The Orion

Friendship is magic for ‘Bronies’

Kayla Smith

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Carter Caldwell “Brony” Aiden O’Connor holds his favorite My LIttle Pony plushie, Lyra.

Carter Caldwell
“Brony” Aiden O’Connor holds his favorite My LIttle Pony plushie, Lyra.

What do you get when you mix bros and ponies?

Answer: The bronies

“Bronies at Chico State” is a club comprised of students who love anything related to My Little Pony, a cultural phenomenon that began with a children’s toy in 1983 and has since evolved into an entire franchise, complete with a TV show, an Internet fan base and memorabilia.

Because of the widespread distribution of My Little Pony, Bronies are not exclusive to Chico State. A Brony is essentially anyone who watches the show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” a series that has won over fans around the world. The Bronies’ official Facebook page has almost 75,000 “likes” and the fandom is growing in popularity.

Matthew Nystrom, the president of Chico’s club, has been a fan of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” for the past two years, he said. The senior sustainable manufacturing major said he joined the club when it started last semester.

“My obsession with My Little Pony started when my sister and I saw fan content on the Internet and decided to watch the show,” Nystrom said. “We watched the entire first season and I thought it was girly, but pretty good. By the end of the first season, we found out there was a fandom and we were hooked.”

The show is still aimed at children, but it can influence older generations, too, Nystrom said.

“You learn from being a Brony and realize that embracing your feminine side is OK,” he said.

Massimo Halterman, a sophomore pre-recording arts and music industry major, is the club’s social media officer. He officially became a Brony in the summer of 2011.

“I heard about the club through a friend of a friend and immediately wanted to know more about it,” he said. “I found out there is no such thing as a dull Brony meetup and I wanted to get myself involved somehow.”

My Little Pony was recently revamped and is catching a lot of attention, Halterman said.

“The fandom of My Little Pony not only revolves around building friendships, but also showcases great art and music,” he said. “I was blown away by what I was seeing on the show. In terms of animation, it’s real eye candy.”

The club’s treasurer, sophomore environmental science major Aiden O’Connor, said that the club receives a lot of snickers and questions from others. But it doesn’t bother the Bronies too much.

“You shouldn’t knock something before you try it,” O’Connor said. “A lot of people who make fun of it don’t know what the show is or what the fans are like.”

He admits to thinking the show was strange at first, but found himself enjoying it the more he watched.

Halterman advises people who have never heard of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” to check out the show before forming an opinion on Bronies.

“If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing,” he said.

The Bronies meet weekly and start off by watching an episode of the show, followed by a related game or activity.

Last semester the club had 13 members, Nystrom said. This semester, about 30 students have already signed up.

While the name of the club uses “bro” in the title, implying that it is aimed towards men only, women are welcome, as well. In fact, they have their own special term: Pegasisters.

“It’s all very punny,” Nystrom said.

Bronies — and Pegasisters — meet Mondays at 5 p.m. in PAC 116. Anyone is welcome to attend.

 

Kayla Smith can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Friendship is magic for ‘Bronies’