My Little NON-Homophobic, NON-Racist, NON-Smart-Shaming Pony: A Rebuttal

I have been a lifelong feminist, and as an artist working in the animation industry for more than 16 years I have striven to do right by women and girls in the animated projects I have been part of. I try to bring sincerity and depth to the female characters I’ve animated and have fought in development and story meetings to make female characters more than just the typical girlfriend, Mom or sex symbol. I’ve even fought to see that there was more than just one girl character in whatever project I was working on. Sometimes I swayed my coworkers (often it was easy, to their credit) and sometimes I lost. My goal, as an artist and as a storyteller, was to one day have a show of my own for and about girls.

After years and years of pitching original animation for girls to studios and networks and always hearing “This is great, but animated shows for girls don’t get ratings,” or “Girls don’t watch cartoons,” I finally got the opportunity to have my own show.  It’s called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

I was extremely skeptical at first about taking the job. Shows based on girls’ toys always left a bad taste in my mouth, even when I was a child. They did not reflect the way I played with my toys. I assigned my ponies and my Strawberry Shortcake dolls distinctive personalities and sent them on epic adventures to save the world. On TV, though, I couldn’t tell one girl character from another and they just had endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying–which miraculously inspired the villain to turn nice. Even to my 7-year-old self, these shows made no sense and couldn’t keep my interest. No wonder the boys at school laughed at my Rainbow Unicorn Trapper Keeper.

From what I’ve seen since I’ve grown up, little has changed. To look at the quality of most girls’ cartoons, it would seem that not one artist really cared about them. Not one designer, not one background painter, not one animator. Some of the more well-meaning, more expensive animated productions for girl audiences may look better, but the female characters have been so homogenized with old-fashioned “niceness” that they have no flaws and are unrelatable. They are so pretty, polite and perfect; there is no legitimate conflict and nothing exciting ever happens. In short, animated shows for little girls come across as boring.  Stupid. Lame.

This perception, more than anything, is what I am trying to change with My Little Pony.

And that’s why I was so dismayed to find Kathleen Richter’s post on the Ms. Blog, accusing the show of homophobia, racism and smart-shaming. There she stated:

So overall, these are the lessons My Little Pony teaches girls:

  • Magical white ponies are suited for leadership; black ponies are suited to be servants.
  • Stop learning! You will overcome any obstacle by resorting to strength in numbers (of friends).
  • Girls that wear rainbows are butch.
  • You need the government (ideally a monarch invested with supreme ultimate power and a phallic symbol strapped to her forehead) to tell you what to do with your life.

A surprising amount of commenters rose in defense of the show, and for that I am extremely grateful. Without repeating their retorts too extensively, here is my defense against the accusations.

  • Color has never, ever been depicted as a race indicator for the ponies. When your characters are purple, blue, orange, yellow, black, white, red, green and pink, who’s to say which is supposed to signify a white person, a black person, an Asian person? The only races in My Little Pony are Earth Pony, Pegasus and Unicorn, and they are all treated equally, ruled by a leader who embodies the traits of all three  This leader is white only to signify day, and she co-rules with her sister, who is purple to signify night. Additionally, I’d just like to assure anyone who might still question the guards at the foot of the Princess’s throne that their colors were picked arbitrarily–and they are paid for their service.
  • In the first episode, the lead character, Twilight, is depicted as a pony so wrapped up in her studies that she has no interest in socializing. But since socializing and making friends is an important, healthy aspect of anyone’s life, her mentor encouraged her to, essentially, go out and play. In the end, the character goes on to lead a more balanced life, maintaining both relationships and her studies. In subsequent episodes she is frequently seen reading, referencing books to help solve problems and even living in a library.
  • Rainbow Dash has rainbow-striped hair because of her name and because she is very interested in sports, specifically flying. She is a tomboy, but nowhere in the show is her sexual orientation ever referenced. As we all know, there are plenty of straight tomboys in the world, and assuming they are lesbians is extremely unfair to both straight and lesbian tomboys.
  • The Princess is depicted as the main character’s mentor, her teacher. She’s an authority figure and even a bit of a surrogate parent. The Princess gave Twilight her instructions as someone who knows her and is personally involved in her upbringing. And though there is historical speculation that unicorn horns were indeed phallic symbols, I doubt that is making its way into anyone’s subconscious.

The messages I’m really trying to get across with the show are these:

  • There are lots of different ways to be a girl. You can be sweet and shy, or bold and physical. You can be silly and friendly, or reserved and studious. You can be strong and hard working, or artistic and beautiful. This show is wonderfully free of “token girl” syndrome, so there is no pressure to shove all the ideals of what we want our daughters to be into one package. There is a diversity of personalities, ambitions, talents, strengths and even flaws in our characters–it’s not an army of cookie-cutter nice-girls or cookie-cutter beauty queens like you see in most shows for girls.
  • Find out what makes you you. Follow your passions and ambitions, not what others expect of you. For instance, if you like sports don’t let someone’s suggestion that that is unfeminine stop you from doing what you love. Be considerate of others’ feelings, but not at the expense of your own goals and dreams.
  • You can be friends with people who are vastly different from you. And even though all friendships have their share of disagreements and moments when you don’t get along, that does not mean that your friendship has to end.
  • Cartoons for girls don’t have to be a puddle of smooshy, cutesy-wootsy, goody-two-shoeness. Girls like stories with real conflict; girls are smart enough to understand complex plots; girls aren’t as easily frightened as everyone seems to think. Girls are complex human beings, and they can be brave, strong, kind and independent–but they can also be uncertain, awkward, silly, arrogant or stubborn. They shouldn’t have to succumb to pressure to be perfect.

Yes, My Little Pony is riddled with pink, the leader is a Princess instead of a Queen and there probably aren’t enough boys around to portray a realistic society. These decisions were not entirely up to me.  It has been a challenge to balance my personal ideals with my bosses’ needs for toy sales and good ratings. I do my best to incorporate their needs in an acceptable way, so when we are asked to portray a certain toy or playset, my team and I work to put it in a place that makes sense within the story. There is also a need to incorporate fashion play into the show, but only one character is interested in it and she is not a trend follower but a designer who sells her own creations from her own store. We portray her not as a shopaholic but as an artist.

I never expected to work on a show based on a toy line, but I accepted the project based on my sincere childhood love of the toy and Hasbro’s desire to create an entertaining show that is not just a long toy commercial. When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people–without even watching the show–to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I’m doing my job right, I think you’ll be surprised.

Lauren Faust is creative steward/executive producer of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Top: Original drawings of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters by Lauren Faust.

Comments

  1. I love you so much Lauren. You are simply the best. Their whole crap load article, about racism and what not was the main unpositive review of this show in existence. Then you go and write this and they even publish on the very same website. You…are….awesome.

  2. I’m a 23-year-old slightly tomboyish pegasister with a nine year relationship with a guy and who sees the rainbow as a promise this world will never be buried under water again. Since comments are disabled on that blog, I’d thought I’d make that declaration of pride here, instead.

