Body Image in the Geek Community

Photo from livescience.com

Photo from livescience.com

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

So to keep this momentum going from my last post about Fake Geek Girls and the Heroes of Cosplay controversy, I want to address another issue that the show has brought up: body image.

So in the show, Becky discusses her insecurity about gaining weight. Her issue in the last episode was about looking and feeling confident in her Merida (from Disney’s Brave) cosplay. This issue is so relevant in the geek and cosplay community because as fellow geeks, most of our hobbies, such as playing video games, reading comic books, watching anime, etc. doesn’t really require us to be super active. Therefore, we tend to be less in shape. (And just as a disclaimer: This isn’t a scientific fact so don’t quote me on this. This is just from my experience as a fellow geek.) Now that cosplay is such a huge part of the geek fandom, it presents this oxymoron of the sorts. You spend all your time playing a video game (not being active or exercising) and then you want to cosplay a character with a tiny waist, perky boobs, and a nice ass. Well, that’s lovely and all but you just finished an entire box of Hot Pockets. Having six-pack abs definitely wasn’t on your mind as you were finishing the game.

Let me just put it out there that I DEFINITELY know these feels. I have always and currently struggle with body image issues because I dance. And dancer bodies are HOT! It can be such a struggle to keep up with the masses. Not to mention the amount of pressure and stress it can be on a person to have to look a certain way in order for society to deem as acceptable and successful. The internet can be a very scary place. People are ruthless behind their keyboards and they won’t hesitate to point out your stretch marks or love handles in your latest cosplay pic.

But I’m here to tell you to face your insecurities head on. Don’t run away from the problem or just be depressed about it. First of all, be PROUD of your body type. I’m slowly learning to love my curves and I find myself becoming more confident when taking pictures. I know it can be such a “foreign” concept, but we all have different body types! Say what?! You mean, we’re not all supposed to be those stick skinny girls on the magazine covers?!

NO! And don’t give into that crap. Love your body and love where you came from. That’s step 1. Step 2, if you do find yourself wanting to change something, then go do it! Do it at your own pace. If you haven’t worked out in 10 years, don’t jump into P90x today. Be realistic and set some realistic goals for yourself. Even if it’s once or twice a week, just take a walk in the park. As long as you’re moving, you’re being active and you’re working those muscles.

And on the other side of that spectrum, if you have a thin body type, don’t worry! There’s always room to bulk up and get that nice, toned booty! People tend to shun naturally thin girls and tell them they have it easy because society deems thin as acceptable. But on the contrary, thin girls can feel just as insecure. It doesn’t matter what body type you are, advertising companies are gonna drill this idea in your head that YOU will never be good enough. And don’t let them. You’re better than that.

And I didn’t forget my handsome fellas reading this! Don’t get caught up in the whole “bulking up, protein shakes all day everyday” culture. If you genuinely enjoy that lifestyle, then by all means, go do it! But just because your friends are all doing it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Same idea here: love and accept your body. Then if you want to make some changes, then go make some changes. Even if it’s just pledging to cut down on junk food or just doing some simple at home conditioning – every step counts. Do it at your own pace. You owe yourself that.

Cosplay can be this amazing motivational tool to help you get into shape. But don’t just strive to have Psylocke’s body or Wolverine’s biceps. Strive to have YOUR best body. Work out because you want to be a better you. Not just to look like a certain character. Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot happier in the long run.

Body image will sadly always be an ongoing issue in our culture, but we can’t succumb to those negative thoughts. Positive energy is contagious and I encourage you to own it and spread that shit all over!

… That sounded weird and awkward. But you get my point. I hope.

‘Til next time, my loves.

-Alice

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The Fake Geek Girl & Heroes of Cosplay Controversy

Photo from albinwonderland

Photo from albinwonderland

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

So I’ve been wanting to chime in on this topic for a very long time now, but I’ve just been waiting until the right moment. The reason I think this moment is the right one is because of what’s currently happening in our community right now. As some of you may or may not know, the SyFy reality show Heroes of Cosplay is turning our community into utter chaos. How this show is relevant to this topic… well, just stick with me.

First off, a Fake Geek Girl is defined as a female of any age faking it in the geek culture, i.e. cosplaying characters she doesn’t know, saying she’s a gamer but has never touched a Playstation, etc. You might have seen some of these girls or know some yourself. But here’s a newsflash: Who the fuck cares?

