• Editorial: My Relatable Pony: Starlight Glimmer


    Starlight Glimmer: A pony with a childhood pain she just couldn't shake. Living most of her life in the shadow of that one moment, Starlight is finally getting a chance to move out into the sunshine. She doesn't fully understand how healthy friendships work yet, but she's also not willing to give up and return to who she was.

    If you ever felt like you related to this mare, well this is the post for you. Join me in a quick review of what makes Starlight so relatable.

    We are all aware that Starlight's biggest motivation for manipulating an entire town into giving up their cutie marks was losing her foalhood friend, right? But there's a lot more to this mare than just that one moment.

    Now that she's reformed, she's got a few traits I think we all can relate to in some measure. I'm going to try and hit just the major two for each season. Remember, we haven't had a long time with Miss Glimmers, but I think there's plenty to see in ourselves here.

    Season 5: The Cutie Map: Having a double standard.

    "Either we' all get high set ponytails or none of us do!"

    Starlight expecting others to live by her life philosophy while avoiding it herself, that’s a double standard if ever I saw one. I don’t like to admit it, and I’ve never brainwashed an entire town over it, but I sometimes hold a double standard too.

    Maybe our standards aren’t as over the top as Glimmers', but I know we all have them. For me, it’s weaving in and out of traffic. I hate being cut off in my car, but somehow when I do it to others it’s fine. (I know I’m a horrible person, and I apologize.) Starlight takes this to an extreme, of course, but I think we can all relate to holding others to ideas we don’t set for ourselves.

    Season 5: The Cutie Re-mark: Undermining what you don’t have.

    Just because your friendships are filled with love, support and security doesn't mean they're better than my loneliness!

    When Starlight tells Twilight, “No group of friends, not even Princess Twilight’s, is that important,” I found myself relating. Sometimes, when others have something you want, you begin to convince yourself that what you wanted isn't really special. It's a way to try and deal with the hurt of not having it. Starlight didn't have her friend, and so she didn't want Twilight to have hers.

    Starlight couldn't see any friendship as good simply because her's hadn't ended up that way. This doesn't give her the right to try and destroy Twilight's friendships, but it's relatable how jealous and hurt Glimmers becomes. In Starlight's mind, if she had been successful in ruining the mane 6's relations, it would justify all the lies she had come to believe about friendship.

    Season 6: Every Little Thing She Does: Misunderstanding quality time.

    Instead of all these random activities, why not one big game of Uno?

    So Starlight was supposed to spend time with each of the mane 6 to work on friendship lessons. But since we’re taking about Starlight, she resorted to magic when she got nervous.

    Starlight is good at magic, but doesn’t have a lot of experience spending quality time with others let alone doing things other's like to do. She fears that if she can’t do the task the other pony enjoys, she will somehow ruin the friendship. We’ve all been there. Someone we care about is super passionate about something we just can’t connect to. We fear what the other person will think of us and we're worried about messing up the project.

    Starlight has trouble appreciating just being with another pony. She’s so very task-oriented believing her performance is what strengthens her friendships. Glimmers is still learning that others just want to be with her, not just with her talents. If you can relate, then this whole episode probably resonates with you.

    Season 6: To Where and Back Again: Fearing a step back.

    If I can't see you, you can't see me!

    It’s never easy to move forward from a rough past. For Starlight, going back to the place where she hurt so many wasn’t just a bunch of bad memories, it was facing the fact that the potential to use manipulation was, and is, still inside of her. She’s hurt others before with her leadership; bad habits don’t disappear overnight.

    Maybe you can relate to resorting back to an older version of yourself when under pressure. You’re not proud of it, but it’s one of those inner demons you just have to face off with sometimes. It’s great Twilight suggested Starlight bring a friend along to keep her grounded (even if that friend turned out to be Trixie.)

    "I know you’re afraid to be in charge, but you are really good at it.”
    Starlight doesn’t want to go back to who she was, but it’s going to take more than sheer willpower for her. She’s going to draw her strength from those who see the change in her. It’s important to remember friends can help us combat the darker parts of ourselves. Next to Princess Luna, I think Starlight really needs the connection to others to help her cope with her past failings.

    What I hope we all relate to here is leaning on others to support us as we face those old habits.

    Season 7: All Bottled Up: Hiding anger.

    Think happy thoughts, Starlight!
    If you can’t relate to anything else Starlight has done, you should at least feel this. No one wants to admit their mad with their friends, especially when they don’t have many. Starlight is angry with Trixie and rightly so. The magician hasn’t really been considerate throughout the series.

    Still, being angry isn’t really one of those emotions we consider to be good for friendship. With Starlight trying to master lessons in friendship, it makes sense why she immediately tried to hide her ire instead of having an open conversation with Trixie. There can be so many negative ramifications when we share our negative feelings with others.
    Trixie: I don't know which is worse: Finding out I'm a jerk or having to start considering your feelings.

    I relate to hiding my true displeasure from my friends. We all need to work as Starlight did to share our feelings, even if they aren't always good ones. How else can we learn to respect each other?


    Season 7: Shadow Play: Having core beliefs and sticking to them.

    Starlight: I'm not even gonna waste my breath saying, "I told you so."
    This moment was quick, hardly a frame, but while everypony else is shocked by the thought that Stygian didn’t want to steal their powers, Starlight is standing there unfazed. She never doubted herself for a moment: she knew this was a friendship problem. She believes deep down that anypony can change because she has.

    Starlight has a core belief that nopony is beyond help. It’s as admirable.

    Join me, I don't bite . . . anymore.
    No matter what Starlight faces, she will always have a part of herself that sympathizes with the outcast or villain. She sees herself in these rogues and she wants to see them reform. I think we all relate to having core beliefs the define us and we shouldn't back down from them. Maybe it’s not reforming but rather caring for nature, loving family, or having a strong work ethic. Whatever's at our core, it helps us respond to the world and builds us into the people we are.

    Starlight knows what she's about, and that is second chances for every pony. Starlight will continue to grow into a very forgiving character because of this belief.

    You Want More Starlight?

    Well, luckily for you there's the comment section. Surely I missed some of Starlight's greatest moments as I must confess, I don't relate to her strongly, at all. (Gasp, I know!) With so many of you that do, I think you can drum-up more examples. Go forth, tell what you relate to.


    For archival purposes, you can find the IntenseDebate comments for this post (if any) archived over here