So this has been our Pony period here on Trollcasts. With Tara Strong on Media Trolls last week and me doing a whole Ponycast. And we still managed to talk a little more about ponies this week on Media Trolls, and while Dustin pooped on it, like he does, I wanted to talk about cutie marks.
One of my favorite aspects of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the cutie mark. These are the little tattoos the ponies have on their flank. Cutie marks appear when a pony discovers their special talent, and ponies are born with a blank space where their cutie mark will be.
I love this idea. That one day, you will know what you’re meant to do. And it’ll be confirmed by the universe. So many people wonder what they should do with their lives. Can you imagine a world where you would just get a tattoo that told you? The whole existential crisis of the American youth would be solved. No one could be drifting aimlessly, we’d all know what would make us happy.
And no, it’s not an “assigned job”. You’re not forced to do what your cutie mark dictates. It’s just the knowledge that this is your special talent. This is what you’re good at and what will make you happy.
The main plot with cutie marks is a group of three younger ponies that call themselves “The Cutie Mark Crusaders” whose driving mission is to try as many things as possible in the hopes that they will uncover their secret talent and earn their cutie marks. I think every person on the planet can identify with wanting so desperately to know what your true calling is. But for us, we’ll never get that kind of confirmation.
We’ll never just know. If I’d seen this show as a child, I would have agonized over this. I would have longed to be a pony so I could one day know that I was exactly where I was meant to be. Growing up can be so murky, so turbulent. The thought that eventually, if you were patient, if you followed your heart, you would be guaranteed to find exactly where you belonged. It would have been my dearest wish.
And I still want one. I want my cutie mark. I want a mark to show up on my body that tells me, “Yes. This is your true talent.” Because I think it’s human nature to constantly second guess yourself. To wonder if you could be doing better in some other field. If there’s not something you’re missing out on by sticking with what you’re doing.
But that’s what makes us human, I suppose. We have to choose, and stick with that choice. Even when it’s hard, even when we don’t know for sure this is what will make us happy in the end. Our tattoos can become monuments to regret. Reminders of what we wasted whole chapters of our lives on. But we can grow, we can cultivate our talents, change the entire fabrics of our lives. But all that freedom comes with a lot of uncertainty and strife. And sometimes, I think it would be nice to just be a pony.
The fact that the little stickers I used to accidentally peel off of the butts of my favorite plastic toys can make me think about the human condition is probably the highest praise I can offer to a show.
Article by Meagan of “Thinking Too Hard”