Archive of ‘Kibbe’s Metamorphosis’ category

“Curvy” Flamboyant Gamine: 2019

Five years ago, I wrote a post about the conclusions I had come to about how I was a Flamboyant Gamine.

Of course, this being so long ago, I didn’t really understand a lot of David’s system. I somehow understood intrinsically that I was a Flamboyant Gamine, but I didn’t really understand what my body was showing me. Reading that post, I have no idea why I didn’t think I was a Soft Gamine except for pure instinct, and that I knew that attempting to dress taking into account what I saw as my “curves” was a disaster.

I’m always learning new things from David, and one of the things he has said recently is that Women start with a baseline of curves. Men have a baseline of length and width. Having measurements that indicate a bust, waist, and hips are not enough to add yin. The most yang women can have a body shape that would be considered “hourglass” if you put it into a calculator.

What matters it how clothing falls around the body. On a Dramatic woman, they have their long vertical:
Lauren.

(And no, I am not suggesting people try clothing on to see! David has an exercise to figure this out on Strictly Kibbe.)

For me, as an FG, it is a mixture of long and short:

Audrey

For an R, their curves need to be accommodated:

Marilyn

Having a bust, waist, and hips does not mean that you have to accommodate curves. It may sound funny, but I dress to accommodate my lack of curves, width, and balance. I am not a unicorn among FGs, because what I have is a baseline of curves, and not curves that need to be considered. I simply have a juxtaposed mix of yin and yang, and yang wins out.

Why Taylor Swift is NOT a Gamine

Of course, I think most readers of this blog wouldn’t even consider the possibility.
Taylor Swift

She is 5’10”, and we know that this height rules out either Gamine. Per my recent post, however, this is something that Merriam Style teachers in her Taylor Swift video, where she tries to make the case the 5’10” Taylor is a Gamine—and you can read my Kibbe FAQ to find out why this is nonsensical. Someone who is that tall is yang-dominant, not juxtaposition of yin and yang. (When I look at Taylor, I see length all over. Even if I didn’t know she was 5’10”, I don’t think my mind would go to Gamine anyway.)

Now, David doesn’t make a ton of very clear statements. But this is one thing he has been extremely clear about. Soft Gamine will not be over 5’5″, and Flamboyant Gamine can be a little taller, but not Taylor Swift tall, and if you understand his system of yin and yang, this makes total sense.

Unfortunately, every Kibbe Image ID seems to be subject to certain incorrect ideas about it. As a Flamboyant Gamine myself, the ones for Gamines are the ones that I feel most acutely. For us Gamines, one of these ideas that seems to pop up frequently in various ways is the idea that Gamines are somehow not distinct Image IDs that stand on their own with their own very particular yin/yang balances.

Traditionally, this has taken the form of the idea of Flamboyant Gamine being a “small D” or a “small FN,” which I have addressed before. But as I watched some Merriam Style videos after writing my last post, however, I realized that she has come up with an entirely new way of turning Gamines into Image IDs that are somehow lesser and not distinct yin/yang balances like the rest.

In this video (starts at around 1:55), she says that Gamines are basically “everything else”–a mixture that doesn’t fall into any category. If you feel like you don’t fit anywhere else, she explains, you may be a Gamine. She says they are very common (not true) and misunderstood (true, but not in the way she thinks, because she has misunderstood them).

In her answer in this video at around 9:08, however, it becomes clear why she believes that someone who is tall can be Gamine: she says she is a 5’7” Soft Gamine herself and her own confusion is partially why she made her channel in the first place. Yet as I mentioned above, David has been very clear about height for Soft Gamine. SG is nearly half yang, and if they are taller than 5’5”, that is too much yang for the “recipe” to be Soft Gamine. Of course someone who very strongly identified with a certain Image ID that is not available to them would want to make the system into one that allowed them into the Image ID they wanted to be. It happens all the time. (This is also why the idea of very yang TRs persists.) Resistance is incredibly powerful. If you want to be a taller SG very badly, it would make sense that you would try to find a way to justify it and say that 5’10” Taylor or a 6′ woman could be Gamine.

