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.
terajk: Ty Lee and Azula, hugging  (ty lee & azula: hugging)

[personal profile] terajk 2013-02-04 05:35 am (UTC)(link)

Reading your last post on the Princessocalypse, I was wondering if the Bronies' vehement dislike of Twilight Sparkle turning into a princess is not only that princesses are girly and therefore gross, but because being a princess would mean that TWILIGHT SPARKLE is a girl. Like, since the ponies don't look like human girls the men watching can relate to them better because they don't have to think of them as girls. (I am especially inclined to wonder this with the "Twilight Sparkle is a nerd like us" comment.)

When I was a kid one of my favorite video games ever was Kid Icarus. But I was disappointed as HELL in the ending, when the main character hits puberty and gets a bunch of manly muscles. I couldn't say why I was disappointed at the time. But, see, the main character is a boy angel who wears a toga. And I knew consciously he was a boy, but with his prepubescence and angel wings and dresslike outfit I related to him especially because he looked like a girl. When I could no longer deny that he was, in fact, a dude, my heart broke a little bit and I was REALLY FUCKING PISSED even though I did not know why. (ETA: A much fainter echo of this feeling happened when I played Ocarina of Time and Link grows into a man.)

Edited 2013-02-04 05:42 (UTC)
terajk: Blair in humanish form, swiping a hand like a paw. (blair-chan: nya!)

[personal profile] terajk 2013-02-04 06:42 am (UTC)(link)
But I don't think that any Bronies are pretending that Twilight isn't a girl...? I mean, she's already a purple unicorn named Twilight Sparkle who fights evil with a magical tiara and who is given a very, very feminine voice by Tara Strong. I think a lot of Bronies identify with her because she's antisocial and nerdy, but I don't think that they view her as "not feminine" in any way.

Yeah, you're definitely right--an 8-bit mass of pixels with no speaking voice Twilight Sparkle is not. Maybe Final Girls in slasher movies would be a better example? They're girls, but they are never too girly. Even if they don't have a boy's name or aren't androgynous (and there are plenty of Final Girls who do and are), they probably won't like makeup and doing their hair and wearing pretty dresses.

But I do think there's a connection between "Twilight Sparkle is like us" and "OMG being a princess RUINS HER FOREVER (and is gross) and now she can't be like us anymore!" which a) involves "here is a female character I relate to, partly because her girliness is evident but not really shoved in my face, and NOW YOU ARE SHOVING HER GIRLINESS IN MY FACE GROSS." and b) is pretty much what you said. Er.
trouble: A My Little Pony wearing a 'princess' hat - "Pretty Pretty Princess" (pretty pretty princess pony)

[personal profile] trouble 2013-02-04 07:00 am (UTC)(link)
It's like they think Twilight is about to turn into a "fake geek girl" - because you know, "pretty" girls are too pretty to be geeks and must be humiliated? I don't even know.

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.

(Anonymous) 2013-02-04 10:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I still don't get why people are still upset about this. When I first read about twilight being a princess I wanted to burst with excitement, I couldn't wait to talk to fellow bronies about it, and the picture of twilight from the Hub looked awesome. I also don't get why some hate twilight, and think its girly for being a princess. Luna's a princess and isn't she like, a fan favourite? Cadence showed because your a pretty and pink doesn't mean you can't be kick ass. Also, think about all the ideas for new episodes with twilight being a alicorn. Maybe rainbow dash might teach twilight to fly better, but later become jealous about how good she's getting (Not the best idea, but you get the point).

Wow, I didn't realise I wrote that much.


(Anonymous) 2013-02-04 10:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a loyal supporter of Twilicorn, but the notion that the hatred toward this is "misogamy" is absurd. From what I've read on EQD, KYM, and 4chan, the reasons people dislike Twilicorn are:

1) It's a marketing move by Hasbro and a sign they are taking over control of the show.

2) She'd become an overpowered "mary sue".