    Lauren, I love this show. I have a four-year-old niece who also loves this show. I can talk ponies with her. Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to MLP very much because I don’t recall having a specific interest in it that I remember. This show is pretty much helping me enjoy something I missed. I had to facepalm at the utter stupidity that writer showed in her article. She brings to mind two specific tropes from TV Tropes: Did Not Do The Research and Completely Missing The Point. I sure as heck hope she has seen the show since she wrote that blog and started getting charbroiled over it. I’ve seen worse (and I use the word loosely because I’m a fan of said “worse” shows) and they are different media geared to teens. Ritcher should be looking at those if she really feels the need to demonize something.

    I’m thankful my niece is only four and I hope that when she’s older and able to surf the net on her own, she never comes across that blog (granted it’s still up in ten years). I’d hate for her to see her childhood heroes slandered so.

    I will end this with some Irony: I’m somewhat tomboyish and yet my absolute favorite girl in the Mane Six is…you guessed it, Miss Rarity. She’s everything I’d rather not be. She makes dresses which I will only make an exception for on my wedding day. I don’t care for makeup or hair styles and my fashion sense is more like Applejack’s. I love the irony. Makes me squeal.

  3. The Socialist says:

    Well as a Socialist i tend to view everything in a political light (im obsessed :S) and when i saw the show i saw no evidence of racism, inequality, sexism, misrepresentations or anything like that. Great response Miss Faust

  4. The thing that caught my attention was the fact that somebody would make the crude suggestion that a “boyish” character is lesbian simply because of the way she acts. In my opinion, unless there’s actual intended evidence of a character’s sexual preference, that’s just wrong. Thanks Lauren, for making the show and putting this here for everyone to see. I figured I would give the show a try once I heard quite a lot of people making a big deal about it, and I honestly don’t regret liking it.

  5. I just have a question about rainbow dash. The article was worded brilliantly, but it still boggles me. Is L. Faust trying to say Rainbow Dash has no sexuality, and it does not exist, or cleverly saying she could still be a lesbian. Note she never says a straight forward answer, and gives two categories for tomboys.

    • Nobody Much says:

      I’m fairly certain that you’re missing the point. What Lauren was saying is that it DOESN’T MATTER what Rainbow Dash’s sexual preference is. There are more important things in this world.

      • Blanket Stitch says:

        Too true, just watch the show for the show. Besides the only pony to show interest in another was Rarity to prince Blueblood, which she is quickly disillusioned of.

        • Why can’t we all think that RD is just not interested in a relationship and keep it that way? She’s more interested in sports, and she clearly doesn’t show any signs of her wanting to BE with somepony.

          • Xeddrief says:

            I agree. I see Rainbow as far too fixated on her future career with the wonderbolts to allow herself to be distracted with romance, straight or no. Something pretty major would have to happen to change this.

    • She doesn’t have a sexual orientation in canon because most of the characters don’t. It’s a children’s show, so romance isn’t a major focus of the plots. IIRC, there have only been three plots that focused on romance:
      a) Spike’s obvious and (seemingly) unrequited crush on Rarity
      b) Rarity’s interest in Prince Blueblood – which goes away when she spends time with him and finds out that he’s an ill-mannered, self-centered jerk
      c) Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle’s use of a love potion to set up Apple Bloom’s big brother and their schoolteacher, who are close but platonic friends, on “Hearts and Hooves Day” (the pony equivalent of Valentine’s Day)
      So of the six main characters – Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie – only the first one has shown any romantic interest in anyone in-canon. It’s not like they’re singling out the tomboy character to be asexual. It’s a children’s show, and one which particularly tries to send the message that one shouldn’t try to grow up too fast (the moral of pretty much every episode focusing on Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and/or Sweetie Belle) and so Rainbow Dash’s lack of sexual orientation or romantic plotlines is the default rather than the exception.

  6. Lauren, thank you so much for this show. This show has helped me make new friends and to share something with my old friends. I believe that every friendship, even if there aren’t six people, should share a little of each pony. Hard working, determined, fashionable, silly, stubborn, sweet, shy, studious, and all the others. So thanks for reminding me of the toys my mom got me when I was younger.

  7. Vinyl Flight says:

    Lauren, I just want you to know that, as a 19-year-old man living in Kansas, I’m at that stage in my life where everything is changing. I’m starting to make my own decisions, find my own strengths and weaknesses, and create my own interests. When I found out about MLP:FiM over the summer, I was eager to know what the hype was about, so I watched it. Little did I know that I would have completed the first season in under two days. Since then, it has helped change my life in ways you can’t even fathom. I’ve become more optimistic, and I’ve developed a more graceful, open way of thinking. Needless to say, Ms. Faust, you are a TRUE inspiration. What you’re doing for the animation industry, feminism, and culture itself is a beautiful thing. I can’t wait to see more works to come from you :)

    Your biggest fan, AJ (Vinyl Flight)

  8. Big Black Brony says:

    All hail Faust! Immortal Empress of Ponykind!

    Thank you for responding to that insipid and trite post and setting the record straight. Your fans love and appreciate you: Ponies, Bronies and Pegasisters alike.

  9. Props for Ponies, Lauren, but give credit where it’s due: Jem was a freakin’ KICK ASS show. Sure, Jem and her friends were pretty sweet and soft, but the Misfits were awesome. Pizzazz once flew on a hanglider that was fitted with a laser and nearly killed Jem by accident. Jem was nearly eaten by a killer whale. Pizzazz and the Misfits were introduces on motorcyles SHAPED LIKE ELECTRIC GUITARS.

    Were any of your ponies ever nearly eaten by a killer whale?

    Not saying your show is terrible. It’s great, I love it and I showed it to my niece. But don’t crap-pan all girl’s cartoons from the past. I grew up with some seriously inspirational cartoon characters before your ponies came along. She-Ra. Wonderwoman. Pizzazz and her friends. Shana (the female drummer for Jem (rare) who was also an awesome fashion designer). I know there’s more that I’m missing but those are the main ones.

    • she’s not saying all girls’ cartoons are bad… she’s saying when people think about girls’ cartoons, they usually think of the bad ones. powerpuff girls was definitely aimed at girls, and she worked on that!

    • Mysterious Stranger says:

      I agree, Jem and The Holograms was a pretty good show.

  10. Washnwerwolf says:

    My guess is that the writer, Kathleen Richter, was looking to be insulted and, like many people do, projected their bias on the show looking for fault. It is human nature to believe the worst when that is what you are looking for. So I believe the term to be used here is “just have to love and tolerate” her and all other haters and pity their small lives.

    I am a recent convert of the show. I finally started to watch it about 2 weeks ago after reading you were involved with MLP: FIM. I find the show funny, well written, engaging, and brilliant. It is refreshing to see strong, confident female characters that don’t just wait for the hero to save them. I see elements of the women I know and respect in the characters and appreciate that they are not dumb down or diminished for being a “little girls cartoon”. When I first started to watch, I laughed thinking that one friend was just like one of the ponies or that this one totally sounded just like one of my friends. I am male, 37 and have actively attempted to gently steer people to the show whom I think will appreciate it.