But really, my motivation here is to stop these incorrect ideas about Gamines in Kibbe’s work. Gamines are not:

  • the Image ID of “leftovers”
  • tall enough to be automatically yang-dominant, for FG
  • over 5’5”, for SG.

    I felt I had said what I needed to say on the subject of this YouTube channel in my last post, but the ideas being spread are so contradictory to what Gamines actually are. And as Gamines, we should be given the space to revel in what makes our Image IDs special, and given the chance to understand our special star quality. The constant undermining of the validity of FG and SG as Image IDs makes that hard for Gamines who do not know any better, and leads people who aren’t Gamines to think that they are and thus miss out on their own special qualities.

    For months, I have been thinking about how to express the way I actually use Kibbe’s work in my life, because I say a lot about how it’s used incorrectly, but it is hard to explain how to actually use it correctly, since it is can be fairly abstract. I definitely understand that it can be hard to wrap your head around and it isn’t for everyone (which is why I have a post on which system is right for you), but I want people to understand when the system is being misrepresented to this extent. A 5’10” or 6′ woman would absolutely not be served by being told that she was any kind of Gamine. She would be served by an Image ID that celebrates what she is, and doesn’t put her into something that celebrates being shorter, among many other qualities.

    And with that, I hope that my commentary/criticism is done. I realize that my past several posts have focused on this subject, and I hope to get back to more interesting content. But this blog has always been about what’s on my mind, and this is just what has been at the forefront of my style thoughts lately.

    Edit: an earlier version of this post said that she thought Taylor was a Soft Gamine. She actually says she is a Gamine, which we know that David no longer uses. Style Syntax regrets the error, but the points made here still stand.

  • Response to Merriam Style Distancing Herself From Kibbe

    I had some free time finally, so I wandered into what is (for me) the darkest corner of the internet… the place where people outside of the Strictly Kibbe world discuss Kibbe. And I found that, to my surprise, three weeks ago, Merriam Style decided to distance what she does from David.

    On the one hand, I definitely applaud this move! Just by poking around the aforementioned dark corner, and seeing what people who come to our Facebook group from her work say, I know that what she teaches is very, very different from what he does–height not mattering to the point where the tallest of women can be put into the shortest of types, etc.

    I can see that she gets it, to an extent, and this is partially what spurred her to no longer use his work the way she has been doing. David is a “highly intuitive” person. He has a gift of seeing people. And he can help you see yourself.

    On the other hand, however, the post just made it even clearer for me that fundamentally, there is a disconnect between what David actually teaches, and what people who haven’t learned from David directly believe about this system.

    From her post:

    But going back to this difference between personality and body type: Even in one of my first videos on my channel that I’ve ever made, on the Soft Gamine, I say that Soft Gamines don’t have to be cute or fun. They can also be sexy or elegant or badass.

    And herein lies the humongous problem. David would absolutely agree that SGs can be sexy, elegant, and badass. All Image IDs have their own ways of being these things.

    Eartha Kitt

    SG Eartha Kitt, embodying these three characteristics.

    Tell Bette to her face that she is limited to “cute”!

    Anyone who spends time with David, virtually or otherwise, knows that he believes that we are all unique individuals who can be any way we want to be, and understanding our Image ID is just the way to be the most ourselves and to achieve our fullest potential, freeing us from what we think we have to be and giving ourselves permission and freedom to be how we are. I know that the advice he has given me as a presumptive FG is totally different from the advice he has given other presumptive FGs. He doesn’t give everyone the advice to wear the wild and edgy things he tells me to look for, for instance.

    So when I see things like this, from the same blog post:

    At that time, I didn’t realize the gravity of this ‘discovery’ so to speak, or just how fundamentally different this is from other approaches, and potentially even David’s approach.

