Tony Wayne owns Imperial Tattoo in Sugarland, and when he heard the story about an 11-year-old child clinging it to life it hit a resonant chord.
The child, Michael Morones of Zebulon, North Carolina loves My Little Pony, and was bullied often because of it. He’s not the only guy with a fondness for the cartoon.
“All through the month of February, we’re doing My Little Pony tattoos for $20.00,” says Tony Wayne. “We’re donating proceeds to help stomp out bullying-dot-org and partly to Michael Morones health care fund.”
Hasbro, the toy-maker of My Little Pony, intended the animated television show, videos and toys would appeal to young girls, and their mothers. The theme is “friendship is magic,” and it serves up a wholesome, family-oriented series of stories. Out of the blue, Hasbro discovered that My Little Pony had a strong following among males 12-30, attracted for essentially the same reasons females liked the show and product. Adult men liked the positive message for their kids, same as moms, and young boys like the emphasis on friends. In 2012, a documentary was made about this male phenomenon called “Bronys.”
Tony Wayne says the response at his tattoo shop has been overwhelming, and is attracting both men and women.
Young Michael Morones couldn’t take the taunts, shame and bullying because of his love for My Little Pony any longer. He hung himself from his bunk bed. His parents found him in the nick of time, unconscious and unresponsive, and rushed him to the hospital. Doctors are still not able to determine the degree of brain damage caused by the extended length of time oxygen did not get to his brain. He’s on a breathing tube and a feeding tube.
“I recently found out I was going to be a father,” Jonathan Myers tells KTRH News. He is among the dozens who have gotten a My Little Pony tattoo. “The age of the young boy combined with everything that happened just really touched my heart.” Myers says people in the tattoo community can identify with being ridiculed and persecuted.
Michael Morones’ step-dad contacted Tony Wayne, expressed his gratitude and said such gestures make it a little bit easier for him as he tries to adjust to the realities of his new life.