Oh, and a less-cracky headcanon too.
Princess Platinum, like the other two leaders, is shown being really silly and immature in the play, but I figure a lot of that is probably exaggerated, and the historical Platinum was a competent, respected leader. Upon founding Equestria she kept the title “Princess” because she ruled as an equal with the other two tribe leaders, which continued for a time with their successors. Over time the title of Princess became elevated so much that it was respected above King or Queen, which were associated too much with the old world, and so when the current royalty was established they took on that title out of respect for her. Equestria has been ruled by princesses ever since.
Nudity is not a taboo in Equestrian society. All ponies of any gender, age, or social status may be entirely nude in public at any time. Most ponies are naked most of the time, and the majority of the clothing they do wear doesn’t cover up any of the areas we tend to cover in our world.
Speaking as an artist who on one hand, often finds drawing clothes difficult, and on the other hand, enjoys designing elaborate outfits, the appeal of working in a setting where I don’t have to draw clothes when I don’t want to and can still make neat fancy clothes when I feel like it is pretty clear. I’m guessing the ponies’ nudist ways makes it a lot easier to animate them, and it probably makes it easier to make toys of them as well. And the big way to make clothes easy to animate is to have your characters always wear the same outfits, which I’ve always found silly, so making them naked is a good way to avoid that. It also makes wearing clothing a good way to say “something special is going on” to the audience.
Anyway, I wanted to look a bit at how ponies use clothing and what the ramifications of their attitudes might be. I speculate about pony sexuality here a bit so you may wish to skip this post if you feel that’s a secret mankind was not meant to know.
kyronea replied to your post: The Process
It is…much like Fleur, it is completely lacking in originality. Back when Fleur appeared I wanted to call her Mare Lynn instead, as a pun on Marylin Monroe. Sometimes the fandom has good names though, like how the tomato seller is Ms. Heinz.
Of course, the thing is that I like Fleur de Lis as her name. I mean, at least it’s based on something in her design rather than “this is the first doctor pony we’ve ever seen and we’re fans of House, so…” and I feel a French name fits a supermodel-like pony like her.
I guess this just goes to show that one pony’s (fanon) trash is another pony’s (fanon) treasure.
Fair enough. That is a good reason to like the name. Though if a French name is needed, I’d think it’d be better to choose a name that isn’t her Cutie Mark. Ponies with Cutie Marks that match their name tend to annoy me because it contradicts canon and makes their parents seem prophetic. Cutie Marks are supposed to be a reflection of the ponies special talent, after all, so names that match that talent are strange.
Okay this is weird because I am at this very moment working on a post I started yesterday about a lot of this same stuff.
My personal feeling is that, while names that match cutie marks can be excessive, I don’t think it violates causality (usually). But I just see the causality as going the other way. I don’t think ponies are born with special talents, but that they acquire them along the way, and so I think a pony’s name can push them towards a certain talent. Though for this reason I do tend to prefer names that are only metaphorically related rather than directly.
As an aside, I think naming babies would be an even bigger deal in Equestria than in this world. Everypony knows how much names affect a pony’s life, and so a name is a clear declaration of your dream for your child.
Many fans perceive a class difference between the various pony races, generally with unicorns seeming to be at the top. I think this is a pretty reasonable perception honestly given some of what we’ve seen, but I had an idea recently for a possible other side to it that we haven’t seen in the show.
Even if unicorns do dominate the ranks of the wealthy and powerful, there’s another class I think they would also dominate: domestic servants. Think about it: if you were a pegasus or earth pony with some measure of wealth and power (the Wonderbolts, or the Rich family, for example), wouldn’t it be very convenient to have a unicorn around to magic things around for you? To write, or cook, or clean, or even play music, or do any of the other chores that are very difficult to do with hooves and mouths. Someone has to do all that work, and if it requires a horn, that means unicorns have to do it.
I remember thinking about something like this during Baby Cakes. We see the Cakes taking care of their babies all on their own, which makes sense since they don’t seem to be wealthy or anything. But we see Mr. Cake change the babies’ dirty diapers using only his mouth, and I couldn’t help thinking about how much easier it would be to be a unicorn parent. But it would work just as well to be Filthy Rich and have your unicorn butler change Diamond Tiara when she was a baby.
Probably because it sounds so much like a Christmas carol, when they sing the line “A circle of pony friends” in Hearth’s Warming Eve, I keep accidentally thinking “A circle of holy friends” instead. Which just makes me think of Twilight going door to door in a nice suit asking ponies if they’ve heard the good news about Friendship.
I sometimes wonder what religion is like in the setting of FiM. Unlike my post on romantic relationships I’m keeping this strictly in the realm of fanfics, because if you asked me how I’d address religion in the show itself were I a writer for it, then my response would be something along the lines of “Oh no. No no no. Please no. Never. No. This is terrible.”
