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Author Topic: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?  (Read 1091 times)

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Offline TheBeatlesPkmnFan42

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2017, 05:15:31 PM »
As a collectors terms like "symbol" or "cutie mark" are useful for buying selling toys.  "Hair: Good.  Eyes: Slight rubs.  Body: No marks.  Symbol: Rub on right side."  So you can describe ponies in a systematic way. It just seems easier to have a word for it IMO.  Like, I don't see any advantages in not having a word for it.

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Offline Baby Sugarberry

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2017, 03:09:21 AM »
Yep, it was primarily for ID'ing and describing condition, thus the single short word choice.  "symbol" is easy and not likely to be misinterpreted.  "paint" doesn't work since it also applies to say, the eyes.  And 'markings' doesn't differentiate from the hoof trademarks/year/country of production and printed design. 

'Rump design' was used during G1 (and possibly 'brand' as well?), but it wasn't on the packaging until G2.  G1 princesses' packaging referred to their 'medallions', Merry-go-Rounds used 'design'.  It really is strange it's never directly mentioned given that's one of the defining characteristics of a MLP.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 03:13:26 AM by Baby Sugarberry »
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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2017, 03:53:08 AM »
If the best I could come up with was "rump design" I'd avoid mentioning them too, lol!
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Offline Wardah

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2017, 04:21:04 AM »
Yep, it was primarily for ID'ing and describing condition, thus the single short word choice.  "symbol" is easy and not likely to be misinterpreted.  "paint" doesn't work since it also applies to say, the eyes.  And 'markings' doesn't differentiate from the hoof trademarks/year/country of production and printed design. 

'Rump design' was used during G1 (and possibly 'brand' as well?), but it wasn't on the packaging until G2.  G1 princesses' packaging referred to their 'medallions', Merry-go-Rounds used 'design'.  It really is strange it's never directly mentioned given that's one of the defining characteristics of a MLP.

Just "design" actually seems perfect. I've always felt "symbol" isn't suitable for some of the ones that are more complex than just a small image on their butt.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2017, 04:21:09 PM »
I have this feeling it is on the packaging, but I need to actually check that to make sure it's not my imagination. I know the term rump mark was used in the comics. All my notes up to coming online refer to rump marks and I wouldn't have known what that was unless it was actually used for them. Like Earth pony, that just seeped in there because that's what Hasbro called them, not because it necessarily made sense.

I am happy enough with symbol or design, they're both generic words that mean something on the pony. Cutie mark doesn't really mean anything more than rump mark, except it avoids mentioning the pony's rear end...but that's generally where such marks are, and so I feel like Hasbro are ignoring the elephant in the room by making it cutie? The more you think on it, the more disturbing cutie mark actually becomes as a term....


Moving back to the original subject of my post...

So a quick flick through my backcard photos finds that Hasbro uses a lot of terms for the designs on the ponies. Obviously a lot of my cards are UK cards but not all. I looked at ones that have notable symbols.

Party (TAF) ponies are the "most beautifully patterned"
Magic Message : US card "Rub to reveal surprise" (doesn't tell you what to rub ;)"
                           UK card "gently rub the rump designs to reveal two secret messages"
                                        "Each Magic Message Pony has a touch sensitive rump marking..."
Sundae Best (UK cards)  -  no mention, just mention of being scented.
Precious Pocket (US) - "a pocket full of fun"
Pocket Friends (UK equivalent of above) "with a pocket full of surprises/ a pocket full of fun"
Surprise Newborn (UK) as mentioned before "surprise friend"
SHS (US Card) "Fancy floral design"


So a wide range. I can't go through the inserts or other adverts from here because that paperwork is all at home, but in the UK the rump word was used and I am pretty sure it was used in the comics. Maybe that is a UK thing though...I dunno O.o.  Hasbro's 1987 catalogue for the UK also refers to the Princess Ponies as having jewelled rump markings. I can't find mention of that on the photos I have of Pearl and Ruby's boxes but I can't check them while in London and don't have a picture of the very top portion for some reason.

