit it upsets me a little when my stream dies the second I sketch a circle with cute little eyes and pony ears. I'm not sure there's anything to be done but ignore it, but what advice do you have for me?

Answer: You say that you gained a lot of your watchers by drawing animals. I find it quite interesting that a lot of people dislike you drawing ponies, when they would likely be content to see you drawing dogs, or any other type of animal - ponies are still animals, last time I checked. Had the "Friendship is Magic" thing never happened, they wouldn't bat an eyelid if you drew a pony/horse; in fact, they'd probably appreciate them as much as any other animal.

To me, this is less about what you're drawing specifically, and more about these people being fed up with the My Little Pony thing. And, while that's fair enough to an extent, it's incredibly rude to go onto someone's Livestream and complain. You go onto art Livestreams to see what people are inspired to draw if that's ponies, what's the purpose in bashing them? Appeasing two types of viewer is difficult: on the one hand, those who watch you for things other than ponies won't like it when you draw ponies; and yet, on the other hand, if you don't draw ponies then your pony-based watchers won't stick around in your streams.

Firstly, don't change what you draw to accommodate other people. If they don't like you drawing ponies, that is their problem; you shouldn't be made to feel guilty because they don't like something that's perfectly harmless. If you draw ponies quite frequently, you might find that gaining some more pony-watchers is a good idea, as then you'll have people sticking around for the long-term. Advertising on DeviantArt, as well as pony-specific sites such as Bronysquare or Ponysquare, could be a good idea.

You may find that dividing your stream into sections is a good idea: for a while draw one thing, and then after a certain time draw ponies. Or, run different types of stream; some are for animals in general, while others are pony exclusive. I know that art doesn't always work that way sometimes you'll be inspired to draw something even if it doesn't fit the bill but if you explain that the streams will be 'mainly X type of art', then people can't complain if you occasionally drift into drawing something else. It must be upsetting as an artist to have people complain about what you're drawing for no good reason, but the good news is that most of the people who do that probably don't understand what it's like to be an artist if they did, they wouldn't behave in such a discourteous way.



#99) I heard of the show "Friendship is Magic" about nine months ago (That was when I watched an interview about MLP in Youtube). I knew about the My Little Pony toy franchise when I was younger and I thought they were talking about the toys and not the show. I was really surprised that they made a show from it once I started watching that video. The problem is, my country hasn't broadcast the series yet. That's why I didn't know about it earlier. And so, my main question for you is: "Why is MLP so popular that it not only attracts young female audiences but male audiences as well?" Since I haven't watched it yet, I don't really know why. I want to let you know that I am also a Brony now because of the fanart and stories I heard about MLP. Thanks if you could answer my question. Brohoof~

Answer: Other than the generic fall-backs of, "the animation is good" and, "the writing is solid", I don't really have much else to say on the matter. It's a well-made show; even looking at it objectively, there's not a whole lot to complain about. It satisfies its intended demographic while entertaining adults. The music both songs and background compositions is good, the visuals are cute and the stories, while not especially original, weave tales that are generally interesting enough to sustain 20-minute bursts.

I do think that the show is overrated, to be fair, in the way that anything that inspires an entire fandom is likely overrated. With "Friendship is Magic" you're not learning anything that you wouldn't learn from a bunch of other shows pitched at kids; it's just that MLP does it in a way that an unexpected amount of people seem to enjoy. Whether it's because it's unusual, and so people are attracted to it precisely because it's unexpected, or because it's surprising that My Little Pony, of all things, has turned into something universally appealing is unknown. What I do know, however, is that there's nothing offensively bad about the show; there are episodes that fall a little flat, but consistently it remains an enjoyable watch, as long as you don't go in expecting too much.

It's possible that you'll go in with high expectations that won't be matched, given that you are, as you've pointed out, a part of the fandom despite not watching the show. Try and look up a few episodes on Youtube and see if it's your kind of thing. I think part of its success is that it brings together a lot of similar-minded people; people who may have always been searching for something like it but hadn't previously had anything that really fit the criteria. It's just another example of something that brings people together, and it has created a world that is highly exploitable to other creative mediums. Think of "Friendship is Magic" as a creative hub - a tree, if you will, with the fandom's branches growing from it.

Or something less pretentious and silly:

Above average show + above average characters + bored / lonely / and/or artistic people = what we see in the pony fandom today.
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Brony Advice is both an active collaboration with artists and an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be - if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send me a note with your comment or question.

I'll then respond with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.

Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.

Artwork by the ultra-talented *Noxx-ious. Go check out their stuff!

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:iconcloudthelegend2005:
97: My nephew used to pick on me constantly and say that MLP was gay and that I was gay... Then he watched a few episodes with his friend and now me and him watch episodes together and we both wear Fluttershy belts from Hot Topic... I have a buddy in the Navy named Joey who swore up and down that he'd never be a brony and he became a brony... Be proud of it, I think my dad would probably laugh at me and tease me about it but in the end he'd just accept it as a difference of opinion... I personally think if the Brony fandom was a kind of "movement" we'd be a good thing, the message all bronies try to follow is "love and tolerate"... I can't see that as a bad thing...
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:iconpwn-e:
Pwn-E Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am a newer brony and I was wondering how to introduce someone around my area to FiM without...... "freaking them out." The reason is about a week ago (before I "joined the herd") I would catch my 3 best friends talking about FiM and I always thought "Why would three teenage males be so obsessed with a show like that?" The only reason I ever watched my first episode was because my friend made a deal with me...... so basically I would just like to introduce some of my other friends to FiM but do not know where to start.
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:iconcuddlepug:
Note this to me, please.
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:iconpwn-e:
Pwn-E Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay, sorry I am new to Dev.... didn't know what noting meant, on the way!
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:iconcuddlepug:
Got it. Thanks.
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:iconpwn-e:
Pwn-E Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
np, glade I could help you help me.
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:iconcrowneprince:
CrownePrince Nov 25, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I'm fortunate enough to have parents who support my obsession with animation, including ponies. (Heck, my mom gave me a Twilight Sparkle toothbrush holder the other day. Awesome.)

Firstly, don't change what you draw to accommodate other people.

I struggle with this one a lot, but I figure I'll get over it when the community becomes less responsive. When I get 200+ likes for any kind of fan art and maybe 20 for original work, well...
The pony style was oddly similar to what I grew into with my webcomic Cyn Wolf, so drawing ponies is good practice anyway.

Your advice column continues to be a refreshing part of the community.
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:iconbronian:
those answers are really shitty. for example, your first answer begins with "Your dad sounds like a royal prick."
Really, I mean, really... do you think you are clever?
And by the way... whoever complains about being a bronie but can't tell anyone, is just not supposed to watch the show.
the show shows you how important friendship is, so why should you ruin friendship for a show?
once you understand this, you can watch the show as much as you damn want to
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:iconcuddlepug:
'whoever complains about being a bronie but can't tell anyone, is just not supposed to watch the show'

Oh man, you should be answering these questions instead of me; your advice is excellent. Well-informed, well-worded and totally rational.
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:iconpwn-e:
Pwn-E Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
next shakespear!
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