    I hope the show has a bright and long future and continues to provides a refreshing alternative to conventional children’s programing. I rarely watch TV anymore because of the mindless pap and dribble most programing is and rely on word of mouth to interest me in a new shows to invest in. My Little Pony is number 9 of the television series I actively attempt to keep up with. Which is rather odd looking at my collection. I am looking forward to putting a boxset of MLP FIM up there with Dexter, Dr Who, and Walking Dead. That is what is know as a conversation starter.

  11. Gottfried Leibniz says:

    I wonder what her feelings are towards bronies….

  12. Kelly Hall says:

    If someone asked me which pony I was, I wouldn’t have an answer.

    I’m quite a bit like Pinkie Pie in that I am excitable and I am often seen laughing, but I also am a bit like Twilight… logical, reasonable, and interested in learning about the world. Add a bit of Apple Jack in there and I suppose you have me.

    It blows me away that this Kathleen Richter (?) person would make such snap judgements about the show without even watching it. In one episode the moral is not to judge a book by it’s cover, which is exactly what Richter did!

    Now I might not be anything like Rainbow Dash, but paint me a rainbow, honey, and I’ll wear it! Not for gay pride, but for harmony between creeds. So what if the tomboy is wearing a rainbow? What’s the difference between Dashie and Rarity wearing a rainbow? The point is, THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY DIFFERENCE.

    Paul McCartney was once asked why he was honest to the media about taking LSD considering his fans might be influenced by said honesty. He replied, saying that he wasn’t going to lie, because that would be the worst thing he could do, and that he asked the paper not to publish that information and they did anything. He then turned to the man interviewing him and said (informal quote), “this is you! You decide whether to tell the world. You are the one spreading that message! You choose to do so.”

    Point is, it is the people who walk around pointing out any forced case of racism or homophobia or sexism they can possibly find who keep it alive. I don’t mean obvious cases, such as a few Betty Boop cartoons or like, all of Pocahontas, I mean cases like MLP:FiM. You can force any negative stereotype you want onto this show, but you’ll be missing the point, and it will be YOU who spreads that message, and continues that hate.

    So learn from McCartney. Only YOU can prevent forest fires.

    PS – Lauren, I love you. I’m 25 and while I loved MLP as a child, this has so much depth and meaning to it while still being fun. Keep up the awesome, awesome work. My future daughters need you! <3

  13. Arsepolitico says:

    Theses comments and the article sound like standard defense mechanisms. Try again. If the shoe fits wear it. If you can’t find the other shoe, THEN you have a point.

    In other words, “I don’t see your point” has never been a good counterpoint.

    • SilverBlaze says:

      That makes no sense. You obviously don’t know what a “defense mechanism” is if you think that. You’re just mad that someone you agree with was criticized and proven wrong. When you haven’t done actual research, you deserve it. This article is right on. She’s the main writer after all, so she would know.

  14. Arsepolitico says:

    I experienced everything as gender and race- neutral because I simply know they weren’t or that it mattered until I noticed how people who looked like or acted like me were consistently treated…when they DID show up. Saying that you didnt notice, and ponies aren’t any literal color in particular (how do they talk? Where are they from?) plus there was a nominally inclusive object lesson in there doesn’t keep the thing from being institutionally racist, sexist, homophobic, or unnecessarily limiting and narrow regarding people who share the ponies’ HUMAN traits.

    Should I mention that in my mind for a while, I just thought I was (the) “good” “nice” (white girl) or “heroic” “ferocious” and “courageous” (white boy), until it was pointed out to me that I wasn’t?? It doesnt have to be that extreme, but I’m suggesting that most people had a similar experience with how they viewed themselves, because thats how our minds work. I think maybe they just never noticed and maybe this franchise was better than most at letting them pull off the trick.

  15. I am not ashamed to say that I am a 20-year-old guy who is a Brony.

    I love the show because it shows us how having friends is like in itself magic. When you have friends, things happen. You can fall in love, you can laugh, you can share sorrows, you can be competitive with one another and be creative. Friendship is magical in that it makes you a better person, it allows you to experience all these wonderful things in the world that you sometimes completely neglect.

    I praise Lauren Faust and would like to thank her for creating such an amazing show that has spawned an incredibly warm and loving community: the bronies.

    Being a brony has opened new doors for me. Being a brony has, in fact, made me a better person. I’ve learned so many things from just watching the show and am teaching what I learn to my friends who have also become bronies because of me. I teach them about life lessons that I’ve learned from the show and that I have incorporated into my everyday life. This show is the most amazing thing that has happened to me, second only to me meeting the girl of my dreams who loves me as much as I love her.

    So I say this again, thank you Ms. Fausts for creating such an amazing and wonderful show that has changed not only my life, but the lives of many others around the world that have been touched by your show as well.

    • Why do you watch this show? None of the messages in this show could possibly relate to the life of a twenty year old man.

      • I really hope that was sarcasm, because if it’s not then you’re either not paying much attention to the messages that are spelled out in plain English at the end of the episode, or you just don’t get that being 20+ and male doesn’t exclude you from having friends. This is a show that teaches about friendship, and the lessons that are learned in each episode can apply to anybody.

        I myself am a 21 year old male, and this show has actually taught me quite a bit (or just reminded me of things I should never have forgotten). I mean, they’ve had episodes dealing with prejudice, egotism, selfishness, jealousy, and many other issues that can affect anybody regardless of age or gender.

        But that’s not the only reason why I watch it. I also watch it because the characters are well-written and diverse, the stories are interesting, and it kind of invokes the nostalgic feel of the nineties cartoons I grew up watching while also remaining very new and fresh.

      • Why wouldn’t they? So you’re basically sayin adults can’t relate to life lessons? That’s pretty absurd.

  16. After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you can take away me from that service? Thanks!

  17. Pegasusasister says:

    Dear Faust,

    Thank you. Originally I stayed away from the recent MLP because I assumed that it would be the same as most of the shows geared towards and it would be about girls worrying over boys and make up and clothes and basically stuff I didn’t considered worth my time. Especially being 21, I thought I was above that. But thanks to DA and memebase, I decided to watch the show and I never looked back. I really enjoy it. It really lives up to its name: Friendship is Magic. Each pony has a weakness and strength that is portrayed. It made them more than one dimensional. It made them more like girls that real girls can relate to than any other girl geared show I’ve watched. It makes funny references and makes it entertaining for anyone to watch, not just little girls.

    I don’t see what this Ms. Katherine saw. Okay so Celestia is a ‘white’ mare. Big Deal. it’s part of the design. She isn’t bossy or portrayed like most ‘royal’ would be see. She’s like a ‘mother’- in charge but doesn’t flaunt her powers and authority and cares about the ones under her wings and wants to see her ‘children’ mature and grow to their potential.

