“I am a warrior, but I’m a girl too”
This is seriously one of my favorite lines in the entire fucking series.
It just. Encompasses so much of the message that the series sends about women. A lot of other shows seperate the concepts of being a girl and being someone who can kick ass — you’re either feminine, or you’re a badass. There’s so little crossover.
And ATLA, god bless it, doesn’t do that. So many of the characters are REALLY, REALLY FEMININE and still REALLY, REALLY KICKASS. It’s wonderful. It was seriously such a huge inspiration growing up, seeing people like Ty Lee and Katara and etc. being two things that the rest of the media was telling me that you couldn’t be at the same time.
gonna quote this for my paper brb
#reasons why avatar is the best show ever
Avatar was groundbreaking in a million ways because it was intelligent and didn’t talk down to kids (addressing things from war to discrimination to abuse and parental issues and so on) about big things.
The more feminine characters, even the ones who weren’t mains or ‘good guys’, still were able to be kickass. The femininity or lack thereof didn’t determine how skilled a character was at fighting.
Avatar also had an incredibly ethnically and culturally diverse HUGE HUGE world with characters who acted like real people and real kids in really heavy situations.
Take Aang for example; if you were told at 12 years old that you had to leave the only family you ever had to be rushed through training to save the world, you’d probably run away too. If you had to save the world, you’d be incredibly stressed, especially if you thought to end everything you had to kill someone.
Or Zuko; if all your life your father had disdained you, and then finally accepted you only to scorn you, you would have a multitude of issues and cling to any hope of acceptance.
Or Sokka; if you had been left with much of the responsibility of defending your village because the army had already rolled through and killed many people, including your mother, you would try to be the leader. You would want to organize. You’d come up with ways to cope with the fact that you miss your parents and try not to think about how your dad might not come home and how woefully unprepared you would be against another attack.
Or Azula; if your mother had rejected you and disappeared, but you found complete acceptance in your father from a young age, of course you’re going to always agree with him.
I could really go on all day about this, but I won’t. I think I’ll save that for, like, a paper for school on the ethno-cultural diversity and treatment of gender in shows like this.
Also, can we talk about Toph for a minute? Because her ‘disability’ was honestly never something foisted on us to feel sorry for her for, and I find that absolutely amazing.
I mean, think about it. When there are differently-abled characters on most primetime dramas or other shows, it’s a big deal and the characters act like that lack of ability defines the character, when it’s completely incidental to their person.
She’s blind, but it’s never anything we’re supposed to look down on her for. It’s incidental to her personality. She is treated like a normal person because she IS a normal person, she just cannot see.
The amount of thought, love, and care that went into this show is amazing. The animation is absolutely gorgeous. But above all I think a lot of what draws people to the show is the characters, and how they act like real people.
And how they don’t reinforce stereotypes. You don’t have to be super-masculine to be kickass and awesome. Your ability (or lack thereof) doesn’t make you weak or something to be pitied. Girls can kick butt just as easily as boys. Hell, even age isn’t a determinate in being awesome—look at Iroh! Bumi! The whole of the White Lotus society!
It sends positive messages about everyone, and is just generally awesome. I can’t wait til Korra comes out because it looks amazing and Korra looks awesome and I just have a lot of feelings okay.
I love this show a lot.