Cutie Marks are distinctive markings that appear on the flank of adult ponies, representing their special talent, personality and/or purpose in life.
DesignThe cutie mark generally appears before a filly enters her teenage years, magically appearing once they discover what it is that makes them unique. Many of these cutie marks are shared with other ponies, for instance several ponies possess the hourglass cutie mark and Music notes are also common. No magic can make this cutie mark appear before it’s time, attempts will just cause dozens of potential cutie marks to appear and fade out.
This process doesn’t occur at a set time, which can cause some distress for late bloomers. In Ponyville the term ‘Blank Flank’ became a term of abuse for those who had not yet discovered their cutie marks. It is unknown if a pony can enter adulthood without a cutie mark, though several ponies have been seen lacking them.
A cutie mark is perhaps most important to Unicorn Ponies, as it indicates a pony’s capacity for magic. Unicorns can only do magic within the sphere suggested by their cutie mark, though this can be wide. Rarity for instance has a diamond cutie mark and has demonstrated the ability to locate gemstone deposits, but also put on elaborate light shows and illusions. Some unicorns possess cutie marks representing magic itself, through study these ponies can learn a wide range of potential spells. Examples include Twilight Sparkle and Trixie. Every Cutie Mark has its own shape or design. Most of the time it's 3 objects representing the pony, but it can also be 2 or 1. Earth ponies often have food-related or horseshoe marks, unicorn ponies have astrological symbols, and pegasus ponies have weather-related symbols.