    And so what Rainbow Dash is tomboyish? That’s her personality and it fits her. She’s like most girls that are athletic and not super girly. But that really doesn’t mean she’s a lesbian. And this show definitely doesn’t promote the ‘Math makes me get wrinkles and my head hurt’ stereotype. Twilight is the most smart one and she doesn’t dumb herself down to be friends. In fact, it shows that this show tells girls that ‘studying is great all but don’t forget to have people looking out for you and helping reach your potential.

    So po po on you Katherine, you’ve assume that this show was like every other show and never gave it a chance. You probably just watched the first episode part 1 and wrote that tainted article. Thank you Faust for setting the record straight as you did and thank you Bronies and Pegasusasisters for helping me see what the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is really about.

    Cheers and Happy Holidays.

  18. PinkieDaShy says:

    Lauren is the most amazing person. Ever.
    Seriously, who is this Katherine person? THEY ARE PASTEL COLOURED PONIES. HOW CAN YOU TELL WHAT RACE THEY ARE?
    Dear god. The nerve of some people amazes me. I’m a proud teenager who watches the show and it does NOT depict RD as a lesbian, at ALL. She’s just strong-willed and loyal. And it’s not implying girls don’t need an education. It’s implying that people need friends to support them and allow them to reach their full potential.
    Next time, don’t rant about something when you have no idea what topic you’re on.

  19. rainboomsonic says:

    Just to say: No one listens to someone who makes an opinion of a show without even watching it. I mean, I really hate people who say something is bad, without a real reason.

    We all love your show, this coming from a 18-year old male from Belgium, because of it’s story line, humor, songs, and I could make that list really long. It must have been hard to make it. So I wanna thank all of you creators, to mmake a show I can watch with my cousin, without getting bored or annoyed (If I see Dora The Explorer one more time, I’m gonna rip my mane off!). The diversity of the characters, the little hidden jokes (Derp!) make it just so enjoyable.

    Again, thanks for MLP FIM

  20. Lauren,

    I wanted to thank you for improving the world for girls everywhere. I have seen the fluff shows you are talking about. Even the MLP from the old generation was horrible! What do we want our girls to be? Sweet little things with no brain that only like fashion shows and pink and everyone being the winner because no one can ever, ever be better than another without ‘inequality’? You are right. Those are boring shows that should be thrown in the trash. THANK YOU for giving our ponies strengths and weaknesses that make them see more realistic.

    When I read that the ‘black’ ponies were ‘slaves’, I laughed so hard. There aren’t many white ponies in the show, and when you have ponies the color of the rainbow, why are you lumping ‘black’ ponies as the gray ones who have the honor and opportunity to CHOOSE to serve the princess in a position of HONOR. I believe MLP: FIM has done a wonderful job at NOT having racial tensions in the show. Even the ones about the buffalo and how the three ‘races’ joined in harmony were about working together and using your differences to help each other.

    All I have to say to you, Lauren is BRAVO! Keep fighting! And thank you.

  21. Lauren, I’ve never watched a full episode of your show but from the little clips I’ve seen on youtube I must say I really like how the show handles gender. The problem you adressed of girl’s being homogenized is certainly something which I’ve noticed in the media and it has annoyed me. However, I’d also like to commend you for not falling into the OTHER pitfall I find girl-centric entertainment does (mostly the kind targetted at girls in their mid-late teenage years): that is portraying pretty much all males as oversexed, jerkish brutes with one Prince Charming to be the exception. I think your show has built such a following with older males precisely because the characters are complex enough to be relatable to everyone, regardless of gender.

    And the racial criticisms of this show were ludicrous. If white ponies represent white people, then wouldn’t this show be revolutionary for having a cast almost entirely consistent of “ponies of color” by the same logic? I’m sure race never crossed your mind when you were penning this show.

  22. Charraig Naid says:

    I hate how gays and lesbians have used the rainbow as their symbol, it means that no-one else can display a rainbow without their sexual orientation being called into question (my sister and many of her friends have been hit on by lesbians just for liking rainbows). I mean no disrespect to gays and lesbians, but I just think that they could’ve chosen a better symbol.

    RAINBOWS FOREVER!

    -Charraig Naid

    • I hate how straight people have become the absolute “default” for everything in society, it means that deviating a single little bit from that “norm” makes you a freak who is discrimiated against – bullied in school, unable to be with whoever you love without being judged by people, being called “wrong” and “evil” by many religions (I’ve been hit on by men just for being a girl). I mean no disrespect to straight people, but I just think gays, bisexuals, asexuals and others should have a choice to live their life however they like, and use a symbol of beauty, diversity and light if they want to.

      RAINBOWS FOREVER INDEED.

  23. Dear Lauren,

    I have only recently started watching Friendship is Magic, and I’ve been amazed by its quality so far. When I heard about the initial article, it saddened me greatly. There is so much in this world that is unpleasant, malicious, or thoughtless, and so little that makes the effort to rise above and do right. I can’t say that I’m angry with Kathleen for writing her article, because racism, homophobia and anti-intellectualism are so insidiously integrated into our culture that once you learn to see it, you realize it’s everywhere. Because all that we do and all we create are born from this background, it’s not impossible for some hints of it to show up in totally unplanned places. (Just for example, the introduction of Zecora as a character who /is/ acknowledged to be racially different, necessarily implies that all of the ponies and all of the residents of Ponyville are the SAME ethnicity — the ‘default’ ethnicity. I don’t mean this as an attack or a criticism, it’s just an unintended consequence of the work.) But that doesn’t mean the strong positive messages of the whole can or should just be derided or dismissed as worthless.

    Some of her criticisms are just plain factually wrong — Twilight Sparkle remains bookish and intellectual throughout the entire show — and others are making extreme jumps of rationalization to assign hateful motives to MLP’s creators. Even if Rainbow Dash’s rainbow WAS meant to code her as a lesbian — and I don’t think that it was; it was just one of the common ‘little girl’ symbols that is not inherently gentle like flowers or butterflies — what on earth is wrong with that? How would it be ‘homophobic’ to have a main character who is GLBT, who is fully realized as a hero and a good friend with close relationships with others? I wish Kathleen had taken a little more time and consideration in watching the show and realized that you and the other creators of MLP:FIM worked hard to overcome these poisons and create a beautiful, shining piece of entertainment that I would be glad to share with any little girls of mine and wish that ALL children could watch it and learn from it.

    Please, keep on creating strong, thoughtful, empowering, and above all marvelously crafted works for little girls to enjoy.

  24. I haven’t seen every episode of MLP:FIM, but it seems that none of the ponies’ sexual orientation is mentioned except Rarity’s, so in theory, any of the other five could be lesbian. Why just assume the tomboy is? Maybe none of them are lesbians; maybe they all are. Either way, so what?

    And I gotta say, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy would be awfully cute together.