A girl cosplaying for attention? Oh my gosh, who would do such a thing?! It’s not like anyone, male or female, dresses up in these costumes to get attention or anything! It’s not like your standing out from the crowd by wearing something different, right? Who cosplays for attention nowadays anyway?!

If you’re cosplaying, then you’re obviously trying to get noticed. I mean, THINK ABOUT IT. If you don’t want to get noticed, wouldn’t you wear clothing that doesn’t make you stand out? Let me break that down even more. If you’re trying to get noticed, you’re trying to get people’s attention. So by the transitive property that we all learned in high school, ANYONE cosplaying is trying to seek attention.

And why is that a bad thing? People make that out to be a terrible, vain factor of cosplay. If you poured blood, sweat, and tears into your costume as well as months and months of paychecks, you totally deserve to show that shit off and get recognition for your hard work. Cosplaying for attention isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually the norm. So get that out of your head that we females are doing this to get attention.

If you’re thinking more in terms with the fact that females who wear revealing outfits are trying to get attention, then so be it! Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. Again, who the fuck cares? Is it ruining your life? Is it deterring your will to live? No, so stop making it a big deal. If they’re confident in themselves to model a sexy cosplay, then let them do it! If you’re more on the conservative side and don’t really like sexy cosplay, then don’t do sexy cosplay. There’s no rule book on how to cosplay. Photographers are going to flock to sexy cosplays whether you like it or not. This is how the world works, unfortunately, but don’t let that get you down. Don’t let other people’s opinions morph your view of yourself. Strut your stuff, and be proud of whoever you’re cosplaying as.

So let me state the obvious here: most of the content creators in our geek culture, i.e. comic book writers, artists, manga artists, etc, are STILL mostly men. Therefore, they will most of the time have a patriarchal perspective on most things. If you’re wondering why most female super heroes are dressed that way, that wasn’t a coincidence.

But hello, welcome to the year 2013. Females like this shit too. I know, crazy, right? Females like anime, video games, and comic books. Some females are aspiring directors and filmmakers. Some females want to make their own comic books. If you’re sitting here reading this like this is a new concept, then again, welcome to the year 2013. Sorry your distant planet didn’t have concepts like this.

This is no longer a Boys Only club, and it never should have been. There’s plenty of strong females who are content creators and it’s only a matter of time before their work can be seen by millions of people. Call me idealistic, but I have faith.

So let’s stop feeding this outdated idea to young girls that they have to grow up and be a secretary and like Barbie. If they want to be a secretary and like Barbie, that’s totally cool! But if they aspire to be the President and like Iron Man, then that’s pretty damn cool too.

And the next time you see a girl “faking” it, just remember, we all had to start somewhere. You didn’t come into this culture being a fcking expert at Call of Duty. Let these new fans explore their interests and don’t be an asshole about it.

And how does this tie into the current Cosplay crisis? Well, a lot of fans are upset at how the show is portraying cosplayers. Apparently, the show is showcasing a very catty, egotistical, dog-eat-dog world of cosplay. While I agree with these fans that this is an inaccurate portrayal of the cosplay world, I’d also like to remind everyone that this is TELEVISION. Hi, Welcome to the year 2013 again. TV is fake and sometimes scripted. Oh my gosh, no way!! You mean the Bachelorette doesn’t really find true love at the end?!?

The producers of the show are going to edit the B-Roll as they see fit. What makes it into the show is whatever makes it into the show. A TV show or movie or any sort of film is STORYTELLING at the very core. You need a plot, you need characters, and you need a conflict. Otherwise you might as well show a live stream of a convention. And as we all know, that’s definitely not gonna get any TV show good ratings.

To me, it’s also an issue of new fans vs. old fans. Also known as elitists vs. noobs. Now these people who don’t know what the hell anime or comic books are are gonna start cosplaying and acting like they know shit. Raise your hand if you heard this argument before.

Let me repeat myself. Let these new fans explore their new interests. If a new fan discovers cosplay through this show, that’s great. Share your craft. And see this as an opportunity to be someone’s senpai.

So fellow Internet friends, what have we learned today? I hope you’ve taken something away from this, and that I’ve challenged you to think a little differently. 

Leave a comment and let them feels out.