    …it frustrates me to no end. This is not a “discovery.” It’s not David’s approach at all to use the Image ID as a box, not only for someone’s style, but even worse, their personality. It’s something that many have promoted, but it has nothing to do with David’s work. And even if his system were so limited, going back to the book, the SG was not at all merely cute and innocent. SGs are “Spitfire Chic”! How people get “cute and innocent” out of “spitfire,” I have no idea. It is clear the lineage of the current crop of Kibbe “instructors,” on YouTube and elsewhere, can be traced not to David, but those who came before and briefly made some cash and got hits on their sites from taking David’s work and turning it into something fit for Pinterest and video compilations and discernible from photos or a video call, if someone has hundreds of dollars to spare.

    So while I applaud Merriam Style for discontinuing the use of David’s lexicon in her work, the fundamental misunderstandings present in her “farewell to Kibbe” blog post show that really, she should not have been “teaching” his work in the first place.

    An Open Letter to “Kibbe” Analysts and Their Adherents

    I have gotten some comments, both here and on Facebook in the Kibbe groups I run, frequently rather rude, on why I am so, for lack of a better word, dismissive of all of the various analysts on YouTube and blogs who claim to be able to teach Kibbe to others, and charge for typings, and send out PDFs with various information, and so on. Generally, they point out that this or that person has helped them a lot with understanding themselves and their style, and the materials that I provide here and that David himself provides in groups and on his own blog are less clear and less helpful.

    The best analogy I can come up with is if you were learning a language, and it was hard. You came across someone who promised to teach it to you “the easy way,” and you followed their materials and yes, it was easier and less ambiguous to you. But they were teaching you a grammar based on your native language, and the wrong vocabulary. The relationship between the actual language and what you learned is minimal at best. You learned faster and it was easier, but was it really worth it?

    Some people may say that this is a bad metaphor because they actually got something that helped them from these other people. But unfortunately, they accomplish the exact opposite of what David teaches. The only thing they share with his work is (some) terminology, even when they have used his book, or parts of it, as their source material.

    And yes, the material that David puts out and that I follow is not as easy to follow. That’s because the point of view is completely different. As I have been able to learn from David Kibbe, I now understand that a gallery or “outfit ideas” or “coats” for a specific Image ID are not helpful. What is important for people to do is develop an understanding of their own yin/yang balance and to put together outfits thinking of them as a whole, not parts. Trying to teach people to see in a new way is not as easy or as popular as simply showing a bunch of visual aids. But the latter is simply not how David works in 2019.

    So yes, I use my platform to speak out against misinterpretations of David’s work and the people who profit from them. I also do not allow these misinterpretations in any of the Kibbe-focused spaces I run. I understand that not everyone is going to like it–some people prefer the “easy” way, and there’s nothing I can really do about it except continue to set the record straight in the spaces I do have control over.

    How to Tell if Someone Is Wrong About Kibbe

    There are many, many people on the Internet posing as Kibbe “experts,” whether they’re making videos, writing blog posts, charging for typings, offering advice on forums, or some combination of the above. I do not consider myself a Kibbe expert as in, “I can ‘type’ you just as well as David can!” But I have had the privilege of being able to work with David for the past few years managing online communities with his participation and blessing, so when I see people spreading incorrect information, it is very frustrating for me. I thought I would share some signs that will help you distinguish people who have an understanding of how David’s system works in 2019, versus people whose understanding of the system reflects the long line of misapplications and misinterpretations of his work.

    Now, I will also say that in the early years of this blog, I may have committed some of these “sins,” because we simply didn’t have the information and access to David Kibbe that we have now. (If you see a post that seems like it reflects these ideas and doesn’t have a note saying it’s outdated, please let me know so I can add one!)

    1. They use Classic, Gamine, and Natural.

    We have known for years that David no longer puts people in these Image IDs. Everyone is either a little more yin or a little more yang. If someone is making content and using these IDs, they are either unaware of how David works now, or they are including them knowing that David doesn’t use them, which is worse, because they are knowingly spreading out-of-date information.

