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“Stepping up the cringe” or “The Brutal Brony” is a two panel image macro showing the transformation of a metal-head into a brony.
On April 13, 2012, a reddit user, bfgmovies, uploaded an image of himself poking fun at his transformation from a hardcore metal-head and weapons specialist into a pony loving brony.  The image was posted on the My Little Pony subreddit, and got a total of 705 karma points.
In early 2013, the image was seen floating around on 4chan which made it’s way to the Google image search engine. This is when reddit user Pineo found the image and uploaded it to the cringepics subreddit on Febuary 20, 2013. The post made it’s way to the front page, with a total of 2011 karma points and was subsequently seen by the original poser, bfgmovies. Bfgmovies made an appearance in the comments, and was warmly welcomed by the cringpics redditors after he explained the image and the meaning behind the image. The redditors began tagging bfgmovies with different names, till the name “Brutal Brony” was decided on, and the mods flaired him as such. Much criticism was given to bfgmovies for his lack of trigger discipline and poor handling of the firearm since bfgmovies worked as a gunsmith. To these comments he replied “I wanted to create a certain image when taking the pic, so to create the image of a guy who thinks he’s some badass metal-head, but really isn’t, I knew it would help if he had his finger on the trigger. I am very safe with my firearms and i know how to properly treat and hold them and i still took all the necessary precautions when taking the pic. I had the firing pin out and other random parts out, i took the pic after i had an idea while cleaning my gun. It was purposely done for the sake of effect and image”.
The image started making more appearances on 4chan’s /mlp/ and /b/ boards, and made it’s way to the fan administrated 4chan facebook page, which further spread it’s usage.
Reddit – The power of ponies Posted on 4-13-2012
fn2. Reddit – Stepping up the cringe Posted on 2-20-2013
fn3. Reddit – Stepping up the cringe Posted on 2-20-2013
fn4. Facebook- Stepping up the cringe Posted on 2-28-2013
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