-Alice

Day 21 & 22: What Makes You Different

Hey friends! Happy Tuesday!

So I’m combining two challenges together because as you know, some of these challenges suck. Without further ado, here’s Day 21’s challenge: A Picture of Something that Makes You Happy.

Photo from CuteOverload.com

Photo from CuteOverload.com

How do you not smile at this Baby Panda just crushing life right now? If I were to caption this, the Baby Panda is probably thinking “WOOOHOO!! I’M HERE, BITCHES!”

C’mon! You don’t think the Baby Panda is saying that? Ok, now YOU caption that picture. Leave a comment and let me know what you think the Baby Panda is thinking.

Moving on, Day 22’s challenge is “What Makes You Different.” Well… I feel a lot of things make me stand out from the crowd and I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m proud of it. Like most geeks, I used to be ashamed and lonely. But now I’ve just totally embraced who I am and ya know what? It feels pretty damn good.

What makes me different is my spontaneous and super driven personality. If I want something, I will go to great lengths to make it happen. I used to intern all the way in Santa Monica, CA. Now I won’t tell you where exactly in SoCal I live, but let’s just say this drive on a GOOD day took about 2 hours. I was youngER and didn’t exactly think about how far Santa Monica was from me. But lesson learned. And it made me realize that I do indeed love the LA life and I want to move out there someday.

And right now my internship is in Torrance. So… I think you guys got the point that I will pretty much drive out to LA to work or intern at. Hey, if you want something, you just gotta go balls out and GO FOR IT. Life’s not gonna wait for you to make a choice.

Another thing that makes me different is how passionate I can be about the things I like. If I like something, I. LIKE. IT. I’m the kind of girl that will go above and beyond and try to find out everything I can about it. For instance, if I’m obsessed with a certain anime, I’ll want to cosplay from it, find all the blogs dedicated to it, read fanfiction, download the soundtrack, etc. With all of my favorite Youtubers, I follow their Twitters, Instagrams, and Facebooks just to stay connected with them because I feel like we can be friends someday. (God, that sounded so sad and creepy. The story of the lonely fangirl. Lulz.) 

And the last thing that makes me different from others is my personality. Yes, I’m loud. Yes, I laugh loud. And yes, I can be utterly ridiculous most, if not all the time. I’m just a huge dork and I like to have fun. Being serious and quiet was just never my strong suit. That’s why I can never play poker. I have no poker face. Unless I’m singing to Lady Gaga. P-p-p-poker face, my-my poker face. 

On a side note, I just uploaded a new video onto my Youtube channel so check that out please! I pretty much pulled an all nighter to get this out to you guys by today, so watch it! It’s good. I think. I may or may not be twerking. Just sayin’. If you wanna know for sure, you gotta go watch. And subscribe. And like. 

OK?! Cool. Until next time, my loves!

-Alice

Goodbye, Adolescence

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

Photo taken by jrafanan.wordpress.com

Photo taken by jrafanan.wordpress.com

For some of you, this may be your last week of freedom before going back to school. As for me, I see it as, “I can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I just want to get to the other side as fast as I fcking can.” This is my very last semester of college EVER, as I have no intention of pursuing any master’s degree. This is a bittersweet moment, but it’s a moment that I have waited a long ass time for. I am ready to be free from school.

I always hear a lot of mixed reactions from alumni who are living the post graduate life. Most of the time, I hear the “IT SUCKS! I MISS COLLEGE!!” reaction. I’m not going to lie, those reactions make me a little sad to hear because this is the moment when we literally leave the nest forever. We’re no longer kids. We’re now equipped with our professional degrees and we can pursue anything we want. To me, that sounds like a rockstar dream. I’m no longer tied down to papers, exams, and all nighters. I can finally be who I want to be and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.

Call me idealistic, but that’s just how I see it! And I just don’t understand why others can’t see it that way too. I feel like some people just fall into a rut after they graduate because they don’t find their career job right away. But why were you expecting to? Not to be a bitch, but stuff like that takes time. We gotta struggle a little until we find our dream job. And if you don’t know your dream job, then maybe that’s the the core issue you’re not addressing.