Much of the fandom seems to follow a relatively Abrahamic model, treating Celestia and Luna as divine beings that rule over creation. Some writers seem to go further in this direction by marginalizing Luna, treating ponies as a purely monotheistic Sun-worshipping culture (this actually makes a little sense due to how their Moon goddess betrayed them and has been gone for a thousand years). The main result of this is that characters will say things like “Oh Celestia” instead of “Oh God,” but I’ve seen a few fics where they’re openly worshipped or explicitly referred to as gods. In canon we’ve only seen the former with Rarity, when she said “As Celestia is my witness,” and with the latter we haven’t seen it explicitly at all. Though I will concede that the Summer Sun Celebration in Canterlot had sort of a “behold the glory of your god!” feeling to it. I think that was the scene that first gave me the idea that Celestia could be a god.
There are a lot of ways that FiM’s world references our own. Some of their holidays are similar to ours, some of the architecture and clothing styles are modeled after real cultures, their cities are named with puns like “Manehattan” and “Cloudsdale” and such.
I have to admit to having often been something of an extremist when it comes to making fantasy or alien worlds of my own. I always want them to be entirely self-contained. Their languages are novel, their cultures make no reference to ours, etc. I always want everything about worlds I make to come entirely from those worlds, because why would a world that has no contact with or knowledge of ours contain references to our world? It doesn’t make sense and so I always wanted to avoid that.
Watching FiM has made me reconsider this position a bit, because if the writers had followed my position we wouldn’t have a lot of things I’ve enjoyed in the show. I loved Luna Eclipsed, and I’m not sure how it would’ve worked without Nightmare Night. I love how so much of pegasus architecture seems inspired by classical Greece and Rome. So I’ve been thinking about when it’s proper to make these connections and how FiM balances referential aspects of its world with novel aspects.
It must be the case in Equestria that different ponies’ life purposes overlap to a degree. Rarity, for example, can’t possibly be the only fashion designer in the entire world. Firstly, that would be incredibly silly. And secondly, nopony would wonder who made her hat or Twilight’s dress if Rarity made all clothes everywhere.
However, cutie marks are highly personal and I don’t think the other fashion designers of the world share her jewel cutie mark. Technically we do see background ponies all the time who have the same cutie mark, but I think things that happen in the background that are never talked about and are done purely out of convenience are on a somewhat lower level of canon than the main plot. I think that’s something we’re meant to ignore if we notice at all, and I’m willing to do that. So despite the background ponies, I think we’re meant to assume that everypony’s cutie mark is different.
My theory is that this isn’t a purely cosmetic difference. I think that in addition to showing a pony’s special talent or the job they’re meant for, a cutie mark also encodes information about style and personality and the manner in which they do their job. For example, a pony who has a paw print cutie mark might, like Fluttershy, be skilled in communicating with animals. But she might employ a less gentle approach. Or think of Trixie, who like Twilight is good at magic. But she’s specifically good at stage magic. Her magic is really impressive to look at and she can do a lot of flashy effects, but there’s just not much real power behind it. She’s a performer rather than a sorceress.
I suspect that there would be ponies who would be able to (or claim to be able to) analyze your cutie mark and tell you all sorts of things about yourself. But then I wonder, if a pony’s special talent is analyzing cutie marks, just what would a cutie mark cutie mark look like?
Can I first just say that I really like that word? I think “gay” or “lesbian” would end up sounding really weird in the context of FiM fanfics, and I love the sound of “fillyfooler.” The f-l-f-l consonance is great, it’s just a fun word to say.
(edit: can’t believe I never actually said this, but for those who don’t know “fillyfooler” is a common term meaning “lesbian” in FiM fanon)
Anyway, even though I love the word, I’m often disappointed when it’s used in fanfics. Here’s why:
Rainbow Dash: Girls… I’m a… I’m a fillyfooler.
Everypony ever: Oh, that’s fine Dash! We’re all modern ponies and we don’t judge anypony based on whom they love!
It drives me crazy. Here’s this great tool for conflict, and in absolutely every case I’ve ever read it has caused no conflict whatsoever. Seriously, I’ve read a pretty large amount of shipping. Shipping between members of the main six is basically the only FiM fanfiction I read. But I’ve never seen a single pony be judgemental of fillyfoolers. There’s a bunch of angst from the fillyfooler herself and then when she tells her friends it turns out there was no problem to begin with. But… if it wasn’t a problem, why did the writer tell me it was a problem?
I mean, I definitely see WHY people want their new ship to be loved and tolerated by the rest of the cast. We love them all and we want them to stay friends. And it’s perfectly rational too. They’re all tolerant ponies, it makes sense to think that they’d all be fine with it. But that’s just it. There’s no reason whatsoever to assume that anyone in Equestria has an issue with sexual orientation to begin with. If you don’t want anyone in your fic to be intolerant of fillyfoolers, then you don’t have to put the idea of fillyfoolers or the threat of intolerance in your fanfic in the first place.