Bucking the Stereotypes: My Little Pony and Challenges to Traditional Gender Roles

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Abstract

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a cartoon that has become a cultural phenomenon since its inception in 2010. Combining a traditional girl-centric aesthetic with an all ages and any gender approach to their writing and production, the show appeals to a much broader audience than it's intended demographic of young girls. But does My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic actually challenge the rigidity of gender roles? Nearly all 13 episodes sampled reviewed for this paper included content that represent all three challenges to gender stereotypes identified in the scholarly literature; females are in positions of authority, females are primary characters and female characters drive plot development in non-gendered ways.

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