The CMC was bullied by Babs Seed during her stay in Ponyville, and exactly WHAT had Applejack or anypony did to stop it?
NOTHING. Absolutely, jack-all, NOTHING. It was right under everypony's bucking nose, and they didn't notice it at all.
It's absurd and heartbreaking, really. Take Applebloom: poor filly never known her mother and father, so Applejack and Big Macintosh (and probably Granny Smith and Cheerilee as well) are the closest thing to parental figures Applebloom had ever known. She putted her faith on them to provide her with their loving care, knowledge and protection as she grows up, because she has NO BUCKING CHOICE.
And in regard to protecting Applebloom from DT and SS throughout the series, Applejack and Big Macintosh had done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to remedy the situation, other than being ABSOLUTE FAILURES of being her guardian in her time of need.
Did they go to tell off DT and SS? Nope. Did they talk to Filthy Rich (A reasonable pony, I may add) to ask her daughter to stop? Nope. Did they teach Applebloom how to stand up to bullies and not be a victim? Not at all. Did they even notice? No, no and NO.
Many people who had been a victim of bullying, regardless of age, would know just how emotionally (and physically) damaging being constantly teased, insulted, picked on and attacked, with the bullies always finding a way to get away with it, and any nearby adults nearby being absolute useless at stopping it. Do AJ and Big Mac even begin to realize how much it must had HURT for Applebloom and her friends? To be picked on by Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon every. Single. DAY?
Bullied victims would easily lose hope in this situation. People had been driven to suicide, for pity's sake, or just as bad, retributive violence against the bullies themselves.
How can Applebloom ever NOT lose hope of, and still look up to Applejack and Big Mac, as parental figures in the face of DT and SS's relentless attacks is beyond me. Dear heavens, how can she possibly call them FAMILY when they can't be with her at her time of need?
No doubt they probably had some stupid shallow excuse for their failure, most of them would probably revolve around being 'selectively oblivious' of the situation I can imagine it now:
"Ah got a farm to run!", says Applejack, "It ain't that important tah me; it's one of 'em things that foals go through."
"I got classes to teach!" Cheerilee says, "I'll put a few rules about name-calling on the blackboard; THAT should fix the problem"
"It's too hard to tell who's the bully or the victim when they get into fights!" Says everypony, "so let's punish everyone!/Ignore it completely!".
They don't think it's worth enough of their attention, so they put nominal effort to solve it; not enough to solve the problem, just enough to ease their guilty conscience. They might even not do anything because they reason that it is SOMEHOW the CMCs' own fault that she's bullied!
The only way they could make things worse is if they tell Applebloom and rest of the CMC that standing up to the bully makes you "Just as bad" as the bullies themselves, which happens in real life. A few people I know said that fighting back pretty much makes you worse than a demon.
That's effectively telling them to 'Suck it up and take it like a *****'.
Bullies attack their victims precisely because they are 'easy, acceptable' targets. The CMC are fillies without cutie marks, effectively outcasts in a sentient equine society that espouses and celebrates talent through magical rear markings. Add that one of them is from a poor farmer background, and one is assumed to be an orphan with a disability, that more or less paints bulls-eyes on the CMC to be picked on, by DT and SS or just about anyone.
The only way the bullied can stop the torment is either remove themselves from the outcast status, or to make it too hard for the bullies. Since without a Cutie Mark, the CMC can't do the former, that means they must STAND UP to the bullies, to make it too difficult and challenging for the bullies to pick them on. You got insulted? Insult them back. Got beaten? Fight back, take martial arts class, at least land a few punches on them.
Even if you get beaten to a pulp in the process, or mis-blamed and punished by the useless adults, that's perfectly alright; bullies prey on weakness, so if you can wound them back in anyway, to show them that you are not WEAK, then you would eventually convince them that you are worth too much effort to bully. They'll switch targets.
Is standing up to someone who's hurting means you are a bully? The answer, is a big, resounding NO!
In nature, many prey animals survive by fighting back viciously against their predators, who would eventually avoid them to prevent damage to themselves. To try and somehow gain a 'moral victory' by telling them not to sink to the bullies level by fighting back is ABSURD. The bullied victims will ALWAYS have the moral high ground by default, having not done anything to the bullies at all to warrant their torment*; It's never their fault that they are bullied, unlike SOME people want you to believe.
The bullied are free to use ANY MEANS NECESSARY to get out of torment**
This is why I still couldn't find it in me to fault the CMC for nearly pulling that epic prank on Babs Seed - they didn't know Babs was a bullied victim, and only turned to bullying in Ponyville to escape DT and SS's torment. If Babs was cast as a one-dimensional rotten bully like DT and SS are, I would had cheered the CMC on!
Going back to the main point, would Applejack and Big Macintosh ever go to protect Applebloom from the bullies in future episodes of MLP FIM? Unlikely, and for that, character-wise, they have my continued utter contempt on this regard. If the show-writers could put in a scene that they actually do their Celestia-damned role as Applebloom's guardians and tell off Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, well, I'll be surprised and relieved. The same applies for the rest of the CMC and their 'supposed' guardians.
Alright, rant over. I rest my case. I've been there before, a victim of relentless bullying. I swear, powers-that-be willing, I'll NEVER be a victim again. I hope the same for Applebloom and the CMC in the show.
= = =
*[Whatever 'freudian excuse' that led to the bullies to go torment others merely explains why they did it, but it never justifies their action or make them sympathetic. Many bronies had written fanfics that tries to make DT and SS sympathetic; hell, one of my friend has, but those fics never made DT's and SS's behavior justified to me; was Hitler and Stalin justified to kill tens of millions of people because they had rotten childhoods? Don't answer that; OF COURSE NOT!]
**[This does not justify suicide and murder. Committing suicide is useless, because there's nothing to gain for the victims. And if you believe God exists, you know they'll go to Hell, Gehenna, Tartarus or whatever dark underworld, thus even worse torment, because suicide is a sin in most religions. Committing murder is not warranted, because that would land you in even worse trouble with the law.]
idk maybe you're right, but while drawing this I didn't think about it too much or their personalities... The thought was that Babs is Appleblooms cousin, so even though all three of them were bullied, Applebloom was the one who got back-stabbed by a family member. maybe I'm wrong but it made a lot of sense at first