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Why I Don't Care If My Teen Son Likes My Little Pony

You might think that My Little Pony is just for young girls, but it's not—it's for everyone. Teen boys like it. Adult men like it. And despite what your first reaction may be, it's not creepy, it doesn't make people gay and yes, my son is a Brony and I don't even care.

When I was a kid, I collected My Little Pony like crazy. I would go to the store every week with my $5 of allowance to dutifully buy yet another equine companion, complete with horseshoe points that I saved up to mail order even more ponies. By the end of my pony phase, I had amassed dozens. They were awesome, and I loved them. I wrote songs about them, I drew pictures of them, and I fashioned elaborate playsets and had pony parties by myself on the regular. Just looking through this rabbit hole of a website threatens to suck away hours of my time.

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As I grew older, I stopped paying attention to My Little Pony and was only marginally aware that they had become a thing again, this time promoted in the form of a cartoon called "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" that began in 2010. However, I became increasingly aware that they were really, really a thing as I heard the strains of the opening jingle from coming from my 17-year-old son's bedroom. "What the hell is going on?" I mumbled, but it wasn't until I asked him later that I realized how I was about to get schooled on gender, expectations and what I thought the ponies were all about.

Being a mom is hard, but being a mom to a kid who stands by his choices is pretty amazing.

Turns out that my son is not the only male teenager who thinks the ponies are awesome. Or teenager in general. And even adults think My Little Pony is awesome. Men and women, who have normal and not-normal jobs, who are or aren't moms and dads and who may be (or may not be) contributing members of society. While at first I thought he might be a huge weirdo (because let's face it, I grew up a massive pony freak and I was a little girl,) he's just a normal kid who likes cool crap, and My Little Pony is cool to him, and to tons of other people.

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And even if it wasn't. Even if he was enjoying some other cartoon for whatever reason, one that wasn't a big pop culture thing that was kind of socially acceptable, I'd still think that was OK, because you like what you like and you shouldn't let social "rules" steer you toward or away from things you think are awesome just because people might think less of you for it.

Being a mom is hard, but being a mom to a kid who stands by his choices is pretty amazing.

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Photograph by: Hina Ichigo/Flickr

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