    2. They use the terms “body type” or “Image Archetype/IA.”

    These are not terms David uses. “Body type” implies that each Image ID has to look a particular way, when there are as many ways to get to a certain yin/yang balance as there are people within that yin/yang balance. I don’t expect another FG to be my body twin; we share a juxtaposition of yin and yang with a little more yang, not a particular shape. And “Image Archetype” comes from a copycat system and it’s a sign that the way they are more familiar with what they’re calling Kibbe doesn’t actually primarily come from David’s work.

    3. They have galleries and Pinterest boards of “[clothing item] for the types.”

    This is looking at David’s work in a prescripitivist way, and it’s not the way he works at all. Yes, the book has recommendations, but over 30 years have passed, and the way clothes are made now is very different. In addition, the recommendations in the book were never meant to limit you, but to paint a picture. In 2019 Kibbe, you think about an outfit from head to toe and how to make it work with your yin/yang balance. When people from the Facebook groups started going to see David in person, it was amazing just how much different the way he actually styles people in particular Image IDs is from the image we held in our heads. And frequently what people are positing as a suggestion for an Image ID doesn’t make sense, like dresses that clearly require a strong shoulderline to hang correctly being suggested for a Romantic, or they’re very limited, like SN=90s movie art teacher (which is so bizarre to me, considering that the SN combo of strong-but-sensual is the kind of beauty I see most honored in our current culture).

    4. They use “masculine” and “feminine.”

    In the 1920s, Belle Northrup specifically selected “yin” and “yang” to avoid the feminine/masculine dichotomy. Your Image ID reveals your special kind of feminine beauty, if that is how you wish you to be seen. Many women held up as a paradigm of feminine beauty are, in fact, in Image IDs that are not yin at all.

    5. Their information contradicts David’s.

    They say celebrities are in different Image IDs than David has said, or they tell you that you can be tall and still be a Theatrical Romantic if you “look short.” If you’re new to Kibbe, though, you may not be able to sift through what is in line with what David says and what isn’t.

    6. They use the quiz.

    The quiz as a tool is no longer necessary, and is in fact discouraged because you are looking at features in isolation, not the gestalt of your yin/yang balance. And David has written a series of exercises, which are a far better means of getting to your Image ID than trying to figure out if your legs and arms are short or slightly short.

    7. They type you.

    Even if I have an idea of someone’s Image ID, I would never tell them. It is their journey to find out. If someone places themselves in an Image ID that they are clearly not, like the tall TR example mentioned above, then I would mention that, or I will respond to questions in comments based on how someone is describing themselves. But I would never look at someone’s pictures and tell them what Image ID I think they are, and I would definitely never accept money for this. People who understand Kibbe understand that David can’t teach you to see the way he does, and that’s okay. He can help you see yourself, but being able to “type” your friends and family isn’t the point. He is not like Carol Tuttle, who puts out content to teach you how to type other people. The only people who can really tell you your Image ID are a) David and b) yourself.

    This is really just the beginning, but these are some of the clearest and most common tells that someone is not giving you the correct information about David Kibbe’s work. I also have a Kibbe FAQ, and David Kibbe’s new website is a great way to get an understanding of how he actually works.

    How to End Doubt

    Even when we settle into a type, we can still experience doubt. I encounter this sometimes–the question of whether you’re enough for a type can remain, even when you have lived in it for years. I feel this both with FG and with 4/3.

    I think it’s important to understand the reasons why you feel doubt, and there are several different kinds of doubt.

    1. Old stuff is popping up.

    This is the one that comes up the most for me with 4/3. This is the “self-doubt” portion of doubt. I think especially when you love the type, you can have a hard time believing you’re good enough for it. This was the case for both T4 and FG, because if I could choose any types to be in their respective systems, it would be these. And I had a belief running that I just couldn’t be what I wanted to be. I also felt that I just couldn’t be T4, because I was…

    2. Misinterpreting the information.

    I had problems seeing myself as a T4 for the same reasons a lot of T4s do: when Carol says “symmetrical,” in our black-and-white way, we interpret it as something that you can measure by calipers, and if one little thing is off, we don’t qualify. A T4 might try to see how well their face fits the Golden Ratio… but these are not things Carol actually teaches. Symmetry seems to mean more something more like not having a crooked smile (I recommend the face profiling videos on her YouTube channel). But that is just not the way a T4 would think when they hear “symmetry.” Similarly, you can have issues if you are…

    3. Going by other people’s definitions.

    There are two ways this can occur:
    a) You are in a community with other self-typed people, and you compare yourselves to them. This happened to me with FG. I was in the FG group, before Kibbe joined the Facebook community, and all of the FGs were much more yang than I was, because the impression of FG at the time was that it was a “small Dramatic” or a “small Flamboyant Natural,” rather than its own thing and that small Ds and FNs are just… Ds and FNs. So my idea of FG was not that it was a pretty equal split between yin and yang and just a little more yang, even though I knew that intellectually from reading the book. So while I felt like FG was the best place for me, it was hard for me to see how I fit with the other women in this group. And part of the reason for this was due to other people…

    4. Listening to other sources.

    This is the second way that you end up using someone else’s definition.
    b) Kibbe imitators are truly a dime a dozen on the internet. Where there once were “analysts” peddling their Kibbe misinformation, now it’s people on YouTube. I don’t see it as much with other systems, but it still exists–for instance, in unauthorized DYT groups. If you go through the materials provided by the system creator, and then the groupthink you find in communities seems to contradict what you’ve learned from the source–don’t worry about it. Trust your own instincts and interpretation. Don’t let people making a fast buck off of Kibbe or anyone else by charging people hundreds of dollars by doing the quiz from the book (or the equivalent) lead you astray. Don’t pay any attention to what they say, because I can tell you, I have never seen anyone who actually gets it right. And neither has David, as he says on his brand-new website!

    Solutions

    What should you do? Once you’ve figured out why you have doubt, it’s time to look into solutions.

    1. Think of the ways you clearly are the type you think you are.

    Sometimes I wonder if I was correct in flipping my primary and secondary type… but I know that T3s cannot wear their hair as short as I do. Also, T3 is just too much movement on me. I never fully dressed it because I knew it wouldn’t look good. Also, you’re not meant to fit 100% of your type’s description. It’s okay to have a heavier foot plant as a 4/3, for example. It doesn’t outweigh everything else.

    2. Ignore bad sources.

    Just don’t pay attention to people who don’t know what they’re talking about, and don’t let them get into their head. If what they are saying contradicts what the creator of a system is saying… definitely don’t listen to them. Don’t let other people get inside your head.

    3. If you’ve gotten feedback from the system creator, remember it.

    I have been fortunate enough to have gotten feedback from both David and Carol that seems to confirm my own thoughts about myself. It is a good reminder that I am on the right track.

    Sometimes, though, your doubts are correct. I could sense that T3 was wrong for me, for example. If your process is being guided by learning more about the system or seeing yourself more clearly, this is something worth exploring.

    If your doubts are coming from outside sources, however, I would say trust yourself. In the end, you will end up in the correct place for you if you stick with any of these systems. And if you are wrong for a time, that is just part of your learning process.

    Do you doubt your typing in a system? How do you deal with it?

    Which System Is Right for You?

    This post uses affiliate links.

    Not only are systems based on different criteria, but they also provide you with different things. Sometimes, people take issue with systems because they are looking for something a particular system doesn’t provide.

    I’m only going to be talking about the Big Three here: Kibbe, Dressing Your Truth, and Zyla. There are other systems out there, but these are the ones I focus on in this blog. (I am also interested in Fantastical Beauty, but it’s newer and I’m not quite sure how it fits.)