3) It would wreck the "balancing" (2 unicorns, 2 earth ponies, 2 pegasi).

4) It would elevate Twilight above her friends.

5) Twilight would become "immortal" and watch as her friends died.

6) The show would switch from Slice of Life to Adventure in genre.

7) Twilight loses her "cuteness" when she has wings.

8) Because she's a princess, she'd have to move back to Canterlot.

Of course, those reasons don't make a lot of sense, but those are the reasons. Not some form of "evil males showing their hatred of women".

It's ludicrous to think that the anti-Twilicorn faction hates princesses. Luna has been one of the most popular secondary characters and has thousands of fanfics and fanart devoted to her. Celestia is beloved by almost the whole fandom. Even Cadance has been welcomed by a majority and has grown into a well liked addition to the fanfics and fanart.

In summary, the anti-Twilicorn faction dislikes Twilicorn not because she's becoming a princess, but because she's becoming an ALICORN.
lavannah: (Default)

[personal profile] lavannah 2013-02-06 02:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm just glad the bronies I know aren't like this, at all. Granted, if they were, I probably wouldn't be friends with them.

Seriously though, how many times does it need to be stated that this is show is geared towards little girls? Little girls like ponies and princesses (I was raised on Disney and the original My Little Pony), that's kind of just how it is in this culture (let's not go in to arguments of child rearing and exposure to various cartoons and such that 'decide' what girls should like and what boys should like).

It's the bashing of overly obsessed fans like this that made me keep my likes and fandoms to myself for so many years.

For Hasbro: Can we have some Bushwoolies(spelling?) and Sea Ponies in season four please?

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.

Re: Facts

(Anonymous) 2013-02-07 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I think part of the problem with both Cadence and Twilight has been that a lot of fans are still clinging to the notion developed back in season 1 that alicorns are near all-powerful gods in spite of everything the show has done to disprove that idea since then. Lauren Faust commenting on DeviantART a while back that if it were up to her there would be only two alicorns in the series didn't help either.

As far as Celestia goes though portraying her as an evil dictator is almost always done as a joke, not many fans actually have anything against her.

Re: Facts

(Anonymous) 2013-02-08 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
Eh, I always thought it was just because she's an autocratic leader who's almost too good to be true and always seems to be in control of what's going on (at least in season 1 which is when the concept took root), as well as some silly ideas people got about her imprisonment of Luna as you said. I'm not convinced her gender plays a role in that...
the_sun_is_up: Yahtzee's speech bubble has been censored by a black bar that has the text "horrible things" written on it. (zero p - horrible things)

[personal profile] the_sun_is_up 2013-02-15 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
In addition to the obvious misogyny, I'm also detecting some resentment of Twilight Sparkle's rise in status. Because Twilight's a nerd and all these Bronies are nerds too, and they think of nerds as being like the ~oppressed underclass~ (particularly in a school setting), but now that Twilight's moving up in the world and gaining power and authority, the Bronies are pissed because a) they're jealous and wish they could also escape the nerdy underclass and b) they see it as Twilight joining the ranks of the mean girls/jocks/cool people who are mean to nerds, making her a traitor. It's the old "you're relatable because you suck, just like us, so how dare you stop sucking!" complaint.

I'm pretty amused that anyone's surprised about Twilight's promotion. I mean, she was always Celestia's protege, from the very beginning, and she's always had way beefier magical powers than her peers. Plus it's in keeping with standard girls' show tropes for the lead character to become some variety of princess, but I guess the Bronies wouldn't know about such things.

Frankly, I've had a distaste for the Bronies ever since they coined that stupid nickname for themselves, because they felt the need to point out that they were different from those other MLP fans i.e. little girls.

(Anonymous) 2013-02-15 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
What kind of person watches a show for young girls about magical ponies and princesses and the proceeds to complain about the inevitable?
This is a Hasbro brand we're talking about, good god.
I think they should just put George R.R. Martin in charge of story direction and give them a real reason to gripe.