I have vivid childhood memories of a lot of my male classmates in my school having My Little Pony dolls and watching the original cartoon. I include myself among them. Nobody however,not even me would ever have admitted to ever having such a toy or watching such a show. In that particular time and place,bullying was not only tolerated but considered part of the coming of age process. This was for boys. Well there have been several generations of different sets of My Little Pony's since that time. However a new generation of My Little Pony,referred to by fans as "G4" (G as in generation) has taken a significant steps towards changing that.
This modern take on My Little Pony is produced and directed with the help of Lauren Faust,associated with 'The Powerpuff Girls' and has taken on a life of it's own well outside the realm not only of the original program,but also of it's target preschool age female audience. A group of young male adult fans calling themselves bronies have developed an enormous subculture online,on their own websites and via Youtube,all their own. The fascinating part is these bronies are in my age group. Many of them might've even been some of the same children who owned My Little Pony dolls or watched the show as children in secret,in fear of severe ridicule.
While the new My Little Pony is an extremely entertaining program for adults as much as (if not sometimes more so) than children,the bronies have garnered very important philosophical ideas from the show. One brony in particular created his own Youtube video entitled 'The Ballad Of The Brony" explaining how the program has influenced him and other like minded people socially. The Bronies I've known are a very redefined group of men. They are able to be sensitive to the emotions of others without considering sensitivity to be a soley "feminine" trait.
Apart from it's entertainment value the current incarnation of My Little Pony has created a baby step in the breakdown of some of the culturally damaging emotional barriers different people put between each other. It goes beyond the fact that the complexities of friendship are the central theme of the show. But more importantly that it's a totally non cynical portrayal,and that all important American demographic of 18-35 year old men are paying the most attention.
For more information,look at this video-'The Ballad Of The Brony'