Archive of ‘Kibbe’s Metamorphosis’ category

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 (If you see a post that seems like it reflects these ideas and doesn’t have a note saying it’s outdated, please let me know so I can add one!)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or they are including them knowing that David doesn’t use them, which is worse, because they are knowingly spreading out-of-date information.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?

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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?

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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?

Why I Stopped Dressing My Truth, Part 2

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…Or did I start doing it, at least my definition of it?

In recent months, I’ve been moving away from stricter views of style. You can see that my first post on this subject, as well as in my posts about disobeying your recommendations and abandoning Sci\ART.

Some people may like having a very narrow outline of what they should wear, and having everything in their wardrobe coordinate. I see the appeal of this, and for a long time, I believed that this was the best way. But I feel like it’s started to feeling too constricting for me. It was taking the fun out of clothes. When I started my style journey, I pretty much only wore black and gray. I had no idea what colors looked good on me. Exploring all of these color and style systems has given me clarity, which in turn I now feel allows me to know how I can break the rules.

One of the problems with the stricter systems is that they can almost make you feel guilty for not following them. For instance, if I don’t dress as a Type Three, am I letting myself down because I’m not showing my “true” self? If I don’t want to wear shades and substance, is it giving the wrong impression about who I am?

As it so often happens, the answer came to me while reading Metamorphosis:

Since you don’t have Louis B. Mayer guiding you in developing your star quality, you’ve got to do it for yourself. Discovering your Image Identity is the first step, for it allows you to utilize everything you are–both physically and innately–so that you can integrate your essential uniqueness into your own total look.

Not only will you end perfectly coordinated, with all elements of your appearance working harmoniously and holistically, but you will also get to experience the fun, the excitement, and even the glamour of discovering how thrilling and fulfilling it is when your star quality is out in the open for everyone to see and appreciate. The most exciting part of your metamorphosis becomes the new way you experience yourself as you begin to glory and revel in your totally radiant being!

By putting your uniqueness on display, you allow the world to see that there is no one else exactly like you. You are also able to remember that fact yourself, which is not always easy to do. That’s what Metamorphosis is all about. We’re not transforming you into something that’s going to disappear when you slip out of your clothes or wash the makeup off your face and watch it slowly drain down the sink.

Your true special essence already exists. Your star quality is inside you this very instant as surely as the ability to take your next breath. All you need to do is discover it, acknowledge it, enhance it, allow it to be seen, and then simply sit back and experience the wonder that is you!

I’m putting so long an excerpt here because I think it really captures what I love so much about the way David Kibbe works, and what I think sometimes other people struggle with when they try to work out Kibbe’s system for themselves. You simply are who you are. I can’t make myself into a Marilyn Monroe type anymore than Marilyn could have turned herself into Audrey. It’s about embracing what you are, and letting go of what you’re not.

To some, letting go of who you are not means rejecting things based on color, or by following DYT’s principles. But being Dark Autumn didn’t feel like an essential part of who I was–it was simply a set of rules to follow. DYT didn’t feel like an expression of me. It seemed to just get in the way of who I was, with rules to follow that may reflect my heavy footplant, but that were not as good a representation of me as Flamboyant Gamine is.

For me, using my intuition to follow my yin/yang balance and enjoy being FG is the fullest expression of who I am and my truth.

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Image Identity vs. Image Archetype

Whenever I’m in a Kibbe Facebook group and I see someone use the term “Image Archetype” in place of “Image Identity,” I always correct them. To some, this may seem pedantic. But to me, they mean very, very different things.

Image ID is the term David always uses. Image Archetype, or IA, is used by Rachel Nachmias. I’m not going to get into the whole thing in this blog post, but I want to point out a key area where they differ.

An Image ID is who you are. I like the definition from Dictionary.com: “the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another.” You simply are what you are. Your Image ID is a framework, and you place your own style on top of it. Kibbe’s Metamorphosis is about accepting your physicality and essence for what they are and stopping feeling like the grass is greener. Image IDs don’t place a limit on your self-expression.

An Image Archetype, however, is something else entirely. The word “archetype” infers a pattern, whether that’s in unconscious thought as in Jung or simply meaning a prototype more generally. The focus isn’t on who you are; rather, the focus is on how well you represent a certain idea. In her book The Face of the Business, Rachel lays out the style stereotypes that are supposed to suit each Image Archetype. So if you’re a Pixie (what she calls FG in this book), and you don’t relate to flapper, punk, or mod–you’re out of luck.

This is why people say that a Kibbe Image ID can feel limited, or that they wish they could be X because they want to wear certain clothes, but unfortunately, they’re Y. They are coming from the Image Archetype idea, and not Image ID. As David says, the Image ID is supposed to set you free–not box you in.

To give one example, I will often hear people say, “Well, I’m an Audrey type of FG.” By this, they mean that they don’t want to dress like the stereotype (Kelly Osbourne, perhaps) and prefer simpler, more elegant clothes.


There is nothing wrong with admiring Audrey’s clothes–she is an icon for a reason. It’s the idea that she is somehow an anomaly that I have a problem with, as well as the idea that style is static and that your mood today will be your mood forever. We all evolve. Our yin/yang balance doesn’t change, but we do.


David does say that FGs “have trendy in their DNA,” but that doesn’t mean that FGs have to dress wild all the time. FGs can dress however they want, as long as they respect their yin/yang balance. The same goes for all Image IDs. And this is why I’m so picky about the usage of the correct term: you are who you are as an individual; you are not just one of many made from the same mold.

