My daughter is an iPad addict. She’s only 3 and a half, yet has managed to work out login to said device unattended, plus go hunting around on Netflix or YouTube for a new show of choice. Each show lasts for about 6 weeks in favour, perhaps 2 months if it’s really a good one. At the moment her show of choice is My Little Pony. Ahhh that 80s wonder that’s still somehow kicking about now, just with new, revamped pop songs to go along with it. That stick in my head… ALL DAY.
Anyway, I sometimes feel pressure under the parenting / mummy types who tell me things in casual WhatsApp convos like ‘she’s watched 30 minutes of iPad today, I am SUUUCH a bad parent’. Ummm, Marley has watched 4 hours today, so I think you’re probably doing ok in the old ‘bad parenting’ stakes right now. The reason I don’t mind her watching it is because I really think they can learn loads from these shows, whether they’re typically ‘educational’ or not – social inequalities, psychological events… Watch an episode of Lion Guard if you don’t believe me and then come back to me.
My Little Pony though? I couldn’t work out what she was learning from that one, so I decided to watch a little bit.
All they seem to go on about on MLP is something called a ‘cutie mark’. I wondered what on earth this was, so I got googling.
Here’s the official blurb from wikipedia:
The My Little Pony franchise is famous for cutie marks, unique picture-like symbols located on the ponies and zebras‘ flanks or haunches. The term is a play on “beauty mark“, and it is also reminiscent of “quarter mark“. The mark itself is positioned where livestock branding is usually performed. Cutie marks are often related to the personality, proclivity, or talent of the character.
It’s basically a play on the typical branding marks that ponies get (as if I know anything about bloody ponies or horses). These cutie marks represent what their true calling in life is. For example, Fluttershy has butterflies – her special talent is being able to communicate and share kindness with animals.
Rarity has gemstones, she’s a fashion designer and the gemstones represent her love for embellishment, Pinkie Pie has balloons because she’s all about making people have fun and be happy. She likes to throw parties.
Basically the show deals with the discovery of cutie marks and what it means to have, or not have one. Ponies are born without one and they appear once they have discovered their ‘unique characteristic that sets them apart from others’. Whaaat! This shit is deep man. This is like the ethos of the NBBS all over. All I try and get my students to understand is how important it is to realise your own unique characteristics.
For years I didn’t really know what my true calling was, but My Little Pony helped me realise.
No, that’s not a joke.
In one episode, the ‘cutie mark crusaders’ (three ponies who are all so far lacking in cutie marks) go on a mission to try and discover their unique characteristic and therefore obtain their cutie mark. The crusaders try their hands (or hooves?) at various activities to try and discover what their calling is. Which will make the cutie mark appear? Chicken herding? Hairdressing, mind reading? The ponies seem oblivious to what their own inane talents are.
This resonated with me. Again, I understand how ridiculous this sounds.
For my whole adult life i have been trying my hand at one thing or the other, from running a makeup business to being a musician, to page 3 modelling (that was a bad time and one we will never speak of again). I’d been on the crusade to find my calling but nothing had ever clicked. In one episode, the crusaders have been trying for so long to discover their ‘true calling’ that they decide to give up. And then something magic happens…
and then I realised… I have been helping people to discover their cutie marks all along!
This was a huge lesson to me, and maybe it will be to you too.
What are you naturally good at? What do you always enjoy, what do people come to you for?
I know now that I was put here to help other people discover what their true calling is and motivate them to pursue it. HARD. I do that by living that life myself. It’s been a long ‘crusade’ for me, and my god, I didn’t think I’d have any kind of life / spiritual / psychological revelation after watching My Little Pony but hey, life is weird and wonderful and if you’re open to it then you never know what can appear in front of your eyes.
Just like a cutie mark…
You got yours yet?
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