    • Sometimes, I like to think Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are lesbians because THEY LOOK SO CUTE TOGETHER! My all time favorite ship ever.

  25. Peter Rabinowitz says:

    Ms. Richter couldn’t be bothered to watch even a single episode of the show. She formed those opinions off of 1] a short promo clip and 2] a brief episode description. That’s not reporting. You, Ms. Faust, shouldn’t be concerned; your show is of the highest caliber. Ms. Richter, on the other hand, should be fired for being so lazy and incompetent.

  26. LadyElfie says:

    Hmmmmm…sounds to me like Kathleen has a weird twisted mind if she’s thinking about unicorn horns like that. Maybe a personal fantasy of her own? Never even crossed my mind til I read this article. Maybe Kathleen has a few personal problems to work out.

    Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ Lauren. I’m severely picky about female characters. You have managed to make an entire show riddled with female characters whom I love all for different reasons, even when I DIDN’T WANT to like them. The first time I watched the series, I would be appalled by a characters’ fault, and really not like the character, only to find an episode or two later that I’d be crying my eyes out because the best side of that character shone through. They all grew on me throughout the series, and there’s still days or moments I don’t like them, but then I realize I feel that way about my loved ones in real life. I may not always like them, but I’ll always love them.

    And as a straight tom-boy who ISN’T into sports, but I have homosexual and bisexual friends who by no means fit the stereotypes, I DO find it would insulting if Rainbow Dash had to fit a stereotype. That’s insulting to Rainbow Dash as well whom I think is her own pony.

    I’ve also always thought of the Dark Unicorn Guards to be the Elite since they’re IN THE FREAKIN’ THRONE ROOM! And hardly shown anywhere else.

    And Kathleen can go crawl into a cave somewhere and be a hermit as far as I’m concerned until her heart grows a couple of sizes. It’s a shame she’s never felt the power of love and friendship to realize its importance, and can’t distinquish being an individual amongst friends vs. being a totally stuck-up, prideful know-it-all who justifies their attitude by calling it “independance.”

    • Mysterious Stranger says:

      “I’ve always thought the Dark Unicorn Guards to be Elite.”

      Duh, they are “Elite.” They are the Equestrian Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Colt. Also known as Colt Force! >D

      I am just joking around of course. Once again, I am a G3 brony.

      Regardless, Kathleen Richter is staring to sound like that Peggy Orenstien idiot who thought that Disney Princess was bad for kids. Both authors are retarded for trying to find meaning that doesn’t exist.

  27. As a 22-year-old female brony, I thought Richter’s original article was poorly researched and, to put it bluntly, looking for things to be upset about. The point of Twilight needing to make friends to defeat Nightmare Moon isn’t that intellectuality isn’t important, it’s that friendship IS important and that being a smart, hardworking person doesn’t mean you can’t also have a healthy social life. Sexuality of any type is barely mentioned in the show (the only examples I can think of are Spike’s crush on Rarity and Rarity’s on Prince Blueblood, neither of which get much screentime) and frankly, the rebuttal to the woman who thinks Rainbow Dash is intended to represent the entire LGBTQ community because of her hair pretty much writes itself. The allegations of racism in the original article… I don’t even know how to address that. Ponies come in all colors and are obviously treated equally without regard to color, so fixating on Celestia being white as evidence of racism seems pretty nitpicky to me.

    However, there ARE damaging racist connotations in the show, even though they’re clearly not intentional. By introducing Zecora as a character who, based on her being a zebra and having a black VA, is clearly supposed to be the “black” character, you reinforce the idea that all the other ponies are the default “white” ethnicity. The fact that she isn’t simply a zebra with a black VA but also presented as a magical voodoo priestess makes her a harmful stereotype as well, even though her character is eventually portrayed positively. I haven’t seen the episode with the buffalo, but knowing the widespread racism toward Native Americans in this country it probably also has unintended racist hints. Like it or not, kids do pick up on these things, and by including them the show is perpetuating racial stereotyping.

    You should really be listening to an actual POC talk about these issues and not me, though, because the simple fact is that as white people, we don’t know. We’ve never had to experience racism, so we don’t get to decide what it is or how POCs should react to it. What I’ve pointed out is just what I, as a white person, noticed and thought “hum, that’s kinda racist.” I’m sure if you talked to some POCs who watch the show, they’d have other examples that neither you or I ever noticed. This is my point–you need to listen to POCs’ opinions about racism in the show, and fix what THEY think is wrong. Not you, and not me. Them.

    I’m not saying that I think the show is bad because it has a few, unfortunately racist, flaws. I’m not saying that because of these few examples the entire show is OMG RACIST (I know several POCs who watch and love the show). What I am saying is that just because this show is much, MUCH less enforcing of prejudice than most other childrens’ shows on TV today doesn’t mean there’s not room to improve, and you need to do that by talking to the very people who are affected by that prejudice–POCs, LGBTQ people, what have you. The future of America’s children depends on what we teach them today, partly through shows just like MLP. It’s your responsibility, as the producer of this show, to make sure that you’re teaching them the right things.

    And now I’ve typed through what was supposed to be my dinner break, so I’ll just reiterate that I do LOVE the show despite its faults and wish there had been shows like it when I was young. Again, having flaws != bad.

    • LadyElfie says:

      I don’t have a problem with everything else you said, but I have to disagree with the comment about being a white person and never experiencing racism. Sorry, I HAVE been picked on for being white, and being told I must therefore be racist for being white is also racism. And the effects of racism affects both the person who is being misjudged as well as the person who is being the racist…if you don’t believe me, you can read it from Frederick Douglass who admitted that his white owner had lost her kind nature once she had been taught to hate, and that she was also badly affected by racism. So I’m sorry, but I think EVERYBODY has been affected by racism in one form or another. Don’t think I’m condoning racism, I’m just saying that I have, as a white person been picked on for being white. And if being picked on for being white doesn’t count, I can name several other things that are just as bad, such as being picked on for my culture, my religious beliefs, for being overweight, or even being nerdy. Take your pick.

      • Being “picked on” for being white is not racism–racism = prejudice + power. The other things you listed are not racism because they have nothing to do with race. I don’t doubt that you have experienced other types of discrimination (I have too), but no white person in the US can realistically claim to have experienced racism specifically, and other types of discrimination are… well, different.

        • supermunchor says:

          actually….

          Racism is discrimination based on race, color, or ethnicity. It is not ‘Prejudice + Power.” If that were the case, you could claim that a young, African-American child in a public school could not claim to have experienced racism because his white schoolmates ‘picked on’ him. Reverse-Racism, though not as prevalent, still exists. And it exists even with your definition of Prejudice + Power. (example, a white man applied for a university’s Nursing program. They accepted only 200 applicants, and one of the ones accepted was an African-American who had LOWER grades than the white man. The white man was not accepted. They chose the African-American based SOLELY on his race. True story)

          And your arguments for racism in-show are laughable. Zecora is befriended by the Mane 6 REGARDLESS of her black VA and voodoo. And I applaud that. It shows that we should accept people no matter what they sound like or believe in. Real life application? If I met a Muslim, should I discriminate against him because he has an accent, or because he worships Allah? Of course not! Different accents and beliefs are unavoidable in the world. But we should STILL love and accept them. Make sense? No? Didn’t think so.

          • The amount of internalized racism in that post is astounding and I don’t particularly feel like educating you, so I’ll just leave this here: Don’t talk about things you obviously know nothing about. Google is your friend.

          • The whole point of the episode was to examine prejudice, and show the dangers thereof. The ponies LEARN about themselves and others at the same time. This is like the controversies over Mark Twain’s writing. YOU MISSED THE WHOLE POINT, Copper. “Friendship is Magic” and rises above the negatives in life. It has been clinically shown that everyone has racist feelings in one way or another. We fear what we don’t know. We NOTICE if someone else looks different. This show, this episode, is about rising above our base AND our fears to embrace and appreciate each other.

  28. RarityisBestPony says:

    Lauren Faust, you are amazing. Period.
    My blood boiled when I read that article. There is so much hate in the world that someone has to try and find negative things… in a kids TV show? Terrible. I mean, really? Racism? They’re ponies for God’s sake. Next thing you know, people will start playing the sexual orientation card on Rainbow Dash. Oh wait… they did.
    I’m glad so many people responded in favor of the show. :)
    My brother is twenty, and he has no shame in watching this show. Neither does my sister, and as a seventeen year old, neither do I.
    Awsome show; keep it up!

  29. Twilights twin says:

    Lauren Faust, you are indeed a wonderful person. You took something I’ve known growing up and made it something for everyone to enjoy. I’m turning 20 this year and I have watched your show and love it! I even draw the ponies, buy them- I even sleep with a Twilight Pillow, and even made a Rainbow Dash pillow for my 20 year old brother who also follows the show. I love what you’ve done and what you stand for with this show. People these days tend to think to much into things and to target a show that is supporting good healthy things in life, it’s just sad.

    In fact, I learned from Twilight a lot! I was a lot like Twilight, I tend to be non-social, but now I’ve opened up a bit more, although I still love to sick my nose in a good book when I can I have more of a social life and I’m not afraid of being myself around my friends.

    Keep up the great work with whatever you do Lauren Faust! You are amazing!!

  30. I’m going to back up Copper, above, with the following Disclosure: I am a PoC.

    I love the show. I look forward to every episode, and I DVR it to make sure I never miss one. The songs are very catchy and I often catch myself humming or singing them under my breath.

    The artwork is unrepentantly and relentlessly cute.

    And the stories and characterization are for the most part charming.

    That’s why all the greater wince factor when the show makes an unfortunate (and I am sure, unintentional) misstep.

    I was dismayed to see that while Bridle Gossip was intended to be a story about:

    * not listening to rumors
    * not judging somebody based on looks or hearsay before you have met them to know who they are for yourself
    * not judging a book by its color literally or figuratively

    … Zecora, the African character, was used to display this “let’s freak out about different until we realize different doesn’t mean bad”. I could see your hearts were in the right place, but to a Person Of Color viewing, I guarantee you this was an uncomfortable episode. In fact, discussion of this episode and its problematic portrayal of race issues is how I became aware of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. A number of my artist, writer, and activist friends were all talking about it on Twitter, so I found the episode and watched it so I could draw my own conclusions.

    “Over A Barrel” featured a lesson about:

    * compromise
    * listening to the other side’s feelings about an issue

    … the show still othered the buffaloes as Native Americans.

    And then there’s “A Dog And Pony Show” which featured a lesson about

    * not assuming someone is helpless because they’re dainty and ladylike

    … the show gave a Pony with “stereotypically black” mannerisms. And then named her Sapphire, pretty much making her the Sassy Black Woman trope.

    So while the show is brilliant and just about perfect in many ways, there is still work to do if it’s going to more effectively display diversity without doing so in ways that (however unintentionally) harmfully support institutional racism.

    • Brandon Riley Burnthorn says:

      How is it supporting institutional racism when the key point of it is that you should not judge others based upon appearance. The characters are overly exaggerated so as to show the difference. To be honest this show is extremely anti racist, who’s to say that zecora is supposed to represent African people? As Lauren stated above there are earth ponies, Pegasus ponies, and unicorns. Zecora is different yes but why does she have to personify african people? whos to say she doesn’t represent the aztec or the mayans or the incans?

      • Brandon Riley Burnthorn says:

        Sorry, forgot to add something and pressing enter doesn’t make a new paragraph. >< On the topic of Sapphire, why does she have to be black? I've seen plenty of white people act like this as well. She more represents a diva instead of a certain race. Divas will always act like this, its their trope. Look at Rarity, she is a diva as well and she talks with the same flamboyance as Sapphire.

  31. Lauren,

    Thank you for being so amazing and awesome. I am a proud 13 year old Pegasister, and I am not afraid to admit it! I’m hoping the the amazing messages of the show will not only burrow their way into the brains of the current generation, but help future generations as well. I strongly believe that the messages in this show (most prominently those of coexistence, tolerance, equality, etc.) will help to create a better and more understanding world.

    I can’t wait to see what’s next for you career wise! (Dare I even DREAM of a Galaxy Girls show?!) I know that whatever you do will be awesome, not only because of the great plot and amazing characters, but because of the positive messages that come with everything you do!

    STAY AWESOME!!!!

  32. Paul Wall says:

    As a Puerto Rican fan of cartoons, comics and other media, I have noticed ages ago that not too subtle racism exists in all mediums. I can see exactly what the author of the article is talking about. In comics and cartoons, exactly how many African Americans have been the focus of a long-run title? How many Latin superheroes can you name off the top of your head? Asian cartoon stars? American Indian cartoon characters? If you were to follow the race lines of each group (aside from White), particularly in the comics field, you’d find ridiculous limitations on “minority” heroes, unusually high death rates, depowerments, some version of addiction and outright racist designations (ever hear of “Ghetto Man?”)that you will NOT find among the White heroes. In cartoons, you’re less apt to even find a “minority” among the crowd. The image of the beautiful white leader tended to by a darker color is not-at-all subtle racism and it DOES exist even when you close your eyes to it. Just wondering how many “minorities” are defending the offenders, in this case “My Little Pony,” showing signs of racism and where their lives would be if no one ever protested racist attitudes.

    • Alot of fans of the show aren’t just white little girls. That’s what makes the show great.

      Also, the “beautiful white ruler” and “the darker colored one” are co-rulers of the land. They represent day and night, not whites and minorities.

      I’m partially Native American, and I love the show, for its good morals and its animation. Unlike many cartoons, it doesn’t rely on crude humor or degrading other characters of the show.

      Yes, comics and such may be very swayed towards white people, and thats wrong. however, don’t go accusing the show when you havent seen it!

  33. Lovely! You want to know why soo many people like “my little pony: friendship is magic”? Because it’s not a stereoytypical girls cartoon! These female ponies all have different personalities, and the situations are less cheesy than the generation before it, I mean, the generation before “Friendship Is Magic” was horrible!

    Tea parties, sleep-overs, cheesy situations, more tea parties, baking, cutesy stereoytypical girly-girl stuff…..

    Frienship is magic isn’t sickningly sweet or cheesy like the generation before it, and that’s why it’s different. Thats what I, and many “bronies” love about it.

    I think the article before took the cartoon too seriously. Do you really think that a kid is going to see everything the author of the article saw, and percieve that as how life should be? NO! It’s just a show!

    As for Rainbowdash being a lesbian stereotype, not at all. I wouldn’t even say she’s a bad steryeotype for tomboys, she’s a role-model in the way that she’s strong, bold, and just so happens to not be ultra-girly…..what’s wrong with that? She’s just a tomboy and there is nothing that suggests what her “sexuality” is. And really, why should cartoon characters in a kid show have a sexuality? Why not make them “asexual”?…….well, that’d make it less realistic, but cartoons aren’t about realism.

    P.S

    THANK YOU for officially naming the grey pony with the “googly-eyes” eyes DERPY!

    That was really awesome! It’s nice to see you listen to your fans! :D :D :D

  34. ” As we all know, there are plenty of straight tomboys in the world, and assuming they are lesbians is extremely unfair to both straight and lesbian tomboys.”

    I love this line. I find it extremely hypocritical how the author of that blog gets uptight over supposed homophobia when she is the one pushing idiotic stereotypes.

    • Brandon Riley Burnthorn says:

      Wait, which idiotic stereotype? the one that not all tomboys are lesbians? How idiotic of an idea is that?

      In all seriousness, why do you think its hypocritical, it’s quite clear. There are straight and lesbian tomboys. Assuming only on kind exists is unfair and you should recognize both sides.

      • Poli was referencing the original article that this one is a rebuttal to. In that one, the author states Rainbow Dash is a lesbian, citing her tomboyish nature and rainbow theme. Poli is making the same pointy ou are.

        • And I find it sad that LF felt obligated to refute “accusation” of Rainbow Dash being a lesbian, because ultimately that’s what it is.

          She could just say that there are no references to actual orientation (so she may be, or may be not). But that way she suggests there’s something wrong with being lesbian, that it’s somehow “unfair” to the character.

          • I’m a queer woman and I really didn’t have that feeling. What she said was that the stereotype that tomboy = lesbian is unfair to tomboys regardless of sexual orientation, which is true. It’s also unfair to feminine women of all sexualities that “girly girls” are automatically assumed to be straight, but the author of the original post wasn’t making the accusation that Rarity or Fluttershy must be boy-crazy (colt-crazy?) by virtue of their girliness, so she didn’t address that.

            What’s unfortunate is the idea that how butch or femme someone is has anything to do with their sexual orientation. Faust was just addressing the specific accusations in the article, which is that tomboy + rainbows = lesbian.

          • Also, she did essentially say that there are no references toward Rainbow Dash’s sexual orientation – and if you watch the show, there really isn’t. It’s a children’s show, so romance is not a major focus of the plot, much as some of the teenage and adult fans probably wish it was.

            Faust never said that RD is not a lesbian or that it would be a shame if she wasn’t, simply that it’s unfair to assume that just because she’s a tomboyish character with a rainbow mane.

          • Also, if you go on the various pony fansites and read some of the fanfiction, pretty much all the main cast members, feminine or tomboyish, are shipped primarily with other females simply due to the fact that there are so many more female characters in the show. Rainbow Dash actually gets shipped with characters of both sexes considerably more tahn some of the other main characters, due to her connection with the Wonderbolts.

  35. Nooffense says:

    ok ive been forced to watch this show by my brony flatmate and i must say i did think that RD was a lesbian . but i was ok with that WHY becuase you only ever see straight normal ppl on most kid shows. the only major actualy problem i have with this show is the way it portrays non pony charicters.WHY SO MUCH HATE TOWARDS THE NON PONY CREATURES. yeh sure you have a token dragon… but the one epsiode i saw with him haveing his own story line suggested that if he was ever aloud to grow up he would become a evil greedy monster WTF?

    • Brandon Riley Burnthorn says:

      Well that’s just dragon mythology. As they age they become greedy and hoard. Kind of like some humans do.

    • Daniel Tanoeihusada says:

      Well. In ancient times, Dragons do portray human’s greed, but if you see other episode, there are many ponies that can be an ass to, ex: season 2 episode 19.

      And for the RD matter, it is wrong assume she is lesbian by judging her by her appearance and tomboyish atitude. I say this because my mom is a very tomboy person, but she is straight.

  36. Mysterious Stranger says:

    I am actually not much of a FiM fan; I am a g3 brony!

    But I will say that I have the highest respect for Ms. Faust because I can tell that she desired to make a show that actually had MEANING to it. Rather than silliness for the sake of being silly, which I see as the current status quo for cartoons, Ms. Faust wished to create true art that challenges the norm and actually has depth and value. For that, I give her a 21-gun salute!

    Lauren Faust, you have REAL talent.

  37. “Why not make them ‘asexual’?…….well, that’d make it less realistic, but cartoons aren’t about realism.”

    How is that “less realistic?” Asexual people are real. They exist. Putting the word in scare quotes and calling asexuality “less realistic” is extremely disrespectful.

    All this kerfluffle about the butch characters on My Little Pony is basically just gay assimilationism and veiled queerphobia. Butchness does not determine a persyn’s (a)sexuality, and butch queers are real people, not stereotypes.

  38. I like how nobody was phased by the racism inherent in Kathleen’s assumption that purple pony = black character, or the fact that she reduced race down to a binary of black/white, erasing every other human skin colour. Assuming Rainbow Dash was a lesbian just because she’s rainbow and boyish is also a pretty jerk move for someone who claims to stand for equality between women of all sexualities and gender presentations.

    If you’re gonna ride around on your racial sensitivity high horse (excuse the pun), at least be racially sensitive, Richter. What an embarrassment.

  39. I understand how the show isn’t perfect and am glad how Ms. Faust even recognizes this herself (I can never get over the Princess>Queen Celestia), but she still portrays herself as a great feminist who is helping to create a more women/feminist-friendly media with small, but important, steps.

    I also appreciate that Ms. Faust is not afraid of the label ‘feminist,’ even in the presence of women who make poor judgements (who may or may not be true feminists, anyway), and when disagreements occur, she truly practices the preach, “love and tolerate.”

  40. I have one problem with Faust’s answer. Specifically her reference to Rainbow Dash’s sexuality. First of all, butch doesn’t equal lesbian. It’s basically masculine woman.

