There is something going on. Something that frustrates me and disappoints me. That thing is when potentially great works are disregarded because they are associated with a certain label or stereotype. When quality is ignored over content. When people say “This sucks because it’s ponies/furries/etc.” when artwise, plotwise, or ideawise, it’s very well done. So many artists, writers, and producers are going unnoticed, or being snuffed out before they can even reach the public because nobody can see the quality of their work. All they can see is the stereotype it fits with.
An artist of the blog Peter & Company pointed this out very well in their post about the Problem with the Furry Stereotype and how people who like to draw talking animal characters are automatically brushed off as “Furfags” despite how good their art may be.
Even I’ve had a few experiences myself. The latest one was when I wrote my first creepypasta, and it actually got narrated by Mutahar himself from SomeOrdinaryGamers. While I was super excited about this, I had made two big mistakes. The first being I mentioned I liked the older generations of Pokemon the best, the second being I mentioned that I played with My Little Ponies as a kid. As a result, half of the comment section was saying they hated the story because the writer was a “Brony”, and the other half because they were a “Genwunner”. Remember, all I mentioned was that the first Pokemon games were my favorite and that I had grown out of playing with ponies as a kid. First of all, neither of those things mean I’m a Brony or a Genwunner, and second, even if I was, it changes nothing in the quality of the story. If nobody cared about Bronies or Genwunners (as it should be) the attitude toward it would be much different.
This needs to stop.
People need to see art for what it is. People need to turn “This is a picture of (…) therefore it’s bad” into “Great job, it’s a really good picture even though I don’t like (…)”. It would make the world a much better place, give potential artists much more confidence, and open up doors to bring great things to the world that we may never have seen because of bigotry.
Another point I should make is that it’s okay to like something if you think it looks good, even if you don’t like its subjects, or maybe even the person who made it.
For example, I hate PinkiePony as much as everyone else here, but one day I found her DeviantArt, not even knowing who it was, and I thought “Hey, I really like this art, I just might follow them”. Of course I changed my mind as soon as I saw who it was, but that was wrong of me. You see, PinkiePony is an awful, horrible person, but that doesn’t make her any less of a good artist.
It’s perfectly okay to enjoy someone’s art even if you don’t like the person who made it. If you come across a piece of art and you find it appealing, but it’s by someone you don’t like, or contains ponies or furries or any other kind of thing you think is “bad”, it’s perfectly okay to think “Hey, this is a good piece of art”. It’s not going to turn you into a Brony or Furry if you think it’s good. It just means you have a taste in art and are capable of seeing the beauty in things. It means you’re capable of having an open mind! Embrace that!
Some Updates: I have been committing to this! There's this artist I follow (not naming who) who's journals usually consist of nothing but bashing and mocking who I am. Not literally of course, they don't even know I exist. Just bashing Christians, Republicans, and Pro-Lifers in general. This person is unbelievably shitty. But I really love their art, so instead of unwatching them altogether, thanks to DA's wonderful Watch settings, I just uncheck "Journals" and I never have to see them again! Just as long as their art itself stays secular... (TRUE secularism is avoiding all religious topics, including Atheism, especially Anti-theist topics)
I should probably touch on that. If a person is using their art specifically to do wrong and it hurts you, by all means avoid them. Their art may be good, and the message doesn't make it bad art, but don't think you have to watch someone if you like their style, but their messages hurt you.
Just a few tips for anyone else who may be trying out this mindset.