September 2017 archive

David Kibbe: There Is Only One

One of the things I have on my to-do list is to go through my old blog posts and rewrite the ones that I feel misrepresent David Kibbe’s ideas. Unfortunately, this will not solve the real problem, which is the plethora of misinformation out there that led me to said incorrect ideas in the first place. While Pinterest especially is full of it, one of the major culprits are the stylists who have taken David Kibbe’s work and now make their living typing people themselves. There are people who renamed his types and use his quiz and sometimes even have added some “types” they view as “lacking” in the original; there are people who have excerpts of his book on their professional analyst website with no credit; and there are even “schools” in some countries that offer courses in how to become a Kibbe analyst.

None of these people, of course, can replicate Kibbe’s work. Whenever someone tells me, in a Facebook comment or in the comments to this blog, that they are a “verified TR” (or whatever) and I know they haven’t gone to NYC to see David, I can say that it means absolutely nothing to me in terms of their yin/yang balance and their Kibbe Image ID. Someone who has gone through a long period of self-exploration and who has done their best to understand their yin/yang balance on their own has a far better chance of getting it “right” (i.e., the same thing Kibbe would give you) than one of these analysts, in my observation. I give the latter a 1-in-10 chance of getting it right, only you’ve paid money for the privilege.

Why do they get it so wrong? There are two major factors.

The first is a fundamental misunderstanding of yin/yang balance as Kibbe describes it and how to apply it. They don’t understand the Image IDs themselves, and they don’t understand what yin and yang actually look like in a person in Kibbe’s Metamorphosis framework.

The two most common mistakes, in both celebrities and real-life clients:

a) Someone yang is put in Romantic or Theatrical Romantic.

Someone who is 5’9″ with a cute/pretty face and curves is given Romantic. Someone with wide shoulders, a “dangerous” face, and muscles/taut flesh and who is maybe even 5’6″+ in height is given Theatrical Romantic. Clients and celebrities given TR/an equivalent in other systems have been FN, SN, SD, and FG in Kibbe. Romantics have been FN and SD. The result is that the overall perception of both of these types among the internet community is far more yang than they actually are.

b) Someone youthful and/or funky is given one of the Gamines despite having larger bone structure.

Romantics put into Soft Gamine; FNs/SNs put into Flamboyant Gamine. Since SG is described as wider than TR in the book, and FG is given “broadly angular,” it is understandable how these mistakes are made, but the latest word from David is that a larger bone structure that needs to be accommodated in clothes automatically rules out a gamine type. This also causes a lot of confusion–for a long time, I thought my shoulders were too narrow for FG, but now my sense is that if I did have shoulders as broad as some of the other people who identify as FG, I actually wouldn’t fit into gamine clothes.

Again, your chance of this analyst getting your Image ID correct, if what you’re seeking is your Kibbe Image ID but you can’t afford to see him in NYC, is the same as if you pulled one out of a hat, and maybe not even that good, considering the misconceptions.

The other major factor is a misapplication of the Image Identity itself. An Image ID is not a style. The style comes from you. It’s framework that you use you create a style; it is your guide. It is not a box. So often in the FG group we have women come in who say something like, “I think I’m FG, but I’m a 55 y/o professional with kids in college. How can I dress like Twiggy or a punk?” The perception of FG, to use it as an example, is that it is limited to these specific style inspirations. FG can be sophisticated, glamorous, professional, elegant… It can be whatever you need it to be. I wrote this post over two years ago, and while I’m not sure if I still stand behind all of it, the part about Audrey Hepburn’s and Grace Kelly’s versions of “classic” style still rings true to me. You can express anything you want within your Image ID.

Now, if you like someone’s work, that’s your prerogative if you want to spend your money and get analyzed by them and receive whatever services they offer. But if your goal is to get some kind of confirmation of your Kibbe Image ID, getting “typed” by someone who is using his work (or, as they do in many cases, claims to have “improved” upon his work, “filled in the gaps,” “modernized it,” etc.) will actually do the opposite of what you seek, and will set you back in your Kibbe journey of self-discovery and self-love. Just reading the text in the book accompanying the reveals and the chapter on resistance will do more to lead you to your Image ID than paying someone else several hundred dollars to give you an answer that is, in all likelihood, incorrect if what you really want to know is what David Kibbe would say.

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