The unexpected adult, primarily male, audience of the children’s series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, known as Bronies, has been the subject of extensive commentary for their apparent violation of gender norms. Drawing from a qualitative survey of a 2915 Bronies we argue that the fandom is deceptively heterogenous. In particular, we explore the attitudes of members of the Brony Fandom to the feminist messages of the series, the feminism of series’ creator Lauren Faust, and whether these messages are perceived as impactful. Our paper argues that even within distinctive, close-knit fan communities interpretations interpretive and ideological responses to a media text and context vary significantly. Further, we argue that interpretations of fan objects appears primarily determined by preexisting attitudes. Ultimately, we find that fans utilize a number of rhetorical techniques to reframe media text’s messages, producer’s intent, and other audience member’s responses to fit their preexisting belief systems.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2022
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Special thanks to Ashley Hinck, Sharon Mazzarella, and Ilana Nash for their feedback on earlier drafts of this paper, and to Amy Smith and Judi Cook for their involvement at this project’s earliest stages.
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- cross-demographic audiences
- feminist media
- girl’s media
- My Little Pony
- children's media
ASJC Scopus subject areas