I’ve always been one to follow my passions. I never want to settle for second best. I’ll be honest, I have gotten some job offers in the past couple months. Job offers that would pay me a lot more than my current part-time job pays me. But I turned them down. Why? Because it’s not going to contribute to my future plans in any way. It’s a quick fix… meaning I’d only be doing the job for the money RIGHT now. But in the long run, I don’t want to value that kind of money. I want to value the money that I worked my ass off for doing something that I absolutely love. Not something that was a quick fix kind of job.

And I totally understand if you’re in a rut right now and trying to figure your life out. I’m in the same boat too, as with most seniors in college/recent grads. But the one thing I found solace in was knowing that I could pursue what I want to pursue and no one can tell me otherwise. I can start this blog, I can start a Youtube channel, and I can dance. Is it making me money? No, but it’s making me happy and as long as I’m happy, everything else will slowly fall into place. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking. If you do good things and constantly strive for good things, then good things are sure to come.

But my number one advice is don’t feel ENTITLED for good things. First of all, I hate people like that. You weren’t put on this earth to be catered to, mtherfcker, so you better be working hard like everyone else here. Like I said, struggle a little for now and eventually your dream job will find its way into your life. Just stay positive and remember some company out there wants YOU and your talent. They just haven’t met you yet.

-Alice

 

Day 20: Dear Future Significant Other

Dear Future Significant Other,

Bonus points if you know which Japanese drama this is from! ;)

Bonus points if you know which Japanese drama this is from! 😉

Well first off, hello there! This is awkward writing to someone I don’t know yet, but bear with me. I’m here to give you some heads up on what to expect when we’re hitched and ready to start our life together.

And by the way, that wasn’t some weird sexual innuendo. By “heads up” I mean that I’m just giving you some advice. Pervert.

I can be absolutely and utterly impulsive, which can be both good and bad. Once I decide to do something, I’m going to find a way to do it. Please be understanding and know that it’s nothing personal if I’m going to be away from you from periods of time. I’m just chasing dreams, no matter how old I am. I hope you will still be by my side and support me as I do.

I can also be ridiculously stubborn in my ways. Yes, I hear your side of the story and understand your opinions, but that doesn’t mean I like them. And I’ll make sure you know I don’t like them. Please be patient with me on this one… I’m trying to get better at this.

I hope you can put up with my love for the Geek Fandom. I love going to conventions and cosplaying. I love watching anime and blogging about how it makes me feel. I love dancing to Jpop and Kpop songs. I hope you like this too, otherwise our relationship can be pretty difficult to maintain.

Oh and on the topic of Geek Culture, I hope you don’t mind my mass collection of manga and comic books. I like collecting these things and you better not fcking sell these on eBay if we’re ever in need of money. I don’t care HOW broke we might get… I’d rather sell our TV. We can always watch shows on our laptops… duh…

I also have a Love-Hate relationship with food. Sometimes I’ll want to eat and pass out on the couch and sometimes I’ll be religiously counting my calories. Sorry in advanced. I know this behavior is so bipolar, but again, be patient with me. Just encourage me to workout with you and we’ll be good.

Lastly, I like to dance. I hope you do too. Or this could get awkward. At least twerk or something. If you need help, there’s a bunch of tutorials on Youtube.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, I promise to love and cherish you as long as you love and cherish me. May we find everlasting happiness together.

Love,
Ally

Day 19: Nicknames

Why hello there! It’s been a while.

Again, sorry for the break in between posts. But rest assured, I’m here and I’m ready to finally finish this damn Blog Challenge! I should technically be done by now, but oh well.

This is a fun topic for me because I absolutely love the use of nicknames. I don’t know why, I’ve just always thought using real names is boring and too simple. Call me adventurous, but I just like having an “A.K.A.”

So pretty much the only nickname I have is Ally. Growing up, my parents used to spell this like “Ali” but I HATED that spelling because it would make people pronounce it like “Ah-lee.” Like, Prince Ali, amorous he, Ali Ababwa. Yeah, I’m not Aladdin. And thumbs up if you just sang that lyric as you read it, hehe.

I always spelled it like “Ally” because I just preferred the Y over an I, even though my name real name is spelled with an I. Confusing? Well get used to it. I’m pretty much convinced I was put on this earth to mindfck everyone, if not, make everyone uncomfortable. Is it working yet?

