I think that sometimes, Kibbe’s flowery descriptions work against you when you’re trying to figure out your type. Take, for instance, the description for Romantic:
If you’re hosting a dinner party, chances are you’ll expend enormous energy on things like place settings, flowers, and soft lighting. You’ll gladly search the entire city for those rare and exotic orchids that evoke images of a mysterious, faraway land, or dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to locating special gardenias with a heady fragrance. When you’re planning the menu for this party you’ll be coordinating color and texture in addition to taste. The added dimensions of your attention to the sensual elements of touch, taste, smell, and above all the look of things brings us much pleasure, and an invitation to one of your soirees is very much coveted!…Lest we categorize your Yin qualities as frivolous or superficial, let’s remember the extreme magnetic power that exist within you. We don’t describe your extreme Yin nature as “the irresistible force” without reason! You are capable of effecting enormous change in the world – when you remember that the power of the Yin is always indirect. Steamrolling through outworn attitudes or attempting to knock down mountains won’t work for you. Direct attacks are never effective, since they are so contrary to your projected softness.
Now, to be honest, this “dinner party” business is what I think when I think of a Romantic. The image really stuck with me in my mind. But then I start to think of someone whose body lines and facial features fit very well in Romantic, but who couldn’t care less about the aesthetics of their home or being subtle and whatever else Kibbe is talking about to. Will someone be turned off from Romantic because they have a personality with more yang in it?
I suppose this brings up a key point about Kibbe: are we supposed to assume that, like in Zyla, where your coloring matches your personality, that you outer and inner essences should match? Or, say, could you be a Romantic who relates to Soft Dramatic, and look to Soft Dramatic for some clues to develop your personal style and maybe introduce some snake jewelry into your Romantic look?
Even the examples for Romantic Kibbe mentions in the book–Madonna, Susan Sarandon, Elizabeth Taylor–are women that I see as being quite ballsy, and not exactly ones who sit around waiting for their yin charm to get them what they want–they do seem to use the steamroll technique at times. Madonna, a Type 3 Leo lioness like myself, is someone who stirs some controversy when Kibbe’s classification of her as Romantic is brought up. If we ignore how she looks today–she seems to have exercised and nip/tucked the Romantic right out of herself–Madonna in her early career had quite a Romantic look to her. I feel like her “Like a Virgin”-era look would be great for a young, punk Romantic to draw inspiration from, and it’s no surprise that she used Marilyn Monroe, Prime Kibbe Romantic, as her inspiration for her look in “Material Girl”:
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(Sources: 1, 2)
Of course, there’s still the question of how to express her Type 3-ness. But maybe she doesn’t have to. If we go back to McJimsey, Romantic women are still the epitome of female charm, but they’re theatrical and sophisticated and a yin/yang blend, and not total yin like in Kibbe. Even when Madonna is dressed in head-to-toe pink, her strength still comes through. Maybe it’s a case of if you’re dressed exactly right for your face and body type, your personality can come through and take precedence. Maybe she doesn’t need all the angles and the fall color palette of Type 3 because her own inherent Type 3-ness is enough.
Do you relate to the description of your Image Identity’s Inner Essence? Should you consider the Inner Essence description when trying to figure out your Kibbe? Was Kibbe wrong when he typed Madonna?