    So I’m going to go over what I see these systems providing their users/clients/customers, and the pros and cons. These are based on my own experiences and observations, having been an active participant in online communities focusing on these groups and knowing people who have received services from all three providers.

    1. David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis

    If you read the book, David talks about creating the “total look,” i.e., the image that a studio would come up with for a star, back in the day (which is why contemporary celebrities aren’t that great for inspiration in this system–they don’t really do this in the same way anymore):

    Legions of artists were employed to create the special and specific image of the star that would identify each star to the public…By viewing an image that was based one each star’s special and unique essence, the audience was able to easily identify and understand the star in a complete and unconscious way…This is as important for you as it is for any Hollywood movie star! A large part of your success in life…is predicated on how effectively you are able to communicate your unique identity to others…Discovering your Image Identity is the first step, for it allows to utilize everything you are–both physically and innately–so that you can integrate your essential uniqueness into your own total look.

    David Kibbe, Metamorphosis, pp. 6-7

    So as you can see, his intentions are very high concept. It is not simply, “look a little better and have an easier time getting dressed.” It is meant to enable you to become the star of the motion picture that is Your Life. If you see something on the internet along the lines of, “Capsule Summer Wardrobe for the Soft Dramatic Body Type!,” this person has missed the point completely. I am pretty sure David Kibbe is allergic to capsule wardrobes. You need to have separate, fabulous outfits for all of your fabulous occasions. It is not “How to Dress for Your Body.” I think this misconception exists because the parts of the book that made it online were sections like the quiz and the recommendations that are in the book. The more theoretical side of David’s work did not make it.

    David’s work is meant to bring your life to a higher level by enabling you to move through the world as a STAR. He is not thinking about how you can look a little more pulled together when you’re making your Target run (although you can be, as a result of following his work). He is thinking about your receiving an award on stage, in recognition of your fabulousness. If you’re not looking for anything except maybe which skirt shape is most flattering on you, it’s probably not the system for you.

    It is perhaps the most intensive in terms of “workload.” You not only have to break through seeing yourself for who you are, but but you basically have to relearn how to think about clothing. Especially with the changes in fashion in recent decades, it is a very different way to approach dressing. I have seen absolutely amazing results from friends who have stuck with it, though, even without going to see him in person.

    Cost: Going to see him in NYC is very expensive. David, however, is an active participant in Facebook groups and has come up with a series of exercises to help you land on your Image ID, and he will give advice to people as well–all for free.

    It’s the system for you if: You’ve ever watched an old movie on TCM and wanted Edith Head to design you an outfit for each scene of your life.

    2. David Zyla

    David Zyla is fairly similar. He gives you your unique version of an Archetype, and your unique color palette. Both Davids come from working with actors, so to me, the idea of what your starring role would be figures prominently in both.

    Zyla gives much more concrete advice. (It is not that Kibbe doesn’t; but it’s more like an idea with limitless possibilities, whereas the advice Zyla gives is very specific.) Your colors are going to exact matches when you buy items with them out in the wild and his recommendations are very specific. He has additional services, such as an extended color palette and the Ultimate Styling Session, where he sketches outfits for you based on a specific need or event (some people do this with him multiple times). He will go shopping with you and consult with you on interior decoration, and more.

    There are some people who go and work with Zyla many, many times. Some people can only ever afford the initial consultation. I know people who love what they got and I know people who don’t. The biggest problem I see is that he gets so specific that people aren’t sure what to do when they see something they like, but it isn’t something that they have gotten a definite “yes” or “no” from Zyla about. Some people seem to love what they have for quite some time, and then feel the need to go outside of it.

    If you want very clear recommendations and a tight color palette, I think Zyla would be a great stylist to go to. It seems to be the most difficult to DIY to me, even with a book. It is just so much about his vision for you.