    Second of all, rejecting that notion in such way sounds a bit like gay panic – it suggests that there is something wrong with being lesbian. And RD by a large part of fandom is considered lesbian, because indeed she shows behaviour stereotypically associated with it (add rainbow to tomboyism…), but the last thing creator of the show which was meant to teach tolerance and acceptation should do is slight suggestion that there is something wrong with being gay.
    There are no references to sexual orientation in the show and that’s all – that’s how it should end.

    • And one more thing – Rarity expressed interest in males and she’s the biggest femme of all ponies. So somehow that wasn’t “extremely unfair” to lesbian femmes. But assuming tomboy character is gay is automatically _extremely_ unfair to straight tomboys?
      Smells like double standards.

      • Mysterious Stranger says:

        Go soak your head! Leave Ms. Faust alone!
        She is saying that the stereotype of tomboys being lesbians is what is unfair, and that Ms. Richter had no right to automatically assume that Rainbow Dash is a lesbian. With regard to Rarity, she is indeed interested in finding her true love (she needs to open her eyes and look at Spike), and she is quite feminine. But your logic seems to me that you think she being femme is unfair to lesbians? Get a life. SEXUALITY IS NOT, NOR WAS IT EVER, PART OF THE SHOW!!! GET OVER IT!!!! >:O

      • Lentessa says:

        Fluttershy is the biggest femme, not Rarity, and her sexuality is undefined. Had Richter claimed that Fluttershy is obviously straight the way that she implied that Rainbow Dash is obviously gay I’m sure that Ms Faust would have given her the same rebuttal – that judging someone’s sexuality based on superficial stereotypes is wrong.

        • Mysterious Stranger says:

          I am sick of telling people this, so listen up, especially you Lantessa: RAINBOW DASH IS NOT A LESBIAN!!!!!! >:O>:O>:O>:O

  41. Rufus Shinra says:

    I discovered MLP: FiM through the numerous parodies of movie and video trailers, and I thought “why not? It looks like a lot of people are defending that show’s qualities, so let’s give it a chance…”

    And I don’t regret one single second in front of the Mane Six. Yes, it’s a cartoon with brightly colored magical talking ponies. Yes, its targeted demographic is young girls. And yes, it’s awesome and suitable for het geeks who grew up with Star Wars, Wing Commander and Ender’s Game.

    Mrs. Faust, I don’t know if you’ll read this comment, and I’m sure I’m a voice among many telling the same thing, but thank you for your work! Those characters are really well-done, the stories are enjoyable, and like few other movies, book or series, it led to a great fandom. This following among 20-30s is well-deserved and if anyone is sent here by a bronie who wants to convince you to join the herd, I only have one thing to tell you:

    Do what Mrs. Faust wrote here, follow her advice give her show a chance. Millions of geeks could be right on this one.

  42. Thank you so much for this rebutle. The other article was simply ridiculous, and I hated how it argued that because Rainbow Dash is a tomboy, she’s obviously a caricature of a butch lesbian. I was never athletic as a kid, but I was very tomboyish, and it bothered me that a lot of cartoon girls denounced life’s wonderful joys of climbing trees and collecting rocks and playing “pinecone wars” in favor of shopping.
    I love watching my little pony with my much younger sister, and I’m glad the cartoon shows that it’s ok that she’s a pinkie pie while I’m more of an apple jack.

  43. I was really hoping for just one person just to say that rainbow dash isent gay. But as she said, there are a lot of straight tomboys out there. and that they have never mentioned Rainbow Dashes sexuality. but its probably for the best. what i also thought was funny how you said that girl shows were just girls having tea party’s and fighting evil with sharing and crying. which is what i thought this show was going to be like before i watched it. If you can keep me as a viewer, than you should be able to lure anyone in. Its a very good show. i really hope this keeps going for years to come.

  44. FlutterPie says:

    Lauren Faust, you are so awesome! I can’t believe the amount of stupidity in Kathleen Ritcher’s article; it made absolutely NO sense – it’s like she wasn’t even paying attention to the show. Some people just love to overanalyze everything, even shows that are intended to be for kids. It’s just idiotic and ridiculous.

    That being said, when I first heard about the show I thought it was just going to be silly girly fluff, but one day I decided to give the show a chance and I must say it is the best cartoon I’ve seen in years (if not the best cartoon I’ve ever seen EVER)! The characters are well-developed, lovable, and relatable; the animation is smooth and nicely detailed; the songs are cute and catchy; and the show just has an overall positive feel to it and it really makes me feel happy. And I have actually learned from the show too; I learned that it’s okay for me to be shy, but that I should open up and be a little assertive if necessary.

    Sorry for such a long comment. In short, what I want to say is, thank you for giving us such a great show and keep up the good work! And don’t let the “neeeeeeiiigh” sayers get you down! ;)

  45. TheCreativeBrony says:

    TL;DR?
    Shut up and read it.

  46. Daniel Tanoeihusada says:

    I think i have to give you a standing applause Ms. Faust. You are an open-minded feminist that i respect the most, and you make this was depressed 19-year old boy with his sister smile with your shows. Don’t let the negative comments got you, because there are so many people that are with you.

  47. Well I think that this artwork is kind of cool,
    BUT MY SISTER LOVES IT TO MUCH!,
    So I used another laptop,
    And thank you for making my sister distracted

  48. After reading the article which this one was in rebuttle to, I was surprised to learn that apperently some people found the show to be ‘anti-feminist’ and encouraging girls to ‘give up’ and accept the status quo. I found that wierd, because that was the exact opposet message I got from the show.
    Lauren Faust does a pretty great job describing why the show encourages girls to step out of gender roles, but not in a way that restricts their identity.
    It really makes sense, though. There is a definite message of empowerment to women throughout the show, but it’s not the type of feminism that says ‘you must do exactly the opposet of what is expected of you.’ Rather, MLP encourages people not to defy gender roles, but simply ignore them, and place your true personality first.
    Indeed, Laurent Faust has touched upon a very deep insight indeed; that allowing rebellion against the status quo to dictate your identity is STILL a form of allowing the status quo to dictate who you are.
    By bypassing the gender roles, the show really allows for character depth to develope. In fact, I think it is that quality that has caused the show to resonate so intensly across the gender divide.
    I have never thought of MLP as girly. If anything, it has taught me to respect women more than ever, because women are people, not cookie-cutter representations of the same person over and over again. Individuality is a key message within this show, and it is a message I have taken to heart.
    - Love, a kickass Brony

  49. Taking out the “fan comments” (I’m a brony too), is so nice to see solid mean into the personality of each of the mane 6 (also the others ponies of Equestria), that every woman IS a human, that has her own dreams, ambitions, defects and a very own way of see this world. And yes, I’m glad to see how MLP FIM is opening the eyes of the male and female herd, into the message of “we’re equal and we need for each other”.

    -Let’s grow together
    JossemarGT

  50. Cassandra says:

    Lauren, I’ve always been a fan of your cartoons and MLP: FIM is by far my favourite. You’ve done an amazing job on it. You’re an inspiration. Thank you:D

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