Korra is, first and foremost, a waterbender—the crisp blue of her eyes reflects the shadows cast over snow by an endless antarctic sun; the darkness of her skin holds the color of her mother’s skin, of her father’s skin, of the great master Katara’s skin. The water washing over her is as natural to her as the air flowing through her lungs.
She takes a deep breath. Bathing is a moment’s contemplation, a break from the hustle of the rest of her day. This is her element. This is where she belongs. This, the water sliding over her limbs; this, the coolness against her fingers; this, the droplets splashing against her face.
She breathes out.
Fire tumbles from between her lips, and the water around her hisses, rises in wafts of steam. She flicks her wrist, and a burst of flame flies through the air. She takes a step, and embers fall in her wake.
This, too, is natural.
She is the avatar. She is all four elements held in one vessel. She is a waterbender, yes, but she is also an earthbender, an airbender, and a firebender.
Perhaps there is no contradiction.
Water is her element, but fire is her heart.