Weeks ago while browsing my Facebook news feed, and I stumbled upon an advertisement for an exclusive t-shirt with a picture of Suki captioned with her line, “I am a warrior, but I’m a girl, too.” I had forgotten about this quote, but when I read it I remember her saying it to Sokka in the first episode she appeared in. That phrase resonated with me so much I ended up buying the shirt. Why? Because this is part of my main philosophy about what it means to be a woman.
Suki is an underrated Avatar: The Last Airbender character. Katara, Toph, and Azula steal the thunder, and Suki only appears in a small amount of the show’s episodes, but I believe she deserves some attention. Suki is a Kyoshi warrior, one of many trained in the fighting style of Avatar Kyoshi. Additionally, she is the leader of the Kyoshi warriors meaning she is a fierce fighter and upholder of generations of tradition. She dresses in ceremonial garb and fights with fans and sword. She is Sokka’s first crush, and she begins to teach him about what it means to be a warrior, something his father didn’t have time at home to. But as her line states, yes, she is all this, but she is also a girl. She protected the Avatar when Zuko came to find him and she volunteered to escort refugees to Ba Sing Se, but she also blushes during her first kiss. Many of her mannerisms are accurately Biblical.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:25-26)
These verses make me think of when Suki describes what the meaning of her traditional clothing is:
“The silk threads symbol a brave blood that flows through our veins. The gold insignia represents the honor of the warrior’s heart.”