Are Bronies Really THAT Weird?
When picturing a grown man watching a television show for little girls, it can be very hard to find such a person “normal.” Society has people programmed to avoid the deviant and taboo and to conform to whatever the masses enjoy. However, bronies, the grown, male fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, deviated from conforming and have created their own culture as a result. Their personalities tend to be different from non-bronies as well. But, a question remains: are their personalities beneficial to society? Fox News has answered that question with a profane “no,” calling bronies, “grown men who stay home from work to watch My Little Pony.” This could not be any further from the truth; psychological analysis has determined that bronies have incredibly beneficial personalities, possibly more so than non-bronies.
In a study conducted by Dr. Patrick Edwards and Dr. Marsha H. Redden, bronies and non-bronies took a survey in order to contrast the two groups. The results were surprising: bronies placed higher in the personality tests on agreeableness, absorption and placed lower in the test on anger and anxiety. They also were equal with non-bronies in every other department except for extroversion, which will be discussed later. The two doctors concluded that, “MLP presents a highly moral and virtuous message allowing it to serve a Guidance function (for many Bronies). This is likely to be the least recognized feature of the Brony phenomenon, but may also represent one of the Brony Fan Community’s greatest strengths and potential contributions to emerging web based fan communities.” MLP is a program that teaches the different values that make a good friendship, and how to sustain friendships. These values stay with bronies and wind up positively affecting their daily lives.
The only field that bronies did not get good scores in was extroversion, but this can be explained: it wasn’t their fault. In the same study discussed in the last paragraph, the doctors noticed two main patterns of bronies, which they called the Social Bronies and the Secret Bronies, making up 29 percent and 28 percent of the fanbase, respectively. Social Bronies are open about their interests in MLP, while secret bronies, who also make up a little over one fourth of the fandom, are closeted bronies who, due to the fear of rejection, aren’t open about enjoying MLP. These bronies tend to be very introverted and are usually the type that just wants to “fit in” with society even though being a brony will do anything but help them in that regard. It’s people like the anchor in the Fox News video mentioned earlier that alienate the brony fanbase from the rest of society. It’s people like Howard Stern who pick out a few weirdos to define a group of thousands. Parents are also a factor; finding out that your son watches a show for young girls can rub off the wrong way. However, if these people were to simply be more accepting of the brony fandom, or at least research a little bit about them before judging them, maybe the Secret Bronies would make up a much smaller percentage of the fanbase, and bronies would be considered just as extroverted as non-bronies.
Another conclusion found from the study was that the brony fandom features a “non-stereotypic interest for the general fan base. Anyone who does not take the time to look beyond this feature will likely miss the true nature of the community and likely spread misinformation about “who are the Bronies” and what motivates them!” Many reasons have been provided by brony haters as to why this fandom exists, including, but not limited to, bronies being homosexuals (notice how many likes this one page has on Facebook) and the fandom itself being fueled only by hype, as debated in this IGN forum. Both of these arguments have been shot down by the study mentioned before; 84 percent of bronies are straight, and most bronies, according to the study, were introduced by the show either by accident or by friends, not by internet hype, which worked only as a catalyst in the rise of the brony fandom.
When people like Howard Stern and the anchors on Fox News make generalizations about bronies on the air, they alienate thousands of people from the rest of society. Bronies are kind, creative and, most importantly, normal. It’s been proven by psychological study and becomes even more apparent when time is taken to analyze and experience the brony culture. Whether someone is a brony or non-brony, it is important not to judge people before actually understanding their personalities and interests.
“And this is why I will forever hate Bronies | Page 2 | IGN Boards.” Video Games, Wikis, Cheats, Walkthroughs, Reviews, News & Videos – IGN. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/and-this-is-why-i-will-forever-hate-bronies.250079795/page-2>.
“Bronies are Furries who don’t know they’re gay yet.” Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <www.facebook.com/pages/Bronies-are-Furries-who-dont-know-theyre-gay-yet/240292016021560>.
“FOX Attacks Bronies – YouTube.”YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqEDIFfy4Yg>.
“Howard Stern Explores Bronies – YouTube.” YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATBuvElZZig>.
“Study Results.” BRONY STUDY (Research Project). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.bronystudy.com/id1.html>.