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Don’t Be a Kibbe Masochist

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You’ve done it. You figured out your Image ID. The old-school celebrities feel relatable to you. Getting dressed is so much easier now. You see how all your supposed “flaws” are just part of your yin/yang balance.

Sadly, at this point, many people actually abandon their Image ID. They go back to something else, something that they wish they were. Why? Maybe it’s, “I don’t want to be a part of a club that would have me as a member.” Maybe once the exciting haze clears of the new discovery, you are left to go back and confront those “flaws,” to finally accept them once and for all. You may now be sure about how to incorporate your personality into your Image ID.

Finding out where you belong, and then putting yourself somewhere else, is masochistic. You are torturing yourself with what you are not. You are saying to yourself, “What I actually am will never be good enough.”

This happens to every Image ID. If you’re an FN and you’re insisting you’re a very tall TR, for instance, there is certainly a TR who is looking at all the supermodel FNs and wishing they were a glamazon. Most people have a hard time recognizing their own beauty, but they can see it in others.

Read Kibbe’s chapter on resistance to your Image ID. Recognize that no one Image ID is superior to another. Beautiful people are found in every single Image ID.

Various Image IDs on display in The Women, 1939. (Source)

Various Image IDs on display in The Women, 1939. (Source)

Give yourself a break. Recognize your own beauty and let yourself be in the Image ID that actually supports your yin/yang balance. Just remember the following:

1) There is no hierarchy. Sure, the TR chapter may be especially flowery because David is writing in part about his wife, but it doesn’t mean that TR is the superior Image ID in practice. I think any TR around could tell you about their own struggles with their self image in their yin/yang balance.

2) There is no limit to your self-expression within any ID. FGs don’t have the market cornered on punk clothing. You can express any look you want within your Image ID.

3) Being in the right ID makes your life easier! You are no longer struggling with clothes that don’t fit right because they weren’t intended for someone with your yin/yang balance.

So stop torturing yourself. Don’t think that just because it’s your yin/yang balance, it is somehow inferior or boring or unattractive. You will shine in whatever your Image ID is.

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An Alternative to “Trying On” an Image ID

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Most people try to figure out their Kibbe Image Identity in the dressing room. This seems logical–it is a style system, after all. But after studying Kibbe for several years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that this doesn’t really work.

This may seem disheartening, and somewhat frustrating. But I have come to believe that it really is an internal process. It is about coming to grips with your physical self. In other words, we come to this process basically knowing the answer, and we cycle through types as an attempt to deal with this, or we have a distorted view of ourselves to begin with and this process forces us to see ourselves as we actually are, perhaps for the first time.

For many, it’s probably a combination of both. When I first started looking at Kibbe, I looked at yin types, because I knew what my actual measurements were and every online calculator had given me the “hourglass” body type designation. Nevermind that the issues that “hourglass” dressing guides were supposed to correct weren’t things I’d personally ever dealt with. The measuring tape gave me this result, so I could never look at yang types.

On the other hand, I also knew that I wasn’t really a curvy person. I had to rid myself of the perception created by numbers and see myself how I actually was, which was someone who actually had a straighter shape, made straighter by torso elongation.

The other issue is, of course, the misperceptions surrounding what women in the Image IDs actually look like. For instance, many of the celebrities labeled as, say, TR on Pinterest are actually FN. For the longest time, I had lingering doubts about FG because many of the women in the FG Facebook group had a broad shoulder line, and I did not. But then David joined and told us that FG is unequivocally narrow, and began redirecting women to SN and SD and other IDs.

So why doesn’t putting together outfits work? Because whatever you put on, you look like the Image ID you are, not what you’re trying on. An SC silhouette isn’t going to look SC on an FN. It will just look like an FN in an outfit that doesn’t match her yin/yang balance. And then there are so many limiting and flat-out incorrect ideas about what a head-to-toe outfit for a certain Image ID is going to look like anyway.

Many of you may be feeling like you might as well just throw in the towel at this point, since if you can’t try on outfits and if most of the information out there is inaccurate, how can you ever figure out your yin/yang balance?

There are only two things you need: The Book and yourself. And maybe access to YouTube/Netflix/Turner Classic Movies/etc, as a bonus.

The excerpts on the internet don’t do Metamorphosis justice. A lot was cut out of the descriptions of the Image IDs when they were typed up and posted. David shows you the experience of having a certain yin/yang balance, and he tells you how to dress it, even before you get to the concrete recommendations, which are just a jumping off point and which can be hit or miss, since clothing construction has changed so much in the past 30 years. But if you read the book over and over, you start to get an intuitive sense of the Image IDs.

And then by looking at the classic celebrities, you start to get a feeling for what links these women all together, and which group of women you would fit into. Most likely, there is something you have had a sense about for most of your life. I latched onto Audrey Hepburn at a young age, for instance, because I related to her shape and to her mix of facial features. Marilyn and Liz resided on a distant planet. Audrey felt familiar. The clothes she wore were clothes that I could wear, since they didn’t require a bust or a voluptuous shape.

I literally keep The Book on my nightstand, and refer to it all the time. Reading the book and absorbing it, and exploring the pantheon of stars mentioned, will do more to reveal your Image ID to you than trying out every piece of clothing at H&M. You may get a sense for what works and what doesn’t, but it won’t show you who you are. Only by really going inward and being honest to yourself about your experience of your physicality will you figure out your Image ID.

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