I love My Little Pony and always look forward to the newest episode. I watch the older episodes and still find genuine joy in doing so. And the fanbase, though unnecessarily explicit sometimes (seriously, why does a fanbase always have to take something so innocent and mix it up with horror themes and other disturbing characteristics?) I find it one that I enjoy. I AM a Pegasister.
We are not making fun of the mentally disabled. Quite honestly, I never thought of Derpy as a target for controversy. I saw her as a clumsy, lovable butter-fingered fictional talking and flying pony on a kid’s show that happens to have a large adolescent and adult audience. Hell, RD would have made more sense; it seems the whole fanbase thinks that she’s a lesbian, and we all know how good old mom and dad don’t want their precious little babies to get any ideas that it would be at ALL okay to like someone of the same sex. (For all you butthurt people, sarcasm. I have lots of gay friends.)
But getting back to my original point. I always thought that Derpy’s eyes were adorable, but they didn’t mean much to me. Of course, it’s the eyes that gave her the name in the first place, but that’s all they were and are to me: derpy eyes. Until today, I’d had no idea that it meant something else completely to the parents, and even some fans of the show.
In their eyes, Derpy is a stereotypical retard.
And the change in Derpy was another case of parents being too overprotective of their children. Because they see Derpy as something that their children should not be witness to. A drooling idiot, a danger to those around her, incapable of doing anything right, and everything else that these parents frown upon and shelter their kids from. She does not fit into society; even her friends find her a nuisance who ruins everything.
And the fact that we, the Bronies and Pegasisters, worked so hard to finally make Derpy canon, says that our ridicule for her is so great we want everyone to bear witness to it. We laugh at it. We egg it on. We love to see it grow stronger. And we are so enraged because all that effort to ridicule Derpy and everything people seem to think she represents, all the bad stuff, all that effort to make our mockery known, has fallen to pieces.
All wrongs. I, personally, was happy when Derpy finally had lines and was regarded by her fan given because our voices had been heard. A fanbase had spilled into the actual show. Our love for Derpy was so great that even Hasbro acknowledged it. And I was upset, though not as upset as others, when I discovered that she’d been discreetly altered under our noses, because people thought that she’d been our representation of the mentally disabled. When in truth, I did not make fun of Derpy and think of her as a typical retard. I’d loved her; I was just a fan, you know? I was happy that the fans were given a brief moment of victory by having a hugely fan-made character make an appearance.
I understand taking offense. I myself don’t find myself taking offense a lot of the time, but I can understand it. But we, or I, rather, since I have no authority to speak for the whole Brony community, am not laughing at the mentally disabled. Every time I laugh at Derpy, it’s not because she’s a retard who can’t do anything right and has the face that proves it. I laugh because she’s funny, and a klutz. Honestly, Derpy reminds me of my oldest friend Sarah: adorably clumsy, willing to help with anything even if she ends up making an even bigger mess than there was before, and special. No, not the special that in middle school is synonymous with mentally disabled; special as in she’s one of a kind, and well loved.
I’m not ableist. I’m not anything-ist. Those fan comics and fan fictions, with Derpy the drooling idiot who can’t even speak in broken English; they give Derpy a bad name. I cannot speak in their defense. But to change her name and appearance just because it seems offensive and potentially harming to the youth, that’s something else. It’s disappointing. It’s narrow-mindedness. (No Sparta jokes, sorry).
I’m just rambling at this point. Probably this makes no sense; I’m all over the place in this, really, and I doubt I got my point across. What is my point, you may ask? While I’m not bawling my eyes out over Derpy’s change, I find it disheartening that another case of overprotective parents lashing out at something they think their kids shouldn’t see (mental disability, which, on that note, people also think Derpy makes fun of) has touched upon something I really love. Especially when it takes away our voice as fans, who were the ones all along who wanted to give Derpy life. I don’t care what anyone says. She is, and always will be, Derpy Hooves.