Late night conversations, just like binge watching a television show, stay with you long after the last word has been uttered. Two years ago, while sitting cross-legged on the kitchen countertop, I recall having a tete-a-tete with my then-roommate about doing the unconventional: I wanted to switch colleges. While it may appear to be nothing out of the ordinary here, it is very rare to make that kind of decision where I come from. “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no,” she had told me.

This week in my Management in Workforce Diversity class, there was a discussion about the trending concept of white privilege. This is the ability a person has to use their skin color to gain opportunities that many minority groups may not have access to. This privilege is not limited to access to resources and opportunities but also amounts to physical appearances. The physical attractiveness or appeal of a person heavily influences people’s perceptions of that individual. This coincides with their personal judgments which unfortunately leads to biases and in extreme cases discrmination. The effect of a person’s attractiveness has severe influences, not only personal but societal perceptions of minority groups such as People of Color (POC). As a result, this may ultimately lessen this group’s opportunities within society. But how does physical attractiveness help one group while hurting another within society?

I remember “Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA)” airing when I was about eight years old. I also remember that I was adamant to not watch it because I thought it was lame, despite what others told me about it. As I grew older, I was still dead-set on not watching it because I didn’t like the cartoon style or because I claimed I had no time to watch it. I simply didn’t understand the hype surrounding the stupid show. But when one of my best friends pushed me to watch the series, then proceeded to make it so that I had to watch it to complete a research project, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the screen. Everything about it from the complex, interesting and mature topics addressed to the characters who each have a permanent place in my heart, the series has easily become my absolute favorite show — bar none.

mind, I’m willing to bet whatever sad, spare change I have rolling around in my wallet that the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when cartoons are mentioned in conversation are children. While it is true that cartoons are often and easily associated with children, animation has depicted overall adult themes and conduct since it was first created in the early 1900s.