Could Fandoms Change Society?

By: Heather H.

   Fans are no longer simply just viewers, but they are interactive with the media that they enjoy so much. Today, people who love a certain Tv Show, Movie, Book, Comic, or video game are creating communities with people who share the same interests and take a part of it, writing stories, drawing fanart, and exploring every possibility in the universe that they have grown to love. No matter what a person enjoys, there is a fandom for it. It’s very new to have fans so involved with their favorite fictional universes, but are these fandoms changing society as a whole?

Today, “Bronies” are one of the most well known fandoms. (Bros who love My Little Pony.) Bronies have received a lot publicity due to their love of what is known to many as a ‘little girls’ show,” but they could be changing this viewpoint. The Brony community is known to be made up of young adult males who all enjoy My Little Pony, mostly the newest part of the franchise, Friendship is Magic. Like other fandoms, Bronies create fanfictions and fanart, cosplay, roleplay, and  discuss the show and characters. Many people are shocked when they hear of a grown man who watches My Little Pony, but Bronies have shown that others need to Love  and Tolerate. Bronies are changing the way people see masculinity, and it’s not farfetched to say that this is huge. When people think masculine men, they hardly think of a man who watches a show that is aimed towards female children, but this also brings up agism and sexism. The biggest part of the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic audience is made up of 15 to 30 year-olds according to a 2013 online “Brony Herd Census.” Everything has a targeted media, that’s how media can be successful, but perhaps because of how different the targeted audience and the majority of the audience is for My Little Pony could be changing the way we see people and media. Bronies have shown many many many times that you can’t determine someone’s sexualailty, masculinity, or personality based off of what they watch or read. It may not be considered manly to watch a show that revolves around magic and friendship, but to some it doesn’t matter, perhaps soon the term masculine or feminine will totally change. This is just one single fandom making this impact, many other fandoms exist out there that could be the same impact.

 The wonderfully pony-esque image above (of Frendship is Magic, at that!) can be found here.
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