So a fun fact about this nickname. Without even realizing it, I will ALWAYS use this name when I’m in some sort of broadcast or in front of an audience. When I was in high school, I used to be that annoying peppy girl (I still am… haha…) on the announcements and whenever I would sign off, I would say, “And this is Ally… saying have a great day!” I remember my friends would be like “Ally? You wanna be called that now?” And they had a legitimate reason to ask that because when I would introduce myself to people, I would always use my full name. I STILL DO THAT TIL THIS DAY! Just the other day at my internship, I was meeting some of the other interns for the first time and I introduced myself using my full name. But when I interview choreographers for the community class, I always say my name is Ally. I have no idea why I do this. It’s like some weird automatic reflex I have that I can’t really control because I just do it voluntarily. WEIRD.

And I think I’ve spoken in great detail about where the name “Alice Vega” came from in multiple posts, so in case you still don’t know… just skim through all my blog posts. Sorry, brah. I’m making you WERK.

Yes, that was an intentional spelling of WERK. You have to say it while snapping your fingers. Try it.

-Alice

Life Update – Sword Art Online Review and Youtubing!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

So I’m gonna be honest with all of you. I’ve been super lazy with drafting new blog posts lately. It’s just a combination of writer’s block and pure laziness. There’s really not much more to it. There’s nothing dramatic going on in my life, nor am I so busy that I don’t have the time to sit down and blog. I’ve just been feeling pretty lazy. And a tad bit uninspired.

But I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging! I’m still here. I’m still derping and wreaking havoc on the internet. Therefore, I decided I should at least give you some updates about what I’ve been up to. (Obviously, blogging won’t be on this list. #FAILBLOG)

Photo from varewulf.wordpress.com

Photo from varewulf.wordpress.com

Before you say it, I know I’m late on this trend. BUT in my defense, I recently started watching more recent anime. I like to keep it old school for the most part, but I know if I wanna keep up at cons, I have to keep watching all the new shows. Which isn’t a bad thing because this show is ridiculously awesome.

So for those unfortunate souls who don’t know this anime, it’s called Sword Art Online. To give a very brief summary of the series, it’s about the MMORPG titled Sword Art Online (it’s fictional) but instead of it being just any ol’ regular game, players have to wear this headpiece called a NerveGear and their minds go into this entirely virtual world. Crazy, right?! The Japanese come up with everything! The series follows two main characters, Kirito and Asuna. The reason why this anime is ridiculously awesome is because 1) the plot, 2) character development, and 3) the cosplay opportunities! I mean, the awesome character designs. Ahem.

I’m still on episode 15, but I already went ahead and read spoilers because I was so mindfucked with what happened that I needed to know what happened in order to keep my anxiety at ease. Seriously. No joke. If you’re into MMORPGs, you should definitely check this out. Or if you’re looking for a good story with fantasy elements, you should watch it.

AND if you want a good love story… you should watch this series. Just sayin’. I ship Kirito and Asuna so hard, you don’t even KNOW! I can’t even tell you how many times my heart burst into butterflies every time they had a cute moment.

To end my SOA rant, I’ll leave you with this piece of advice: just watch it, damnit. You won’t regret it. You can watch it on Crunchyroll, Hulu, OR Toonami. You have no excuse.

In case you weren’t aware, I do indeed have my own Youtube channel. For a while, I only had 2 casual vlogs up (one about my Sailor Venus tattoo and the other was for my friend David’s birthday) but now I officially have a formal vlog up! And by formal vlog, I just mean, instead of walking around with a camera, I’m sitting in front of my laptop talking about issues that interest me. For all you bloggers out there, this one’s for you.

Remember to “like” the video, subscribe, and please share it! Let’s help a sista out, yeah?! 🙂

And in addition to these two things, I’m of course just working and interning every week. Same ol’ same ol’.

On a funsy note, my best friend and fellow blogger Angi’s birthday is TOMORROW! I’m so excited. Make sure you check out her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

-Alice

Heroes of Cosplay

Photo from legedarium.mymiddleearth.com

Photo from legedarium.mymiddleearth.com

Hey everyone! Happy Trolling Tuesday!

So any geek in this fandom knows what cosplaying is. They’ve either done it before or take pictures of people who do it. Cosplaying is not only just playing “dress up” to some… it really is a lifestyle. Whether people do it for fun, to network, or to really advance their career, cosplay is something that we geeks hold dear to ourselves.

