Does David Kibbe Contradict Himself?

The idea that David Kibbe contradicts himself all the time is something I see frequently in non-sanctioned Kibbe spaces on the internet. In fact, this idea just seems to be generally accepted as truth.

Now, David has adjusted his thinking over the past 30+ years. He has had that much more time to think about his work. For instance, Natural, Gamine, and Classic are no longer used as Image IDs. And the way he is able to present his work now, by interacting with us, has brought a lot of clarity. But this does not mean that his work contains contradictions.

The place where I usually see this being brought up is in regard to height. David is clear on height and how it functions within his ideas of yin and yang. People will bring up a celebrity that is reported to be taller (I love Rihanna, but I never want to hear about her being a tall TR again) that David put in an Image ID that has to be shorter. This is taken as a sign that David contradicts himself, so his clear statements on height don’t matter.

Of course, we can all explain until we’re blue in the face that David believes that most celebrities are shorter than their reported heights, and that if he saw someone in person and they were clearly tall, he would change their Image ID, not his definition of the Image ID–i.e., Blythe Danner being moved from SC to FN.

But I think that this answer doesn’t address why this rumor persists. It is convenient for people to think that David contradicts himself, because then they can remain in a state of resistance. If you believe David contradicts himself, you can be whatever you want, including a tall Gamine, since any statement on his part is up for debate.

So no, David does not contradict himself. It is just that resistance is hard to get through, and people latch on to these ideas so that they don’t have to deal with their resistance. But it is the acceptance of your yin/yang balance that leads to style freedom.

9 Comments on Does David Kibbe Contradict Himself?

  1. Donna Rowe
    December 18, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    My impression was that Kibbe talked about perceived height, not actual height, so he didn’t contradict himself.

    For example, Lucy Liu is a Dramatic, but she’s only 5’3″. However, she looks much taller and has the requisite Dramatic bones and flesh.

    • stylesyntax
      December 18, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      Lucy Liu is NOT a Dramatic. She could be, who knows, but David has never mentioned her to my knowledge.

      I don’t think “perceived height” is the right way to put it. It is having a strong vertical and length compared to oneself, unless you’re tall, and then you’ll automatically have length and vertical.

      • Donna Rowe
        December 20, 2019 at 3:49 pm

        I was unaware that Mr. Kibbe did not profile her himself. I read his book years ago when it was still relatively new, so have forgotten much of what he wrote. Most of the Internet research I’ve done uses the McJimsey questionnaire as its basis, so I’m probably conflating the two systems.

  2. Alexandra
    December 20, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Apart from the statement that Kibbe contradicts himself there’s also a persistent idea that his system hasn’t changed at all. For instance, that his recommendations are outdated, the hairstyles from his book aren’t fashionable anymore, nobody wears shoulder pads anymore, etc. I would love to try and tell everyone interested in his system that all of these things are actually very far from the truth, because his system has so much value and is worth looking into, but meanwhile I’ll get attacked for being too stuck up. I think everyone who wants to get real value out of his system will make an extra step towards the source.
    By the way, why is the FB group SK so frowned upon? Whenever I see it mentioned in a blog post or something, it’s perceived extremely negatively. I simply don’t get it – I joined recently and have been going though the modules and all I see there is love and acceptance.

    • stylesyntax
      December 21, 2019 at 12:15 am

      David still actually recommends shoulder pads for some looks! But he very much believes in dressing for the times you live in.

      I actually am the person who created SK with my co-admins, and I didn’t know people said negative things on blogs! But I can tell you that not everyone likes *David’s* approach. Some people want a more traditional system, hence all the “body type” stuff. And we have always been about just David’s work, no one else’s, and not everyone likes that we are so, well, strict. And that’s fine with me, because it is more important to us to maintain the integrity of the group, rather than be the most popular group.

      • Alexandra
        December 21, 2019 at 5:28 am

        I’m actually one of those people who wear shoulder pads (even though it’s very hard to find garments with them already or quality shoulder pads as an individual item).
        Believe me, I was surprised as well to see negative feedbacks! Although, I found SK through them, so ultimately they served me well. Most feedbacks are about how the members of the group refuse to help type someone by pictures (aka selfies in a poorly lit rooms), how the group doesn’t want to discuss anyone else than Kibbe, etc – all of them coming from the lack of desire to learn Kibbe in the first place and learn how to type oneself and expecting quick solutions. Kibbe’s system is truly a highly intuitive method, so it definitely isn’t for everyone. If people just want to know their ‘body type’ then they feel instantly negative about it. I see this negativity quite often and even here – I received a snarky response to my comment about that YouTuber mentioning ‘the almighty Kibbe’… Truly unfair attitude to Kibbe without understanding.
        I think it’s awesome that SK exists in the first place and doesn’t flinch at the negativity. What Kibbe does it very valuable and has to live on.

        • stylesyntax
          December 22, 2019 at 8:39 pm

          To me, the negativity is just noise. If only ten people believed in what we were doing, that would be fine with me. 🙂

  3. Mina
    June 5, 2020 at 10:17 am

    A lot of people on pinterest and YouTubers are saying that audrey Hepburn is a gamine although she’s tall because her vertical line is short aka her head is big and her body is slender. What do you think

    • stylesyntax
      June 18, 2020 at 8:40 pm

      David says she was 5’5.5″. But vertical line has nothing to do with head size or whether you’re slender or not.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *