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    Rarity was a fish in a small pond. 

    No one in Ponyville cared about clothes, not really. Sometimes they wore them, sure, especially for Seeking Night, but beyond that, she’d always known she was niche. She dreamed of making it in Manehattan or Canterlot one day, where more ponies cared for such things, and she’d be famous and great, but back then, all she wanted was to share. 

    And she was good at it, too, which is relevant but not to build her up or put anyone down. 

    It was just a fact, as Twilight would say. A reality, that Rarity put enthusiasm into her work, and said enthusiasm drove her to be better not out of desire to be the best, but because, as mentioned before, she wanted to share the best with others. 

    And then, she got noticed. 

    She’d presented her clothing in Canterlot before, at showings here and there, getting clients where she could, but nothing big or special in a sense that mattered to society. 

    And then one day, she decided to try something new. A niche dress design she’d come up with after a particularly wonderful creative conversation with dearest Twilight. Their time spent together led to Rarity having an interest in magic, and she decided she wanted to honor that. 

    So she made a dress imbued with a magic spell that would make it so the dress would change color and design based on its wearer’s most ardent dream. 

    The dress itself wasn’t special, and neither was the magic, and it was true as well that she wasn’t the first to combine magic with fabric, but it was unique. It was her—a unicorn artist—and when she wore it to the local fair, she’d mostly expected only her friends to compliment it. 

    But, she found out, many ponies liked it. 

    Much more than she expected, and many more asking to buy it. 

    And she was happy. She was thrilled, and even more so when mares who’d never so much as glanced at a dress were suddenly curiously inspecting it. Trying it. 

    “Good heavens, Fluttershy!” she’d whispered, her voice harried and excited and out of breath and alive, the two of them holed up in the filly’s room to for a moment escape the dozen interested mares. “I already have twenty orders! Twenty!” 

    “Oh, I’m so happy, Rarity!” Fluttershy replied, and she was, and she meant it. “Can you do them?”

    Rarity nodded her head, inspired. Burning with delight. “Yes. Yes! Of course! Absolutely.” She giggled. “Come on, let’s go out. What if more ponies want a dress?”

    They hurried outside, and Rarity’s heart grew when there were still mares lingering about, trying the dress on in turns, delighted. Happy. 

    It was intoxicating to see. To live through. That something she’d made was being so loved by so many. 


    She turned around to find a stallion, Core Spark, standing a few feet away, staring at the garment with disdain. “It’s a shame it’s a dress,” he said. “The concept is very interesting, but… a dress? Could have been a cloak. It would work better as a cloak. More ponies can use it. It would be better.”

    Rarity blinked at him, off-put. “Pardon?”

    He ignored her. “I’ll give it a shot, I guess, for my wife.” He looked at her. “I’ll have one, too.”

    “Even if it’s a dress?” Rarity asked rather than ignoring him or telling him off for his rude and entitled remark.

    “I guess,” he replied. 

    “Rarity?” Fluttershy would say a day later, a slight edge to her voice. “I don’t understand. The dress doesn’t need a cloak. It was fine as a dress… That pony was awfully rude, why are you listening to him?”

    “No, no, darling. It’s perfectly fine,” Rarity replied. “And the cloak is detachable! It’s still a dress.”

    “Oh… Do they have to buy both, then?” Fluttershy asked, a little more at ease.

    Rarity didn’t wince. She didn’t. “No. You can buy the cloak separately. I’m actually making more of the cloaks than the dresses, I think.”

    Fluttershy frowned. “Rarity.

    “Oh, darling, really! it’s still what I want!” Rarity insisted to Fluttershy but most importantly herself. “I have to broaden my horizons if I want to improve!”

    Didn’t she? 

    “And, honestly, he’s right, a cloak would be much more—” The word accepted rested on the tip of her tongue. More marketable. Better for others. “–It would be more appealing to more than just mares. And that’s good. The dresses can be a little extra thing here and there. I’m a designer, darling, I’m here to provide a service.”

    “You’re here to create,” Fluttershy corrected. She then softly added, “A lot of mares like the dresses…”

    For a brief moment, Rarity stopped her sewing, her eyes traveling to her original dress. The one she’d loved for how it was and what it was. 

    “Alright,” she relented because Fluttershy was right. She had made that design wanting it to be a dress, and a dress it should… mostly…. stay. “I’ll sell them both or none at all. But I need to do this, dear. That stallion may not have liked it that much, but he took the time to comment.”

    She knew this because it was all she could think of. 

    Thirty mares had told her she was wonderful, but she was stuck on that remark, so much so that everything else faded away and only that remained. 

    And then she added:

    “Even if it was rude, he took the time to comment. The least I can do is try and use it to improve.” 

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    1. Sonicsuns
      Apr 6, '24 at 9:38 pm

      Beautiful. Heart-wrenching.

      Thank you for sharing this with us. Thank you for helping me feel less alone.

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