So I have an absolutely huge secret. A secret that makes my stomach tighten into knots at the thought of anybody finding out, that’s how embarrassing it is. In case you haven’t worked it out from the huuugggeee photo - I collect My Little Pony.
There’s no use trying to skirt around it delicately, but it’s not something I thought I would ever, ever talk about on my blog. It makes me feel like a complete and utter freak, but I thought it was time I finally spoke out about my dirty little secret.
I have almost 200 My Little Pony toys and I absolutely adore every last one of them, but at the same time I feel so awful about them. I really don’t know why I feel this way about my little plastic ponies – it’s not like I’m an alcoholic or drug addict. But the way people look at me when they first find out makes me feel like I am.
I tell people I’ve been collecting them since I was five, but I’ve actually only had the majority of my collection since I was fifteen. I kick-started my obsession with them after I found a small bag of six ponies in the bottom of my wardrobe, which I thought I had long since thrown away. I was upset at the time, I hadn’t yet been properly diagnosed with depression, but those little toys made me feel so much better. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor, carefully combing the knots out of their nylon hair and using nail polish remover to get the pen marks off their faces.
My first intention was to sell them. I spent hours researching their names and their value, but the more I learnt, the more I fell in love with them. To me they weren’t just any old toys that could be flogged on eBay, to me they were a way of escaping.
I threw myself into my new hobby with full-force. I learnt the best way to de-frizz hair with conditioner and fabric softener and how to restore original factory curls with boiling water and party straws. I could tell original flutter pony wings from reproduction ones with a quick glance and I could spot a little crop of nylon hair at a car-boot sale from half a mile away. At the time I was in a really bad relationship, so I soon found that buying myself another pony was a quick fix to make me feel better again.
I haven’t actually bought another pony in over a year. I simply lost interest in collecting until only the other day when I decided I would finally sell them. What people don’t realise is that my silly little collection is actually worth a lot of money, think easily triple figures. I pulled them all out of my wardrobe where I have carefully stashed them for the best part of two years, out of sight from anyone who ventures into my bedroom, and started loading them onto a selling page on Facebook, thinking of all the new makeup I could buy with the profits.
But then… I stopped. I looked at them. These little toys had made me so happy when I was at my worst. I had carried one in my bag to every single one of my GCSE and AS Level exams for good luck. I had sat and cried as I’d brushed their hair, spoke to them when I felt totally alone. Call me crazy, I don’t care anymore. Most of them are over thirty years old and I feel like they deserved better than to be shamefully stuffed away in a cupboard. Makeup expires, it runs out, but my lovely little ponies never will.
It still cringes me out when I first show my friends them and they recoil in horror, or simply shoot me a horrified look, but I'm learning not to care.
Judge me, insult me, call me a weirdo or a freak or a loser. My plastic ponies make me happy as hell, and that's all that matters.