When Hasbro sexes up My Little Pony, parents need to say ‘ENOUGH’

Coming to your daughters this August from Hasbro, Equestria Girl. First the Tooth Fairy, now this. Can our kids choices possibly get any more homogenized?

Huffington Post reports on the evolution of My Little Pony:

Equestria Girls,” dolls that are pony-girl hybrids (think “goth” Barbies with blue or green skin and a colorful ponytail) along with a special DVD to be released in August. Per a press release, the humanized figures are supposed to represent My Little Pony characters as teenage girls in high school.

The image on the left is an original My Little Pony from 1983, on the right, is 2013’s Equestria Girl.
my little pony

The release goes on to describe these characters with words like “glamour,” “stylish,” “ultra-chic,” and it is noted that each doll features her own signature “cutie splash,” an individual design that is similar to the “cutie mark” on her pony alter ego.

 

According to the New York Times, there’s much more involved with the Equestria Girls roll out than a DVD:

The new property will get the red-carpet treatment when it premieres as a full-length animated feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. The movie, created by Hasbro Studios, the company’s production division, will then be released in more than 200 theaters nationwide; its trailer will start appearing in theaters on Wednesday.

There will also be a television debut on the Hub network. Do you see how narratives on movies and TV sell products? Are, in fact, created to sell products? Do you see how important it is for girls and boys to see narratives featuring strong, female protagonists?

What really sucks about Equestria Girl is that the “My Little Pony” TV show, while relegated to the Pink Ghetto, features 6 female protags who often get adventurous and exciting storylines. The ultra-skinny, micro-mini clad Equestria Girl above is based on Rainbow Dash. She looks like this.

rainbowdash

On the current show, Rainbow Dash is a jock/ athlete and the fastest flyer in Equestria. My Little Pony fan Kya writes on Reel Girl’s Facebook page, “I feel like if the show’s characters were real they’d be just as horrified to see what they’ve been made into as we are!”

Peggy Orenstein’s reaction, emailed to the HuffPo:

It’s up to parents and those who give a hang about girls actual development and well-being to say absolutely neigh. You want a sexualized, self-objectifying girl? Give her sexualized, objectified dolls. You don’t? Have some conversations with the other parents in your community about the potential impact of self-sexualization and self-objectification on girls’ development — including negative body image, eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, poor sexual choices, etc. — and choose from the many other toy options that are rising up in response to this inappropriate trend.

Seriously, come on parents! Stop buying into this shit. Speak out against the sexualization of kids. It’s dangerous.

Reel Girl rates Equestria Girl toys ***SSS*** for major gender stereotyping.

33 thoughts on “When Hasbro sexes up My Little Pony, parents need to say ‘ENOUGH’

  1. Equestria Girls just sucks in general when you compare it to MLP:FIM i would even go as far as to say that its not the same tv series and fan should not give this knock off any praise as if hasbro knows this will work then they will most likely replace MLP:FIM with EG and then thats when they lose again.

    • Nah if her eyes are too girl like and if she was tomboy she probably wouldnt be wearing a dress at least as her main outfit since it isnt practical for all flying

  2. I fail to understand the concept of this thing.
    …What is it? So is it like humanoid dolls based off My Little Pony?…Why?
    Why not just buy a My Little Pony and then buy a Barbie?

    • Hi Nigel the Dragon,

      Totally agree. Toys look exactly the same, moe and more. So stupid and boring.

      Margot

    • Because Hasbro doesn’t make Barbie. They want to cash in on the popularity of their pony show while jumping on the fashion doll bandwagon after Mattel proved that kids love multicolored not-so-human dolls with their successful Monster High line.

  3. There is another show on Hub that has a decent number of female characters and protagonists that is not in the Pink Ghetto. It’s called Pound Puppies. Among the protagonists, there are three male dogs (Squirt, Niblet, and Lucky), two female dogs (Cookie and Strudel), two female puppies (Cupcake and Rebound) and one male puppy (Patches), so there is total gender parity among the protagonists.

    There may be a few Tertiary Sexual Characteristics among the female dog characters, like eyelashes (most female dog characters that appear at all) and bows on the ears or head (Cookie wears a bow on her head), but the female representation is good.

  4. HI Cab,

    No, keeping “girl” shows separate means they are “other,” different from mainstream shows, which star boys and are for boys and girls. It’s sexist thinking that leads Disney execs to say things like, “Girls will see movies about boys but boys won’t see movies about girls.” From birth, kids are trained to believe stories about boys are important and for everyone. Stories about girls are only for girls.

    Margot

  5. I’m sad to see your comments, which seem to be based soeley on the huff post article and the hasbro release. This is ine of the few shows on television that I’m proud to show my daughter. Have you watched the movie?

    • Hi Janet,

      I have not seen the movie. I have seen episodes of “My Little Pony” on TV, which I like and am fascinated by, though the names/ looks of the ponies wouldn’t be my choice if I was the creator. The storylines and characters are strong.

      Margot

      • sure, a look is one thing, the show’s writing is something else. my concern is that the article seems to be dismissing the show and movie because of a few poorly designed toys. The writers have, to my knowledge, no real control over how the toys and other paraphernalia is marketed and sold.

  6. I saw the movie and it wasn’t really that bad,it’s just the toys that bother me. They’re like if Barbie had demonic spawns.

  7. The film did receive mostly positive reviews…from guys.

    Basically, guys love “Equestria Girls”, while gals are…rather mixed.

  8. You said that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is in the Pink Ghetto, where a lot of shows with female protagonists are relegated to, but the show attracts a lot of male viewers. Does the large number of male viewers keep the show out of the Pink Ghetto or not?

    Also, MLP:FIM is one of those few shows that features strong female animal protagonists.

    • Hi Nebbie,

      From my understanding, the male viewers are not kids, so no. The Pink Ghetto keeps shows “for girls” separate than mainstream shows in kidworld.

      Margot

      • “The Pink Ghetto keeps shows “for girls” separate than mainstream shows in kidworld.”

        Shouldn’t that be a good thing?

      • MLP:FIM strives to please both genders, male and female, but the MLP toys are aimed mainly at girls. The toys and earlier MLP shows may surely be in the Pink Ghetto, but the Pink Ghetto trope was defied by Lauren Faust, the creator of MLP:FIM. She wanted the show to appeal to not only little girls, but to younger and older viewers, male and female alike. She ended up succeeding at her goal.

        Here is TvTropes equivalent to the Pink Ghetto, the Girl Show Ghetto, which features Lauren Faust’s quote and an entry on MLP:FIM.: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GirlShowGhetto

        • HI Nebbie,

          I love this quote. I don’t think the show succeeded though as far as little boy viewers. I don’t have stats on that and would love to be proved wrong, but from my experience as a mom, being around little kids, little boys don’t talk talk about the show, watch the show, or play with the toys. I would add, this has NOTHING to do with what boys are “naturally” attracted to, but sexist parents who don’t put on this show for their sons, or buy their sons the toys, or get excited about the toys and play with their sons and the toys.

          Margot

          • This is anecdotal, there are a few little boy fans. My friend’s nephew watches it, and I know someone’s son who likes it (in latter’s case, it’s because the father is a fan of the show as well).

            Obviously there aren’t that many, since most parents probably won’t even consider introducing their sons to the show.

            “Powerpuff Girls” definitely had little boys watching it. I should know, I was one of them.

          • Hi Cab,

            Knowing 2 little boys who watch isn’t terrible. Anyone else? I LOVE “Powerpuff Girls,” and so do my kids.

            Margot

          • Also, there’s one “My Little Pony” episode that was based on a 13-year old boy’s idea. Apparently his parents knew the show’s head writer, so he was able to get it turned into an episode.

            It’s Season 3’s “Keep Calm and Flutter On”, in case you’re wondering.

          • I know the little boys who I babysit (3 and 6 years old) really like the show, but most of the toys (not collectibles, big difference) are most definitely in the Pink Ghetto. What is also kind of cool is that I have seen teenaged boys (probably between 11 and 16) wearing My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic shorts and gear, which is kinda awesome. They’re definitely part of the brony culture, but I think its great that they’re still young kids, and self-conscious teenagers at that, who by all accounts enjoy and proudly display their love of the show!

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