So I guess Hasbro decided since the 1980s that a term that refers to a pony's posterior is not suitable for children in the twenty first century. Mind boggles rather at that. Also interesting that the US Magic Message card seems to avoid using any word (although the front of my Floater card is ripped, so I might be missing something else.)

« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 04:37:22 PM by Taffeta »

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Offline LadyMoondancer

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2017, 05:17:37 PM »
Cutie mark is supposed to be a play on "beauty mark".  Mentioning this because I went through all of G3 without realizing this, then suddenly had a revelation that it was a pun a few years into G4.  I still wish they'd gone with insignia, symbol, badge, design . . . but oh well!

It's so interesting that the UK Magic Message cards mention "rump designs" while the US don't!  The US TAF cards say "The most beautiful ponies in Ponyland!" (1st set) and "Twice as pretty for double the fun!"
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 05:21:15 PM by LadyMoondancer »
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2017, 06:23:14 PM »
In that case it is lost in translation because we generally say beauty spot in the UK...

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Offline Sunset

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2017, 07:01:27 PM »
Cutie mark is supposed to be a play on "beauty mark".  Mentioning this because I went through all of G3 without realizing this, then suddenly had a revelation that it was a pun a few years into G4. 

Yes, it's meant to be a pun.  And it's not the first time it's been done.  Dot from Animaniacs used "cutie mark" to refer to her beauty mark at least once in the show.


I prefer "symbol" to "design" because I use "design" to mean something else.  I might say," I like this pony's/character's design."  And by that I mean more that just the symbol/cutie mark.  I mean the overall aesthetic, color choices for body and hair, etc.

Thanks for all that info, Taffeta.  It definitely sounds like UK Hasbro took far more advantage  of "rump mark" than US Hasbro did.  I myself don't remember hearing the term until I had been online for a while.  I do find it interesting that the word "brand" isn't thrown out there more often as they are in the same place as a brand was typically put on real horses/cattle.  But maybe that would be too confusing considering the other use of the word "brand" withing marketing.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 07:07:36 PM by Sunset »

Offline Wardah

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2017, 09:21:08 PM »
I dunno but "symbol" still irks me especially for G1-G3. Mostly because a symbol is supposed to be symbolic of something and, as an example, milkshakes all over isn't really symbolic of anything. At least in G4 they are symbolic of the special talent a pony has.
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Offline Baby Sugarberry

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2017, 09:52:32 PM »
I dunno but "symbol" still irks me especially for G1-G3. Mostly because a symbol is supposed to be symbolic of something and, as an example, milkshakes all over isn't really symbolic of anything. At least in G4 they are symbolic of the special talent a pony has.

Most G1-G3's symbols are symbolic of their name, personality, or interest.  How can you get more symbolic than that?  The whole 'special talent' thing is hardly new or exclusive to G4.  It's been around since the very first line.
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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2017, 05:14:32 AM »
I dunno but "symbol" still irks me especially for G1-G3. Mostly because a symbol is supposed to be symbolic of something and, as an example, milkshakes all over isn't really symbolic of anything. At least in G4 they are symbolic of the special talent a pony has.

Posey gardens, Gusty blows wind, Skywishes makes wishes for her friends. That's unsymbolic of  name and something they do how exactly?
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2017, 09:37:04 AM »
I find the idea that the symbol should relate to the pony's destiny really confining and restrictive. It's like the ponies themselves may love the idea of something when they are young but then suddenly when they are adults, they can't change that because they already have a symbol. Which to me is ridiculous when thinking of ponies like Shaggy, for example. Yes, I'm going to stand upside down on my head forever like Untidy Ted. That's going to look great on her CV ;)

