Tony Wayne of Imperial Tattoo in Texas has been offering $20 My Little Pony tattoos to pay tribute to an 11-year-old bullying victim and fan of the cartoon. The support has also united the community of bros who love My Little Pony and general supporters of the victim alike.
Wayne said the profits from the tattoo will go to the family of Michael Morones in North Carolina who attempted suicide after constant torment from his peers due to his affinity for the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Proceeds will also go to StopBullying.org, an organization against bullying.
After hearing about Morones’ story, Wayne instantly wanted to help in any way possible. The support was unexpected, with Wayne telling Chicago WGN news that he had so far done 40 My Little Pony tattoos in counting, some for customers who had never previously got any kind of tattoo. The support has stretched to outside of Texas with people coming into town from five hours away, says Wayne.
Many supporters are customers who identify themselves as “Bronies,” a sub-culture of adult males who can not get enough of Little Pony. This had started to become such a burgeoning sensation that a documentary was made about it in 2012 called Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.
The My Little Pony toyline began in the 80s, followed by several animated TV series and direct-to-video movies to promote the collection. Featuring pink ponies and purple sparkles, the show was originally targeted towards girls aged 2 to 11.
The toyline is in its fourth reincarnation, after three different redesigns in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Lauren Faust, the creative mind behind popular animated shows such as The Powerpuff Girls , was brought on in 2010 as a creative consultant to relaunch the My Little Pony line for a new generation, along with a new show.
The My Little Pony phenomenon in this generation, however, garnered the support of the male demographic from teenage boys to young adult men in their twenties. Evidently, the 11-year-old bullying victim, Morones, is not alone and his story has united other bros who love the show, led by the support of Wayne’s tattoo in Texas.
Faust’s version of the cartoon is known for having strong characters, a deep mythology, and vibrant animation. The main character of My Little Pony is Twilight Sparkle, who learns the value of friendship from her mentor Princess Celestia in Ponyville, her hometown. Sparkle soon befriends other ponies named Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy. Each character represents different facets of friendship, with each friend helping residents, along with each other out. The show’s message of love and tolerance is also something that appeals to the male viewers.
In regards to Morones, the 11-year-old boy attempted to hang himself off his bunk bed and his condition is described as “uncertain” after being rushed to the hospital. There is a fear that he may have permanent brain damage, with no timetable of when, if ever, he will heal.
The issue of bullying and what victim Morones and his family are going through, makes the love and tolerance message of My Little Pony that much more resounding . If in Texas, around the area, or if you are a bro who loves My Little Pony, show your support and unite by getting a My Little Pony tattoo at Tony Wayne’s Imperial Tattoo parlor.
By Kollin Lore