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Our favorite girlpower moments from Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender

ICYMI, Netflix just premiered the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, and tbh, we can't stop talking about it. Seeing Appa and Momo flying around, Team Avatar fighting side by side and the poor cabbage merchant getting caught in Zuko's firebending crossfire made the series totally nostalgic and everything we could've hoped for.

But the best part? The girlpower scenes. The OG series wasn't one to shy away from feminism and strong female characters, and the live-action showed us girls just how much we're truly capable of. (Psst: Potential spoilers ahead!)

Katara learning to waterbend

Katara is practically the definition of girlpower. With a tragic backstory that resulted in her being the only waterbender left in the Southern Water Tribe, she's used to having the odds stacked against her. She doesn't let her circumstances hold her back, though. Katara never gives up when her abilities fail, and she eventually teaches herself how to waterbend successfully (*and* creates her own moves inspired by Omashu's earthbenders while she's at it, NBD).

Some skills, whether it be crocheting or understanding complex fractions, just aren't going to come naturally to you. But don't give up. Be persistent like Katara and have faith that all your hard work will pay off. 

Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors protecting their island


Suki is nothing short of iconic. She leads the Kyoshi Warriors in protecting one of the Earth Kingdom's islands...*without* being earthbenders themselves. The warriors' lack of bending doesn't stop them from being fierce competitors, though. Suki and her girls easily restrain Team Avatar when they first arrive, and they more than hold their own in the fight against the Fire Nation.

Some might see Suki's lack of bending skills as a weakness, but she doesn't let that hold her back. Instead, she's confident in her abilities and never downplays her strength. The next time you're feeling down about something you perceive to be a "weakness," remember that you have plenty of strengths—it's all about how you wield them.

Katara fighting back against Jet

Even a fierce warrior like Katara can get distracted by cute guys at times—DW girl, we've all been there. But she quickly comes to her senses when she realizes Jet's morals don't quite align with hers. Katara understands why he might want to hurt the firebenders, but she also knows that not every Fire Nation member is bad. So instead of just going along with what Jet wants, Katara stands up to him and returns to Aang and Sokka to help save the world.

When romance gets involved, it can be easy to want to change yourself so your crush will like you back. We're here to tell you that this is not the move. Be like Katara and stay true to who you are. If you're truly meant to be with someone, they'll support you. And if not, you always have your BFFs to lean on.

Azula standing up to Ozai


Azula may be teaming up with the bad guys, but her strength and bravery are admirable. She constantly dominates her opponents, whether it's in archery or hand-to-hand combat, and she is ready to take her skills to the real world. Her dad (aka Firelord Ozai) doesn't agree and demands that she keep training, but Azula knows that she's capable of greatness. So she casually bends some lightning and shows her father just how powerful she is, resulting in her being promoted to a Fire Nation leader.

Azula is clearly a villain, but there's still plenty to learn from her. The next time someone doubts you or your capabilities, stand up for yourself. Remember that you know yourself better than anyone and that you're worthy of being taken seriously.

Katara challenging Master Pakku

The last two episodes of the season feature some of our fave examples of girlpower. After reaching the Northern Water Tribe, Katara is stoked to finally meet and learn from other waterbenders. Unfortunately, Master Pakku isn't exactly a star feminist when he informs Katara that female waterbenders are only allowed to learn healing skills and cannot assist in combat.

This obvi doesn't sit well with our girl, so Katara disagrees with Pakku and goes head-to-head with him, showing off the extent of her waterbending skills.

And (as if that wasn't enough), Katara gathers the women waterbenders to fight against the Fire Nation attacks on their tribe. Pakku has no choice but to agree to their help and even sends some of his men to learn new skills from Katara. With a little help from Aang, the tribe successfully takes down Ozai's soldiers, proving that girls have some serious strength.

These moments of bravery can be reminders to never accept being told that girls can't do something. Girls are just as capable as boys and have plenty to offer. The next time you face injustice or are undervalued, channel your inner Katara—stand up for yourself and let your girlpower shine.

Follow us on IG @girlslifemag for more girl power inspo!

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🔥Lily Gladstone's Golden Globe win is a triumph for Indigenous portrayal in film

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by Maggie Salter | 3/7/2024