I would like my followers to welcome the wonderful Liz Reinhardt to Thoughts At One In The Morning today! She is the author of the awesome novel Double Clutch (and it's sequel Junk Miles, both available now). Liz wrote this brilliant post about My Little Ponies for me. Read and enjoy!
What My Little Ponies Taught Me About Life
Back when I was a little sprite, My Little Ponies were the hottest toys on the market. My mother was a young mom, and I was, I imagine, a heinous brat, since I was the first child, grandchild, and great-grandchild in the family. What did that mean? Millions of ponies, ponies for me! Where most nice, practical little girls probably had a few ponies, I had an entire rainbow-haired herd, and they had to come with me everywhere I went.
Every single one is a different beautiful soul...and I MUST OWN THEM ALL!!
I know it was bad because my uncle, who was in his early teens at the time and had absolutely zero interest in ponies in any form, can still make fun of me with specific pony name references. Every couple of holidays, he'll have a few Sam Adams, look over at me, and mock, "Where's AppleJack? I can't leave without AppleJack! Wahwahwah!". And the whole family will laugh and share tales of my spoiled childhood exploits.
|C'mon! Isn't she the cutest little pony ever?! You wouldn't want to leave the house without her either. Admit it!|
But the ponies taught me about life. They taught me about group dynamics. They taught me how to be a kick ass little girl, and I think that made me a fairly kick ass adult. So, here are some pony lessons.
Lesson # 1 You Are Part of a Herd: You Need Your Pony Pals To Exist
This one may sound pretty harsh, but it's the truth. As much as any one pony might want to wander off, hide away, find some alone time, or get away from a cuter/funner/cooler/smarter pony and all her pony attention, there was no room for that for an expanded length of time. Ponies need other ponies. And while you could make human friends who might admire your strength, intelligence, and brightly colored manes, it was your peers, your pony peers, who would see you through all of your many ups and downs. Did it suck to always have to compete with Kimono for awesome mohawk stylings? Did it burn that Rainbow Dash naturally had that cool swagger you would never master? Did AppleJack's freckles and down home adorableness make you seethe?
Get used to it. Ponies live and die as a herd. Period.
|It's true. Just listen to the scary pony.|
Rule # 2: A Herd Is Made Lovelier Through Diversity (Even If It Is Only In The Form Of Nominally Diverse Buttocks Tattoos)
So you're part of a big herd and you want to stand out. How do you do it? If you're a My Little Pony, nature gives you a certain set of gifts (like magic if you're a unicorn, or the ability to fly if you're a Pegasus pony), and if your genetic gifts lack slightly, and you are a mere frolicking Earth Pony, it's all about the cutie mark.
I have a theory that the My Little Pony cutie mark heralded the fascination with tattoos that began with little girls roughly aged 5-10 in the early to mid 80s, and manifested itself in a culture that embraces and celebrates tattoos as a form of self expression now that those little girls are in their 30s and getting inked.
A pony's cutie mark isn't quite like a tattoo. She has to find her truest self, and the pony mark appears. She can't fake it, force it, or escape it. The cutie mark is an emblem of individuality and self-expression, and every pony lives in agony during the Blank Flank years, waiting for that mark to come in.
So no matter how mature Pinkie Pie may have ever wanted to be, or how much Starlight wanted to let loose and party, each pony had her own role to fulfill, and there was no escaping the cutie mark destiny.
|Evidence of my cutie mark >>> tattoo theory taken to the ultimate level!|
Lesson # 3: Drama Is As Drama Does
What happens when you live in a herd of hormonal, competitive, gorgeous ponies? (Don't hate. You know you've asked yourself this exact question in the secret depth of the quietest night!)
Ponies are awesome at reveling in conflict, angst, upset, and confusion...all of which is easily dealt with and resolved in 30 minutes or less.
When you live in a herd of awesome-sauce, there's going to be a natural side effect; every aspect of life will get ratcheted up a notch or fifty. The number one problem I've noticed while watching the show My Little Ponies (with my kid! I swear, I watch it with my kid!) is that there's a lot of misunderstanding.
For example, if you hear that a certain pony is throwing a party and you haven't been invited yet, don't leave Ponyville and cry over all of your lost friends. Consider that fact that it may be a surprise party just for you! Clues to look out for? Bonbon will rush you out of her cake shop so you don't see the enormous cake she's trying to hide. Applejack will not let you into the barn, which has many mysterious decorations hanging around it. And Pinkie Pie will shriek every time you come near like a party planner whose surprise is about to be blown up in her face.
Of course, if you didn't almost find out about your surprise part a thousand times and decide that every pony in town hated you, how would you be able to squeeze a half an hour of child (and adult) sedating drama into your cartoon.
So, maybe a little drama is a good thing, as long as it resolves nicely!
|If you're having a hard time imagining the potential for pony drama, imagine if it was a bunch of crazy girls all living together in glorious amazingness...or just look at this picture and you don't have to imagine anything!|
A huge thanks to Jessica for letting me hang on her blog and share my Pony Life Lessons. And, remember, you can be any kind of My Little Pony you'd like...let your cutie mark guide you. And here are some awesome Pony Pics...
|Ponies tend to live a heavily female dominated existence...what Pony wouldn't want to hang out in a village where she's the one and only girl?!|
|If the monotony of life in Ponyland starts to get to you, consider going Burton and Scissor-Hoofing it.|
|There are a ton of divas in Ponyland...one of them had to establish dominance!|
|Seriously? Does this need a caption? You know you want to!|
Thanks so much Liz! <3
Please check out my review of her novel Double Clutch and, if you've already read that, go check out the sequel Junk Miles. I know I'm going to!