The UK comic did try with illogical symbols to make them logical. Gusty had the power to blow leaves together into piles etc when it was autumn but she was also the baby pony nurse which was a completely separate destiny from her symbol and I like that. Bouquet's name is flowery but she had a giant hat she could fly on, like a magic carpet. I much prefer the idea that ponies look how they look and are who they are. But that's maybe because the comic stretched through most of the pony lines available here, so most of them had that kind of opportunity to have a personality, maybe a magic trait and perhaps something related to their symbol or maybe not. Fizzy was clumsy and she was also the hostess of Fizziwhizz night. Fizzy the name clearly links to her soda symbol but she's more iconic in the UK for the two things I mentioned above, thus making the 'fizz' refer to fireworks. And of course she's iconic in the US for having a 'fizzy' bubblehead personality, again making more of her as a character than tying her rigidly to her symbol.

...I don't like the cutie mark destiny concept. I think it tells kids that once they've chosen what their life will be then they are stuck with it - and that's categorically not true.

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Offline Baby Sugarberry

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2017, 10:07:13 AM »
...I don't like the cutie mark destiny concept. I think it tells kids that once they've chosen what their life will be then they are stuck with it - and that's categorically not true.

Not to mention the implied "there is One Thing you will be awesome at and that is going to be the thing you are known for, forever."  And the whole deep dark can of worms that was opened by the episode where they switched marks and weren't happy with each other's lives, but felt compelled to do them because 'that's what their cutie marks were telling them to be'.
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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2017, 04:18:07 PM »
I find the idea that the symbol should relate to the pony's destiny really confining and restrictive. It's like the ponies themselves may love the idea of something when they are young but then suddenly when they are adults, they can't change that because they already have a symbol. Which to me is ridiculous when thinking of ponies like Shaggy, for example. Yes, I'm going to stand upside down on my head forever like Untidy Ted. That's going to look great on her CV ;)

:rofl:

The cutie mark destiny thing is something that I think they didn't really think through.. it has interesting implications, like you said. Which I think would be interesting to explore, but the show doesn't appear to ever do that, from what I've heard...


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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Early meaning of "cutie mark"?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2017, 06:46:06 PM »
...I don't like the cutie mark destiny concept. I think it tells kids that once they've chosen what their life will be then they are stuck with it - and that's categorically not true.

Not to mention the implied "there is One Thing you will be awesome at and that is going to be the thing you are known for, forever."  And the whole deep dark can of worms that was opened by the episode where they switched marks and weren't happy with each other's lives, but felt compelled to do them because 'that's what their cutie marks were telling them to be'.
I actually find some of those ideas problematic. I mean, the idea that a bad guy is going to become your friend if you are nice enough to them....really worries me because it encourages kids to trust people who maybe they shouldn't trust. Some bad people are just going to be bad people. And friendship is a great thing, but I worry about how many kids' shows privilege it as a theme nowadays. It's a lot more complicated than that for some kids to find friends. (I also don't really believe Twilight and co are friends, but they're kind of forced to be because of the Elements of Harmony). Weirdly, I do believe they are friends in EQG, but I think that's, again, because of Sunset Shimmer changing the balance and making them all kind of work a little harder at being friends.

And cutie marks defining who they are is like someone else is telling you what you have to be and you have to fulfil that even if you don't want to. It stands in stark contrast to what Mattel tried to do with Ever After High (albeit maybe they failed) in implying your destiny wasn't carved out for you and you could still write a new story even if the world was trying to push you in a particular direction. I know the cutie marks aren't pushing them necessarily, but having to live up to your cutie mark...I mean, what if your cutie mark is a skull and crossbones but you like ballet? Do you become the first ever ballerina pirate? I just don't know.

(Also, unless Fluttershy is going to become a butterfly, I don't get how her mark really reflects her personality. There are lots of other ways to reflect being gentle or reflect being fond of nature...which I think are her two main attributes).

Also - someone mentioned about brands as a term? I imagine they avoided that to avoid the inconvenient fact that branding an animal is usually a mark of ownership. That would imply the ponies were enslaved to some other power, which is a very...dark..path to go down. Definitely better to call them cutie marks, which may sound silly, but is generally not implying they're all possessions.

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