"Fight like a Girl"
I was asked if I’d be willing to participate in a content blitz for International Women’s Day (March 8th) and was inspired to make this print! I was torn between going with the upcoming Rainbow Power designs and the original Elements of Harmony- on the one hand, the former was certainly more colorful and more “girly” but at the same time I felt like I wanted to also make a nod to Lauren Faust, a lifelong feminist and the original source of everything we love about this show. Thus, Elements of Harmony it was.
I have quite a bit to say on this matter, so kindly bear with me. I will not tolerate any comments that show aggression, ignorance, or what have you, so keep that in mind if you decide to comment on the above deviantART link or what have you. I am just as entitled to my opinion as you are all entitled to yours.
The MLP fandom is certainly not without its issues- granted, I love most of the fandom anyway, and I acknowledge that most of us aren’t the problem. However, we can’t just dismiss issues by brushing them off as the “vocal minority.” As the “majority” (if we even are) it is our responsibility to step up, speak out, and set a positive example for others and fix any issues that arise.
Well, I guess I’ll start with the issue that served as primary inspiration for this piece. I see it too often, really- even in the “Bronies” Documentary that was created with the intention of celebrating our community- too many fans of the show claim they enjoy it “in spite of” the girlyness/femininity. Male fans often claim that some of the harassment they receive is accusations that because they like MLP, it must mean they’re “feminine” or “homosexual” and talk about it as though those are negative traits… which, obviously, they’re not! (Yes, the harassment is negative- but the traits are not.) There’s also the, “It’s not just a girl’s show” or “it’s not that girly,” excuses. For goodness sake, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is feminine and girly and we should embrace it for what it is! Lauren Faust wanted to create entertainment for girls that was just as high-quality as anything created for boys. To dismiss the empowering, feminist message within MLP:FiM is rather insulting to all of her hard work and what she strives to do in the animation industry. Not only that, but it is insulting to girls and the concept of femininity.
A friend of mine had a theory as to why there is such a high amount of R34 and “grimdark” in the fandom- some just don’t know how to accept that they like something that is seen as “girly” or that they admire strong female characters and may even feel threatened by them. Thus, they attempt to bring them down by objectifying them and thus making it “okay” to like them. It was a pretty fascinating and perfectly plausible theory- quite a shame that he had to delete the original post because of the intense backlash and harassment he received from it. Granted, it may not be the only reason, and it may apply to some and not to others, but given our society, it is a plausible theory- we should openly question why this seems to be the case, and why so many were vocally abusive to someone who tried to speak up about an opinion that clashes with their own. It’s not just with his opinion as well- PinkiePony also spoke up that she didn’t like rape jokes or the concept of the Princess Molestia ask blog or the fact that it’s frighteningly easy for children to find R34 of MLP, and she received brutal harassment that wasn’t even limited to internet bullying. Regardless of your opinion on DWM, surely we can all agree that such behavior is absolutely disgusting and intolerable.
All that said, I wanted to use the phrase, “Fight like a Girl.” It’s often used as a derogatory phrase to indicate someone is “weaker” so I wanted to turn that around to something that felt much more empowering, inspired by some other prints I’ve seen floating around with a similar theme! I went back to the Elements of Harmony, as that is where the story began and where many of us began to enjoy the show. It’s perfectly “girly”- they finish Nightmare Moon with a rainbow blast for goodness sake! Just like they did with Discord as well! But hey, it’s awesome! Honestly, I wanted to incorporate more rainbows and sparkles, but I didn’t want to interfere with the composition or light pastel colors I used for the mane six. Thus, I opted for shades of purple, using rays of light such as the palate that was used in part of the scene where they use the Elements for the very first time.
Thanks for reading my ramblings, and thank you all for the support you’ve given this design thus far. <3