In case you were unaware, the SyFy network has a new show their premiering tonight called Heroes of Cosplay. It’s a reality show that features 9 talented cosplayers, all ranging in different levels of skill, and the process of how they make these amazing outfits and compete in them.

The only cosplayer I know from the cast (not personally, but I wish!) is the legend herself, Yaya Han. If you don’t know who Yaya Han is, shame on you! To put it simply, she’s an amazing cosplayer with remarkable skill that has created her own career JUST cosplaying. She’s seriously living the Nerdy American dream.

YayaHanRTYeah, she retweeted me. I fangirled for about five minutes.

Anyways, for some reason, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the show. Some fans think that the show will portray cosplaying in a bad light. If you’re one of those fans, please enlighten me, because I really don’t see any reason why they would.

If fans are worried about the “drama” that’s on the show, well, isn’t that realistic? Especially if you’re competing?! When I was 12-years-old, my friends and I competed in a masquerade. We just did a skit, but nonetheless it was still a competition. The entire day before the masquerade began was hectic beyond belief. I was only a kid at the time so I didn’t really comprehend a lot of things, but looking back, I can honestly say I’m grateful for the experience and I commend ANYONE who does this. Because yeah… it is stressful as fuck.

Overall, I am SUPER excited for the premiere tonight. It’s about time the mainstream media learns about what we do. I feel this show will be a great gateway for new fans to come into the community and even try cosplaying out.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? Sharing our knowledge of the craft?

-Alice

Throwback Thursday: The Era of Pokemon

Hello everyone! Happy Thursday!

Photo from fanpop.com

Photo from fanpop.com

So if you’re a 90’s kid like myself, you should have a special place in your heart for this anime. So what if the artwork and graphics aren’t top notch or that the story line isn’t original?! Whether you were a fan of the phenomenon or not, you can’t deny that Pokemon is one of the most successful and globally known anime from Japan.

I remember I was in the 3rd grade when I watched my first episode. Like many other youngins’, I watched it on Kids WB (which is now the CW). I was so infatuated by these cute little creatures that had these kickass powers, that I wanted MORE of it. So I collected the trading cards, I played the video games (for Gameboy AND Nintendo 64), I collected the VHS tapes, I collected each soundtrack, I went to the premiere of the first movie, and the list goes on and on. I know I’m not the only one who did this, so you better be basking in your childhood too as you read this.

The crazy thing about Pokemon is that the series IS STILL GOING ON til today. That’s insane! If you think about it, most anime shows only last an average of 20-ish episodes per season. If I watched this in 3rd grade, that means this show has been around for more than a decade. Wow. How many shows can you think of that can do the same thing? WITH constant video games coming out, soundtracks, movies, manga, etc? I’d like to argue, not a whole lot.

To me, Pokemon doesn’t only bring out nostalgic memories for me… it represents this culture of nerdy fandom. I’m not ashamed to admit I still play the video games, I cosplay from the series, and I have a bunch of Pikachu plushies. There’s just something about it that doesn’t get old. I’m not a huge fan of all these new pokemon and these new series (I like to keep it old school) but I will always get excited and feel happy whenever I watch an episode from the Indigo or Johto Leagues. Or if I’m playing Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow. Oh and just so you know… I’m down to battle if you are. I trained my Blastoise well.

So what’s my point in all this? My point is that this anime is not just a kids’ show… it’s LIFE and anyone regardless of their age should be able to enjoy it. I remember when I was really getting into anime. I was around 9 or 10-years-old and my mom would just tell my dad, “She’ll grow out of it one day.”

Haha… oh Mother. That’s cute. You couldn’t be anymore wrong.

My feelings toward Pokemon are still the same as my 3rd grade self. I ain’t afraid to say I am a TRUE pokemon fan and I will be a pokemon master someday.

Hopefully it won’t take over 10 years like it has for Ash, but hey, to each their own!

-Alice

Why You Should be Watching My Little Pony

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday! Again!

Photo from feminspire.com

Photo from feminspire.com

So in honor of Youtube’s Geek Week, I’ve been posting some geeky articles to help celebrate this amazing time. But as I thought about it, I realized ALL my blog posts are geeky. Sooo, I guess the only difference between this week and every other week is that I’m just yelling “HAPPY GEEK WEEK!” in every post. Whatever, just celebrate with me, damnit!

