The latest issue of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic follows the three Cutie Mark Crusaders, Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle, as they plan on taking out a group of young ponies for a night camping in the woods in order to try to help them unlock their cutie marks.
Whilst they have planned for a weekend of apple picking, swimming, cooking out, and possibly even bungee jumping, their plans are thrown out when Rarity arrives to tell them that Fancy Pants is on his way from Canterlot, and that his niece, Gilded Lilly, will be taking part in their excursion in order to try to get her cutie mark too.
With Fancy Pants wanting his niece to have a Cutie Mark in something ‘important and influential’, the girls are unsure of how to go about helping the young pony, but proceed to run the event the way they normally would.
Over the course of the day a number of ponies manage to get their cutie marks in things like bird watching, and cooking, but Gilded Lilly is sad throughout. Fortunately for her, she enjoys astronomy, and gets to come out of her shell when she has to correct the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who know nothing about it and are getting their constellations wrong.
With her love for astronomy evident, Gilded Lilly unlocks her own cutie mark, a telescope with stars. Instead of making her happy, this reduces her to tears, as she feels that the cutie mark will let her family down because it’s not like theirs.
After a short heart to heart with Scootaloo, she agrees to talk to her uncle about her worries. Thankfully, her uncle proves to be incredibly understanding, and can see that astronomy matters so much to her. He tells her that whilst she might not enjoy socialising as much as the rest of the family, she’s going to be important and influential in her own way.
Skipping forwards a couple of weeks, the Cutie Mark Crusaders get a letter from Gilded Lilly, who tells them that she has now started working at the Canterlot Observatory, and that she and her uncle are holding a fundraiser for it, proving that she is indeed influential in her own way.
It’s a nice little story, one that puts across the message that you don’t have to quite live up to people’s expectations in order to be special, that you can follow your own path and be true to yourself by still make the people close to you proud. It’s an important message, one that tells readers that you don’t have to follow a strict path set out by others, but can be who you really are.