Yes, she’s crazy, but she’s also awesome. Let’s raise our hands for a round of applause for possibly the most well-adjusted villain to ever grace The Last Airbender (Select episodes are free on Amazon!) and The Legend of Korra. While both shows are chockful of strong female characters, few would be as skilled as Kuvira (voiced by Zelda Williams) to climb the corporate ladder. While Kuvira has gotten more than one comparison to Hitler, she’s also kind of like the best worst version of a CEO.
Apart from the work camps, ethnic cleansing, etc., Kuvira is a charismatic leader who charms the pants off Bolin and presumably Baatar Jr. Despite Suyin’s claims, her troops seem terrifically loyal to the Great Uniter. She seems to have a Steve Jobs-esque vision of the future, and yet doesn’t seem to micromanage, trusting her underlings Baatar Jr, Zhu Li, etc.
Five Reasons Why Kuvira is a Role Model
1. Kuvira Leans In
Kuvira established herself early as a hardworking and talented individual. An orphan, she definitely had to demand her seat at the table.
When Suyin turned down the Earth Kingdom gig, what did Kuvira do? No, she didn’t just run off and try to do it herself. She didn’t leave before she left…with her city’s armed forces, a steady cash flow, and a member of the ruling family. She also makes her partner a “real partner” and fiercest cheerleader.
When Kuvira started reuniting the Earth Kingdom with no real legal authority, Republic City retroactively commissioned her to do it. And they gave her an award! Sure, she sends people to labor camps, but she does create a more stable and economically-productive country a la Stalin with his wheat exports.
Kuvira doesn’t just exert supreme self-confidence (see point 1), she also leads by example. She’s not afraid to challenge the Avatar to one-on-one combat, demonstrating her excellent metal-bending skills.
How did this orphan catch the eye of Suyin and then the world? She was so good and effective she could not be ignored.
3. Kuvira has a Strong Work-Life Balance
In addition to conquering countries, Kuvira’s hobbies include dancing and sculpting asteroids. She maintains a strong relationship with her fiance, Baatar Jr.
4. Kuvira Surrounds Herself With the Best and the Brightest
They say that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Kuvira surrounds herself with some of the most gifted people in the Earth Kingdom, and she’s quick to kick out naysayers.
5. Kuvira is a Productivity Machine
This is underscored by the fact that she’s traveling on a super train. But she’s not only taking over a country, kidnapping/deposing a king, doing mad science-y stuff, and also keeps in great shape. How does she do it all?
One reason may be that she keeps her eye on the prize with a giant Earth Kingdom puzzle map on her wall. People say posting reminders in places you frequent is a great incentive and motivator to meet goals.
Until Korra gets onto Netflix (fingers crossed), you can get Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance on BluRay from Amazon.