    Cost: The initial consult is under a thousand, and the subsequent services vary. He travels, both in the U.S. and in Europe. He has a book (still in print, so much cheaper than Kibbe’s!), and while the book has a DIY process and I have seen people get close, it can’t give you the custom look seeing him in person does.

    It’s the system for you if: you want a vision of yourself from an Emmy-winning stylist, and could potentially pay for several sessions to really develop your style with him.

    Dressing Your Truth

    Dressing Your Truth is the one I would recommend most to people who just want to look more pulled together, and can’t either dedicate a ton of time or drop a large sum of cash at once. If you want to introduce your friends and family to something, this would be it. Carol’s system is definitely meant for busy people with practical needs. You can send someone the new Beginner’s Guide and they would be well on their way.

    Dressing Your Truth also has a ton of content to help you in their Lifestyle program. They release new content pieces almost every weekday, and I find them fun to watch. If you want to put together a capsule wardrobe with items you can mix and match, this is definitely the system I would choose. It is easily the most accessible of the three. Once you’re a Lifestyle member, there are a ton of informative content pieces on helping you develop your style, and there are two shopping guides posted per type per week in their StyleInspire feature.

    In addition, the style work is just part of it, and there is a lot of personal development content that is also valuable, in my opinion.

    Cost: The Beginner’s Course is free, Lifestyle is $12.95/month or $7.95 if you pay a whole year, and the style kit is $99 when it’s not sale, but it frequently is.

    It’s the system for you if: You want to look better and more pulled together and have a capsule wardrobe, clear guidelines, accessible information, etc. You are interested in personal development systems like MBTI or Enneagram.

    What I Use

    I don’t use Zyla, because I haven’t seen him. I use a combination of Kibbe and DYT. Flamboyant Gamine always figures prominently in my mind, because it just is what I am. I don’t use a list of recommendations (he doesn’t anymore either!), but I have a general idea of how to work with my yin/yang balance, both how Kibbe means it and how Carol means it (they both use this terminology, but in different ways). I use my DYT T4 color palette exclusively now, but otherwise I find that they can inform one another and my outfits are all both FG and 4/3.

    Which system(s) do you use? Do you find that what I have written above to be true, in your experience?

    Stylesyntax.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    Should You Pay Someone to Tell You Your “Kibbe Type”?

    This is something I see a lot, in the comments here and elsewhere: people say that they were analyzed in Kibbe by someone. Sometimes, I even get emails asking me to do this, although of course I never agree to do so.

    The fact is, however, that there is only one person you can pay to find out your Kibbe Image ID: David Kibbe. Anybody claiming to have been trained by him, or posing as an expert, or even, in some cases, offering courses that teach you how to “type” people in Kibbe will bring you no closer to knowing what David Kibbe would type you as if you went to see him.

    I have never seen anyone who claims to type people in Kibbe actually possess an understanding of yin and yang the way David uses it. I used to say that an analyst claiming to type people in Kibbe has a one-in-ten chance in getting it right (since there are ten Image IDs), but now I believe that their chances of getting it correct are even lower, because they are not applying yin and yang correctly.

    There are only two ways to figure out your Image ID: going to see David, or doing the work yourself. Kibbe’s system isn’t a checklist of body parts. The quiz is meant to give a general idea, but you can’t use it as a checklist, or assign each question a point value (the way some people who take money for this do). My belief is that we all can read David’s work and intrinsically know who we are, but we have resistance that keeps us from allowing ourselves to see it. I have always understood what kind of woman I am, physically, but when I discovered Kibbe, I thought I could magically be something different and looked at SN, SD, TR, etc. But living in my body my entire life, knowing what worked for me, and knowing what women on screen and in magazines “felt like me” and which seemed “different”–there is nothing I could be apart from one of the Gamines. And I think for most people, it’s the same. We know who we are.

    The point of David’s work isn’t to give you a box to fit into, with a prescription of clothing to wear–especially now that clothes have stretch and fit around the body, rather than imposing a shape onto the body. It is to enable you to let go of what you are not and accept and love who you are.