So I originally wanted to post this 3 days ago on National Friendship Day (Yes, it exists. Google it.) but that didn’t work out. So here I am! In honor of belated National Friendship Day, I want to talk to you guys about the magicalness that is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

If you’re a fan of the show, GREAT! Hello my fellow Bronies and Pegasisters! If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, well, then this goes out to you.

A year ago at Anime Expo, my best friend Angi cosplayed as Pinkie Pie. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t understand what the hype was about. I mean, MLP isn’t even anime. It’s a children’s show and it’s kinda cheesy. But hey, geeks flock to stuff like this so I guess I couldn’t be too surprised. After AX was over, I decided to watch the show to understand why it was so popular.

I originally sat down to watch ONE episode, but then I found myself finishing the first season. (Thank you Netflix!) This shit was ADDICTING! And anyone who’s addicted to any TV show or anime will understand my feels. When there’s a plethora of episodes and seasons available for FREE (or for $8 a month), you HAVE to watch all of it. You can’t just stop in the middle… who does that?! That’s unAmerican.

My Little Pony is an amazing show that teaches its viewers the magic of friendship. (See what I did there?!) But all corny jokes aside, this show really explores PLATONIC relationships between people..erm.. ponies, which a lot of children shows don’t tend to do anymore. Whether the lesson is about humility, sacrifice, or honesty, the show showcases all these lessons into colorful, fun, scenarios… WITH PONIES! It also addresses the issue of self identity. Each pony has something called a Cutie Mark. It’s a little emblem that appears near their butts (I don’t know how to make that sound politically correct) that define who you are. The six main characters of the show already have their Cutie Marks, but three supporting characters, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle, are on a quest to find theirs. In other words, these three young ponies are on a quest to discover who they are and what they can contribute to this world.

See?! Aren’t these themes just so relevant in life?! I think this is an amazing show for ALL AGES! A lot of people criticize the fact that the viewer demographic has an abundance of males ages 12-35, but who the hell cares?! Those guys are awesome for watching the show and I bet you anything by learning these timeless lessons about friendship, these guys probably treat everyone with respect. WHICH IS WHAT THE SHOW IS ABOUT!

My Little Pony has become such a phenomenon and has such a loyal and crazy fanbase that the fans have given each other names. I used them earlier, but let me explain. There are Bronies and Pegasisters. I mean, that’s as straightforward as you can get… Brony meaning fanboy and Pegasister meaning fangirl… but amongst this amazing community sparks a controversy in title. Before the name “Pegasister” came along, we just had the name “Brony.” So everyone, females and males, referred to themselves as Bronies. Some fans feel the term “Brony” should be gender neutral and we shouldn’t even be using the name “Pegasister.” I know this sounds crazy, but this is actually a big deal because this delves into a bigger, deeper rooted issue… gender binaries! Do people not want to be classified into “boys” and “girls”? Why does the term “Brony” sound better to some? What’s wrong with being classified as a female fan?

Well, I honestly don’t have the answers to all these questions, but here’s my short 2 cents about the topic. The term “Brony” CAN’T be gender neutral because it’s derived from the word “brother.” I thought about this a lot yesterday and I have to admit I’m a subject of pushing the boundaries of gender binaries. I mean, I use the word “guys” a lot, to indicate that I’m talking to EVERYONE. But in reality, the term “guys” is NOT gender neutral… the word “guy” implies males. The reason it seems to be gender neutral is because we live in a patriarchal system.

So what does this all mean? I basically just threw some shit at you to think about, obviously. Well for starters, I think I need to start using a different term in my blog posts. Does it make me sad? Eh… not really. If anything, it’s making me consciously think about my word choice. And I’m honestly not one of those people that’s gonna get all anal about it, but if anything, I hope I inspired you to think about these word choices: Brony vs. Pegasister. Does one connote more power and respect? Or are we thinking too much into this?

But to reiterate my whole point, you should be watching My Little Pony. And if you have kids, you should DEFINITELY be showing them this show. There’s not a lot of good content for kids nowadays that won’t kill their brain cells. This show actually has thought-provoking concerns and issues that will teach our future generation how to be… Oh I don’t know… GOOD PEOPLE.

And we need more of that in this world.

-Alice