nenena: (My Little Pony - Rainbow Dash)
nenena ([personal profile] nenena) wrote2013-02-03 11:27 pm

Entertainment Weekly's continuing coverage of Sparkledammerung: The Second Coming

A Brony explains why fans say 'neigh' to Princess Twilight:

Shortly after EW broke the news of Twilight’s transformation this Tuesday, the fan community exploded into a flurry of commentary — most of it negative. [...] The backlash has been even worse on fan sites like Equestria Daily (where the original post about Twilight’s princessification has drawn over 2,500 comments) and Reddit’s pony-centric message board (where hundreds of fans have expressed fervent hopes that the royal metamorphosis isn’t permanent).

So why, exactly, are bronies getting their bridles in a twist? “It’s just your typical overreaction to something changing in your favorite series,” Equestria Daily founder Sethisto (real name: Shaun Scotellaro) tells EW. There is, however, a little more to this specific outcry: “I think the main thing is that it’s happening to a character so many people connect to. Twilight Sparkle, she’s more of a nerd. She’s like all of us, that geeky nerd who reads books and gets all excited about stupid stuff.” The prospect of the show’s audience surrogate getting all gussied up, then, sort of feels like a slap in the face to MLP‘s grown-up fans.


And that's it.

That's the meat of the entire article.

That's the reason.

So this is what it boils down to: Bronies identify with Twilight because she's nerdy, but princesses are terrible, therefore Twilight turning into a princess is terrible.

Because princesses are terrible. No other reason given. LITERALLY NO OTHER REASON GIVEN other than "princesses suck and we hate them." And why do Bronies hate princesses so much? Why is their favorite pony turning into a princess somehow the equivalent of getting a slap to the face?

Because princesses are girly things, and as we all know, girly things are just terrible.

Like I said before, there is literally NO OTHER WAY TO PARSE THIS BACKLASH other than to see it for the astounding misogyny that it truly is.

Over 2500 comments on the Equestria Daily article and not a single one of them gives a reason to hate the princess transformation other than princesses suck and we hate them. Not a single one of the comments gives a reason any deeper than that. Not a single one.

The EW article linked above goes even further in depth covering the backlash against Princess Cadence's appearance in the season 2 finale. And why was there complaining about Princess Cadence? According to Sethisto:

“Cadance was a pretty pink alicorn princess. That’s, like, the exact opposite of what we wanted.”


And why, exactly, would a pretty pink alicorn princess be "the exact opposite" of what Bronies want? Sethisto doesn't say, but I'll bet money it's because traits like being pink and being pretty and being a princess are (*gasp*) GIRLY!!!!1! Never mind the fact that Cadence is a fantastic character who was clearly set up as being powerful, important, and central to the story of the season 2 finale well before the episodes aired on television. In fact, I think that's what made the backlash against Cadence all the more vehement: How DARE a new character who's clearly set up to be super-powerful in the MLP fictional universe and super-important to the plot of the show be (*gasp*) pink and pretty and a princess oh noes!!!!

In short, Brony fandom has once again established that it is firmly entrenched in the mindset that all things girly are terrible and gross and wrong. Which is REALLY UNFORTUNATE considering that this is a fandom for a cartoon for girls.

Okay, I hate to be that guy...

(Anonymous) 2013-02-04 03:53 pm (UTC)(link)
...but while I'm sure some people dislike the concept because of the "girly-girl" aspects, I don't think that's the main reason people dislike the idea. In all the conversations I've seen three main reasons why people oppose the idea of alicorn Twilight, and none of them are on the basis of "ew she's girly now!"

1. Relatability. You're right that people are complaining about her becoming less relatable, but I'm not sure it's because of the "princess" thing; it's more the power and status that that position represents. Twilight was popular because she was an socially awkward girl trying to bumble her way through life without messing anything up. Even if she was the personal student of Celestia, she still came across as a just a regular person dealing with the stress of everyday friendships and life, and it was something that a large chunk of the fanbase could relate to. Giving her an upgrade by giving her more authority and power destroys that ability to relate. It's not that she's a princess, specifically, but that she's now been put on a pedestal where she's more powerful than she was. It's much harder for someone to relate to a ruler than to a student.

2. It irrevocably changes up the character dynamics that the show is built on. For the entire run of the show up to this point, the mane cast has been pretty much on equal terms with each other. They have different skills and abilities, but in terms of status they were all more or less on the same social level. Upgrading Twilight screws that up because it means she has a level of status that the rest of the cast likely won't obtain (it's possible that they might, but I'm not holding my breath). It's making it out like Twilight is better than the other cast members, and that idea leaves a bad taste in people's mouths when the show previously went with the idea that the cast were all on the same level. I mean, take the show's slice of life episodes, "Look Before You Sleep", "Winter Wrap up", "Applebuck Season", etc. It's going to be really hard to have episodes like those when one of the main characters is a super-powered princess.

3. It falls foul of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule. Basically, while the change might ultimately be for the good or bad of the show, most people view such a change in the status quo as unnecessary. Nothing in the show necessitates Twilight's ascension, and there are many people who liked the show as it was and are afraid of losing the show they've come to enjoy because the writers wanted to shake things up. Basically, nothing can be the same after this, and many don't think the change was necessary.

Basically, yes, some people take offense to the "princess" part, but for many it doesn't have anything to do with the girliness of it, it's the fact that the show is getting changed at the most basic level by modifying a beloved character in an unnecessary way. It doesn't matter that she's a princess; she could just as easily have been made into a grand vizier or a king or whatever. It's the Alicorn part that people dislike, that Twilight is being upgraded over her friends.

I may be personally in the "let's wait for the episode" camp, but I admit to being wary of the idea because while it could be done right, there are many other ways that it could be done wrong. If Twilight is still Twilight when all is said and done, it's fine if she's a princess.

Re: Okay, I hate to be that guy...

(Anonymous) 2013-02-07 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
You have literally brought up every point I have ever tried to get across to other bronies (I'm still in the mentality that a "brony" is merely someone who likes the show; take that as you will). Hell, even the creators are saying these things.

Not only that, but I know a brony who's upset by the upcoming finale because "it will make all non-alicorn Twilight fanfics obsolete." EVERY EPISODE MAKES SOME CATEGORY OF FANFIC OBSOLETE.

I love the show, and I accept the demographic that holds precedence over us. But I think some of our priorities became skewered somewhere along the line. To this day, I still don't know where people got the whole "love and tolerance" thing since that's not what the show is even about. (I'd say it's more a slogan for the fandom than the show, but still.) I also hate it when people use bronydom as an excuse to be a dick to more rational skeptics.