FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — At Imperial Tattoo on Highway 6, owner Tony Wayne is inking something old that’s new again — My Little Pony.
“I think altogether we’ve probably done 30 of them so far,” Wayne told us. The cartoon craze is popular among grown men these days and they’re known as “Bronies.” At this parlor, the ponies are for a purpose. “I just want to show the little kids that we care,” said Wayne. “That’s all I wanted to do.” Specifically, he wants to help one kid named Michael Morones.
He’s the 11-year-old from North Carolina who was bullied for liking My Little Pony. The boy tried to hang himself and doctors believe he could have permanent brain damage.
That’s why Jonathan Myers rolled up his pant leg. “I think a lot of people in the tattoo community we know what it’s like to be ridiculed and judged,” said Myers. “So yeah, it definitely touched me in that way.” For $20, he got a My Little Pony tattoo and the money goes to help Morones’ family with medical bills and to an anti-bullying group…
That’s why Jonathan Myers is getting the tattoo. “I’m a soon-to-be father,” said Myers. “I couldn’t help but come and help out the cause.” Even Morones’ stepdad heard what Imperial Tattoo is doing and reached out to Wayne. “I guess he saw a picture of one that I did and he said thank you,” Wayne explained. “He said that things like that made it a little bit easier for him.” The fundraiser at Imperial Tattoo runs through the end of February.
A sad story takes an odd twist. Look, I’m sorry this kid harmed himself. Nobody wants to see kids get hurt and we all know kids are cruel and that they’ll make fun of each other for even the slightest difference. But adult dudes going out and getting Shetland ink doesn’t really say “I care about kids and want to stop bullying” it says, “I make poor choices and am rather emotional.” I don’t care how much these dudes they feel for this kid. You KNOW they are gonna regret this move sooner than later. I mean, how does that scene go down as you hit the beach or the pool with your crew when summer hits in a few months. You just rip off your shirt and expose a My Little Pony tat like it ain’t no thang? No. You don’t. As soon as that tattoo reveal goes down everyone who sees it begins to think one of 3 things: You either A) Lost a bet B) Got blackout one night which led to the bad decision you just displayed or C) You’re a creep. A knee toucher. Basically Peewee Herman Jr.
And calling it a “Brony” doesn’t make it better. It just means you’re not facing what this whole situation really is: Awesome social marketing by Hasbro!
I mean, how geeked must the corporate titans over at Hasbro be with all this free advertising? People are paying money to get tats of their product! Pub like this is the wet dream of every marketer ever! This is the pinnacle of advertising success and brand loyalty. I mean, I had completely forgotten about the existence of my Little Pony (or any toys/dolls/actions figures for that matter) but now, they’re right back on my radar and I can’t stop thinking about them. Well played you evil marketing geniuses. Way to take this tragedy and spin it into dollars.
PS: I’m no economist, but I’m pretty sure the hospital bills for caring for a brain damaged kid aren’t cheap. 30 tats so far times $20 each is $600 bucks. Something tells me this fundraiser might come up a few duckets short. 6 hundo might pay for a sponge bath and a can of Ensure if the kid is lucky. Thanks a lot Obama. Better start charging a bit more per tat if you want to raise meaningful funds for those medical bills.