Build a new life for my son, in the air! Then everyone will be on equal ground! So to speak.
Alright, folks. Let’s talk about representation!
Imagine that you’re in the seventh grade. Middle school is…well…middle school. You love Avatar: The Last Airbender. Of course you do. It’s a wonderful show. And you love the airbenders. If there’s any bender that you could be…
Now imagine that you’re disabled and your doctors are telling you that your condition is worsening. You can barely walk down the hallway. Finally, one doctor quietly declares that you need a dangerous surgery. The room is spinning around as the nurse puts the mask over your nose. You count to ten and wake up several hours later. The doctors give you the grave news. The surgery didn’t go as well as they had hoped. You might be able to walk short distances but you will have to spend the rest of the time in the wheelchair. You’re twelve. You’re scared. You’re lying in the blindingly white hospital room. You pick up that weird remote that’s attached to the bed and turn on the television. The Northern Air Temple is on in a marathon that’s leading up to The Fury of Aang. You watch as Teo happily zooms through the air, his wheelchair converted into an amazing glider. A smile spreads across your face as you realize that you’re watching a character who is in a wheelchair and can still be an airbender. A character who is optimistic and filled with spirit, despite his disability. A character who is shown struggling with his disability but still finding hope. A character who gives you hope.
Now imagine that you’re twenty and entering your junior year of college. You still watch Avatar because it’s still a wonderful show with excellent characters. And you still remember how, many years ago, one of those characters gave you hope.
And that’s why representation is important!
And that’s one of the reasons why Avatar is such a great show.
And that’s why I will always be grateful towards Bryke and the rest of the cast/crew.