    Putting you into something that isn’t what you are and giving you a list of clothes to wear accomplishes the opposite of what David does. It puts you into a box that isn’t even your own. David’s work is supposed to set you free, not cage you.

    So if you see someone offering a shortcut to finding your Kibbe “type,” don’t fall for it. You don’t need them to tell you who you are! And they will just get it wrong anyway.

    Why Each System Must Be Considered in Isolation

    I will admit, in the early days of this site, I thought that data from one system could help you understand what you are in the next. There are many people who think this way. But I have come to understand that when systems are looking at different things, you cannot use what you are in one to understand what you are in another.

    I’m going to use the three main systems I consider in this blog: David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis, Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth, and David Zyla’s system.

    DK prioritizes the yin/yang balance in the body. Clothes go on the body, not the face or hands or feet. Shirley MacLaine may have a cute, pixie-ish face that would lead some people who don’t understand his system well to put her somewhere else, but her body is all FN, so that is what she is.

    Carol looks at the face. Your face will reflect your energy type. Your body type doesn’t matter. You will not always look great in the same things as your sister in the same energy type as you. You will share a color palette and some general preferences, but the exact perfect style for you is individual.

    DZ looks at coloring, voice, and all-over vibe (???). His system is the hardest to DIY. Everyone gets their own set of recommendations. It is more like a common thread running through everyone in a certain archetype, and more broadly, a season.

    Let’s look at Audrey Hepburn. She is a Flamboyant Gamine, 4/1, Playful Winter.

    Does this mean that every 4/1 is also a FG and a Playful Winter? Of course not. It means that she has the body of a Flamboyant Gamine, the face of a 4/1 (reflecting her energy profile overall), and the combination of coloring/voice/anything else that makes David Zyla see Playful Winter for her. You can be a 4/1 and a completely different Kibbe Image ID and Zyla archetype. They are all using different criteria for assessment, and your unique combination of types across different systems is part of what makes you a unique individual.

    So keep an open mind, and don’t try to make correlations across systems! Follow the unique process for each system that their creators have provided.

    Why Did I Return to DYT?

    Of course, the last post on this blog before my unintentional hiatus was Why I Stopped Dressing My Truth, Part 2. And of course I stopped, because what I thought was my Truth was not my truth–the post before that was perfectly 4/1 and I was talking about disobeying my recommendations.

    So I left DYT because I was tired of trying to fit myself into Type 3, where the jewelry was too big and the clothes were too textured and heavy. I think some people do find that DYT just does not work for them, but in my case, it wasn’t working because I had placed myself incorrectly within the system. Once I realized that, though, it was like getting everything back that I loved after years of thinking that I just wasn’t bright enough to handle black and white and pure colors.

    This began to change a little when I realized that all of David Kibbe’s palettes go pretty bright. He doesn’t seem to be much of a fan of things in the Soft range. Accepting David’s view of color, I gave myself permission to go brighter, especially as even DYT T3 seemed to be moving in a more vivid direction.

    I pretty much rejected T3 style but kept the T3 colors, thinking of it as a four-season Autumn. But once I realized I was 4/1, it was basically just giving a name to what I was doing already, and giving myself permission to add black and white to my wardrobe, as well as some colors like non-peacock blue.

    I don’t think that I would get black from David–only Winters get black in his world, and his Winters are very cool and high contrast. But I’m still enjoying allowing myself to express myself using the T4 palette, and I find that keeping 4/1 helps me get my FG yin/yang balance correct. Like many Gamines, I have a tendency to go entirely to the yang side, and T1 reminds me to add back in more yin.

    Besides Kibbe, the only stylist I’d want to go see is David Zyla, but that is forever a puzzle to me. For now, using 4/1 to inform my FG expression feels right to me.

    How have you found working with DYT, if you use it? Does it work with your other style system discoveries?

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