Is ‘My Little Pony’ Setting A Bad Example For Children?
On episode two of the Dadstractions podcast, I briefly discuss the upcoming “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls” movie that is
creeping me coming out this summer. I question why they felt it was necessary to have the ponies turn into humans in an alternate universe and WHY THE HELL ARE THEY SO CREEPY!?!
Seriously, look at this picture:
Pinky Pie looks like a Grey!
Well, The Daily News recently published an article where they asked “Gen-X” moms in New York City what they thought of the pony-to-human metamorphosis the girls go through in the upcoming film. Beside the ham-fisted dozen or so equestrian-related jokes throughout the article, The Daily News offered up the typical fair I’ve come to expect whenever any iconic female character goes through a re-imagining.
Comparisons to Barbie, complaints of the ponies-turned-human looking anorexic, dressing in mini-skirts and hooker boots and setting a bad example for young girls everywhere all sound very similar to the complaints about other major iconic female characters that have undergone changes in recent years. The 2009 confusing change to Dora The Explorer and the Minnie Mouse super model makeover in 2012 both garnered similar outrage from the public.
Is this really an issue?
Do kids really try to model themselves after the cartoons they watch? Are they really trying to compare themselves to Dora, or Minnie, Barbie or Ponies? I grew up watching He-Man, G.I. Joe and Transformers and I never felt I needed to get all crazy muscular, run around shooting guns and, I don’t know… transform?
There was that time the Decepticons got wasted on Energon though…
These characters are the property of their owners and they will do with them as they wish. They’re nothing but a giant marketing ploy designed to sell toys to kids anyway. And, if your kids look up to these characters as role models, help your kids to know the difference between emulating the behavior these characters portray versus trying to model themselves after the characters’ clothing or physical appearance.
I’m against the MLP movie not because the characters (as humans) are setting a bad body-type example for my kids but BECAUSE THEY LOOK CREEPY. Still, regardless of how terrible I think it looks, my kids might like it. And, I have to agree with Lyss Stern, a mother and founder of DivaLysscious Moms (who was quoted in Daily News article), “As long as it shares the same positive message, I am fine with modernization … If there’s something you think is too risqué, then don’t have your child watch it.”
One of the reasons I love MLP is because of the positive messages it sends about female empowerment and, of course, it has very smart writing and a lot of pop culture references that appeal to me. If those messages continue to stay the same in the movie, regardless of what it looks like, I would consider taking my kids to see it.
How do you feel about kids looking to cartoons as role models? What about when a company changes the way a cartoon character looks? Please feel free to comment below!