Bronies declare they’re 20 percent cooler than other clubs
As the group president gestured to introduce a new member, the member bolted out the door and ran down the stairs.
“Pony shy,” Pinkie Pie yelled, arms out-stretched, pursuing the new member.
“That’s Pinkie Pie,” film student and Brony President Buck Barbieri said. “She’s a hugger.”
Pinkie Pie, known to some asUAF student Vilinda Grayson, met with more than 20 people upstairs in the Brooks building to share her spaghetti and her love of the “My Little Pony “ television show universe through games and hugs.
Created nearly two years ago by the, “ruthless tyrant,” Taft Ashcraft, Bronies, a combination of the words bro and pony, is one of the most active clubs on campus. It meets almost every week, even during the summer, with an estimated two dozen active members, their Facebook group is home to 67 people and several posts weekly.
Barbieri leads the meetings discussing art, videos, music and stories from the “My Little Pony” universe. This week, he developed a Jeporady-esque game where two different groups acted out answers to questions about “My Little Pony.”
“This is group against the group. One of the few times we’re gonna be anti-pony,” Barbieri said.
Club members answered questions by interrupting each other in song, acting like a reporter being attacked by a hoard of zombies and through a typical Batman and Robin adventure. Scoring was irrelevant, being measured in Brony-drawn depictions of socks, snowmen, lightning and a turkey leg on a whiteboard.
Barbieri described the origin of the word Brony and the unexpected fandom that developed for “My Little Pony.”
“Lessons within the show can be applied heavily to adult life,” Barbieri said. The show was meant for little girls, so there’s some stigma attached for people who aren’t the target audience,” Barbieri said.
There was an article posted on the online discussion board “4chan” about how cartoons were selling out, according to club member Liam Ryan. The fandom of My Little Pony became apparent as responses to the article flooded in. The term Brony was first used as a derogatory word to describe male My Little Pony fans, but fans made it their own.
“Females can be Bronies, or Pega Sisters,” Pinkie Pie said hugging Fluffle Puff.
Brony culture grew through online message boards and websites.
“We have people who make music, we have people who write stories, we have people who create artwork, we have people who make videos,” Barbieri said about Brony culture.
Some members of the club adopt names of ponies in the show like Pinkie Pie or Fluffle Puff. Others, like student Ryan Anderson, also create OC’s, or original characters they illustrate that represent something about themselves or who they wish they could be.
“Mine is Feather Bow and that’s because I love archery,” Anderson said. She became a fan of the show because she was draw to the personalities of the ponies, which helped her move past some depression after her grandmother died.
“They have to be overly happy in the show, which kind of made me inherit that feeling, like, oh yeah, it’s okay to be happy even though the crappiest things happen,” Anderson said.