Things to Consider When Looking at Kibbe’s Celebrity Examples

Most people know that Kibbe has said that he doesn’t like to type modern celebrities because many of them have had too much plastic surgery to make it worthwhile. I generally agree with him; it can very, very tricky. Anyone who has followed the Kardashian/Jenner sisters since Keeping Up with Kardashians began can confirm that the people out there in Hollywood can do magical, magical things.

(Sources: 1, 2)

I would also argue, however, that there is another factor that makes understanding modern celebrity types difficult: the diet and exercise regime expected of most stars. Where did Romantic Madonna’s yin go? Only her personal trainer knows.

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(Source)

So we default to looking at the celebrities listed in the books, no matter how badly we want to find a modern celebrity to identify with. While plastic surgery has been in the star-making arsenal since Joan Crawford became a star, in the Studio era, it was more along the lines of the nose job and chin implant Marilyn Monroe received, rather than the coolsculpting and butt implants some are subject to today.

marilyn-monroe-plastic-surgery
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While bodies didn’t receive as much attention from cosmetic surgeons as they do today, there is something else we have to consider, something that hasn’t been on our minds for about fifty years. And that is girdles.

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Although the effect is not as dramatic as corset training, you can see that the bikini bodies of women in the 1950s and 1960s were quite different. Basically, everyone had a small waist, and there’s something about it that differs from that of TRs and other naturally wasp-waisted women. Look at Faye Dunaway in the 1960s and then many years later:


(Sources: 1, 2)

In the later picture, it’s easy to see why she was named a Dramatic, even outside of her amazing legs and cheekbones. But in the ’60s? It would take some convincing.

So the best period for understanding what Kibbe-type bodies look like are from the ’70s through the mid-’90s: bodies weren’t altered by girdles OR strict personal trainers.

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Aerobics for everyone!

10 Comments on Things to Consider When Looking at Kibbe’s Celebrity Examples

  1. tordis
    May 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I knew that girdles were used, but the extent wasn’t so obvious to me before this post. I wasn’t aware of how much they really can alter the waistshape.
    But I’m amazed about my own TR waist in every sport course I take – huge mirrors and lots of other normal and cosmetic surgery free women of all sizes and ages to compare with. Women really don’t have such tiny waists generally. My own TR waist really is quite a rare thing. It’s also very interesting to watch the differences in movements. Gamines seem so jumpy like gummi balls, Naturals never seem to move awkwardly no matter their fitness level, Classics move so gracefully naturally etc. and not matter how awkward I move, I always seem so much more sexy than the others – which is astrange thing to observe, since my face is so Ingenue.
    Yeah, aerobics for everyone – to compare yourself with real people 😀

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      May 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      I am pretty sure women had to wear girdles all the time or it was scandalous. And then by the ’70s half the time women didn’t even wear bras. I even saw an turn-of-the-century ad for a baby corset on Pinterest!

      I don’t do much sports, but I have noticed that few women have a really defined natural waist. I have never noticed the different in movement, but I will have to look for it. I am certainly not graceful, so perhaps gummi ball fits. 🙂

      Reply
      • tordis
        May 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm

        GoIng to the beach or pool this summer will do 😀

        My mother is SG and she totally walks like a gummi ball, bouncybounce. Never want to link arms with her, she bounces too much 😀 like she had springs instead of heels.

        Reply
        • stylesyntax
          May 23, 2015 at 3:51 am

          Hahaha! Come to think of it, I have a hard time walking with linked arms…

          Reply
    • Miranda
      May 30, 2015 at 4:10 am

      I’m a tall SN, and I always move awkwardly.

      Reply
      • stylesyntax
        May 31, 2015 at 1:28 am

        It’s so interesting. I wonder why that it is.

        Reply
  2. Cory
    May 23, 2015 at 3:21 am

    I have been noticing this a lot in the noses recently. I was looking at pictures in a Kibbe-related Pinboard, and realizing how many women who otherwise seem like they might be D/SD have these tiny, fine noses that catapult their beauty from something humanscale to something futuristic and bodyhack-y.

    I read somewhere that many plus models are SD or very tall SNs. Something I’ve noticed is that if you look at Shopstyle, for instance, anything with a huge selection of images in a grid under a single header – “cocktail dresses” or “work top”, if you’re looking at the plus sizes, you can pick out which outfits might be SD or SN based on which ones jump out as actually looking good on the model, instead of making her look bigger than she actually is by comparison to the scale of the outfit. It only works for me if there’s a huge number of images on the same screen – I think the subconscious comparison is maybe what does it? I’ve also noticed the same phenomenon when I look at straight sizes and evening fashions in particular: I can tell which oufits are D or FN because they are the flamboyant, near-unwearable-for-normals ones that make the model look perfect instead of me thinking “Wow, she is really tall and really streamlined”.

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      May 23, 2015 at 3:55 am

      With models, I think sometimes they do look for people who look a bit odd or unreal. Kendall Jenner is someone I see as very D, but she has a small nose and from what I can tell, it’s real. (Full disclosure: I had a nose job myself a few months ago.)

      Plus-size models have to be types that will gain weight in a way that makes them voluptuous/curvy-looking. So SD and SN make sense: enough yang to potentially make them tall enough to be models, but enough yin to make them curvier with weight instead of boxy or bottom-heavy. The domination of FNs and Ds in straight size modeling is something that’s really obvious. Sometimes the clothes just look weird. Maybe that’s why FN clothing has come to dominate. We’ve become used to see FN clothing and fit as the most attractive on women since that’s what the people charged with making clothes look good are.

      Reply
  3. Cory
    May 24, 2015 at 1:44 am

    I hope I didn’t seem bodyshamey about people deciding to change their bodies per their own preferences! I am not about that – people should do anything they want with their own bodies, obviously!

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      May 24, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Definitely. But I also understand that sometimes it is a bit sad to see people who alter themselves drastically, even when it’s their own decision and they’re happy about it. There is something to be said for uniqueness. (In my case, my nose had been broken anyway, so it wasn’t even my original nose anymore.)

      Reply

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