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Media Perceptions of Self-Protection: My Little Pony
As the mother of a four year old girl, I spend about one hour a day suffering through a child’s television program. The only TV I really let my daughter watch is one or two episodes of something she gets to choose each morning. This is an event which I lovingly call “the snooze button”. Lately, she has been digging My Little Pony.
Now, as a child I was obsessed with My Little Pony (as well as Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite), but the 2.0 version of the show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to entertaining me. Whatev. She enjoys it and that makes me happy.
I generally try to get a little more sleep while she is cuddled up next to me in bed watching the show, but this past week, we watched a re-run of an episode that made me pay attention. Let me set the scene:
Rarity is a fashion designing unicorn who loves pretty things. One day a pop star pony named Sapphire Shores comes into her dress shop (God, I can’t believe I’m actually writing this…) and orders 7 pony pantsuits each covered in a different jewel. So Rarity takes Spike (a baby dragon who has a crush on her – don’t ask) and they head out to find as many jewels as the possibly can.
Now, this is where it gets serious.
While hunting for jewels, Rarity is abducted by a pack of dogs who want to put her to work hunting jewels for them. She is kept in an underground dungeon and forced to find and dig up jewels. Now, under any circumstances, that is some pretty intense stuff for a kids’ TV show. Her friends are all out, desperately trying to find her. Spike is trying to be her knight in shining armor to sweep in and save her.
But Rarity is a particularly prissy unicorn and she does not like having to ruin her hoof polish by digging. She complains and makes so much trouble that by the time everyone jumps into the dungeon to rescue her, the dogs are begging them to take her and all the jewels they want too.
Now, I have no idea what to think about that whole escaping abduction technique, but at the end of the episode, the ponies wrapped up the story with this dialogue (actual transcript from the show):
Pinkie Pie: I can’t believe you got all these gems!
Rainbow Dash: Heh. I can’t believe you tricked all those dogs.
Rarity: Just because I’m a lady doesn’t mean I cannot handle myself in a sticky situation. I had them wrapped around my hoof the entire time.
Twilight Sparkle: I can’t wait to write to Princess Celestia to tell her what you taught me today.
Rarity: Me? What did I teach you?
Twilight Sparkle: Just because somepony is ladylike doesn’t make her weak. In fact, by using her wits a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all.
Spike: Hm… “Outshines” is right. Now you have enough gems to cover Sapphire Shores’s costumes.
Rarity: Not if you eat them all, Spike.
Now, I still have no clue how to even process what I’ve just seen and heard, but “Just because somepony is ladylike doesn’t make her weak. In fact, by using her wits a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all.”
All I can say is….Word, Twilight Sparkle. Word.