Posts Tagged ‘curvy FG’

Why I’m NOT a “Curvy FG”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
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Sometimes I consider deleting old blog posts that no longer represent how I see Kibbe’s system. I try and go through my posts every few months and add notes to posts that I feel represent an idea that I’ve “archived,” so to speak, and that no longer factor into how I see Kibbe’s system. But I keep on seeing these posts referenced in other places regardless, and I feel like I’m confusing people, despite my clear note explaining that I no longer agree with what I wrote.

One of the major ideas that falls into this category are the ideas of a “curvy FG” and “g-leaning” and “f/n-leaning” FGs. Seeing these terms now make me twitch. I’ve come to realize that I am not a curvy FG. I am simply an FG.

Part of this confusion is, of course, due to the idea that Kibbe has gotten rid of the middle types. Gamines and Flamboyant Gamines have different body shapes. Gamines are narrow and straight in addition to being angular, sharp, etc. and Flamboyant Gamines are broadly angular. “Broad” is the key word here, because it’s the major idea that gets lost.

The broadness is what makes the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations possible. If you want to hang a boxy top off your shoulders, you need broad shoulders to do it. All of the things that define Flamboyant Gamine as a separate type require a more significant bone structure than G has to pull them off.

So I’m not a “curvy FG” at all. I’m a regular old FG, no special changes necessary. I’m fleshier, because I’m a little overweight, not because I’m “curvy.” “Broadly angular” is how I would define the overall theme of my body shape. I have broad shoulders and wide, flat hips with angles in between. The Flamboyant Gamine recommendations as written respect this.

The issue arose when Gamines who are a little more yang were folded into FG. This does both groups a disservice. Suddenly the overall picture of the FG body shape gets a lot more narrow. Those of us who have the bone structure as described in the book somehow become the outliers.

I don’t think that FGs should be split into “N-leaning” (broader) and “G-leaning” (narrower, aka Gs). This is just a workaround for a supposed change that actually over-complicates Kibbe’s system. When I say “I’m an FG,” it should be understood that my wardrobe is built around the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations. Yes, Kibbe says you should also read the chapters for Dramatic and Gamine, and that Gamine is more important for the overall picture. At thinner weights, I think FGs can pull some things from Gamine. When I was very thin, I even sometimes dipped into SG (although of course at that time I had no idea SG existed). If you are broad enough to carry off FG, you are not going to need Gamine to make FG work for you; it may just be a possibility to expand your wardrobe possibilities, and one you may not always have at all times in your life.

Where I would use “leaning” is for Gamines themselves. I do see that there is variation in facial features that shows that the balance between yin and yang is not 50/50. But these Gamines should still base their wardrobes on the Gamine lines. Where they can pull from FG or SG is in things like pattern, jewelry, and even, in a way, “essence.” A Gamine that leans yang can easily pull off the mod and punk looks often associated with FG. And a yin-leaning Gamine might have even more of the “sweetness” and ingenue qualities ascribed to, sometimes mistakenly, to SG. Think Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.

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Unlike FG’s ability to steal from Gamine, this is something I don’t think would change over the course of your lifetime with weight gain and body changes. In my observations, it is mainly derived from facial features.

So, in closing, I’d like to retract the entire idea of “curvy FG” and the idea of there being two kinds of FGs. When I say “Flamboyant Gamine,” I am referring to the Flamboyant Gamine described in the book, one that is not mixed up with Gamine. I consider myself to fit in this group with no exceptions needed. If Flamboyant Gamine had been presented this way to me to begin with, I would not have wasted months in Soft Gamine and Soft Natural because I felt I wasn’t skinny and lanky enough for FG. In the end, isn’t simplicity and clarity in a system like this what we need?

Does Weight Gain Make You More Yin?

This is a question that occasionally comes up among people exploring Kibbe. My answer to this, as it is for so many things involving Kibbe, is yes and no.

It makes you more yin in that you are more likely to get more yin points on the Kibbe quiz. Your arms are thicker; you’re more likely to have volume on your face. But although your test results might show something different, in reality, if you are a yang type, you actually probably become even more yang. The quiz is not calibrated to reflect the types at different weights. The physical descriptions include a section on how each type gains weight, but it can be hard to see past the physical description for the non-overweight versions of types. (Here are the weight gain descriptions.)

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This is a picture of Edie Sedgwick at a heavier weight than the one that she was when she was famous.

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Does she look more yang in the photos where she is skinny? Sure. We see a sinewy, curveless figure. But I like the photo of Edie with the dark hair and heavier weight because I can see myself in it, and I see how the extra yin we see is an illusion. My arms now are a similar shape, and don’t have the length commonly associated with Flamboyant Gamine. In fact, that is why I spent so much time considering Soft Gamine. I am soft. But I am not yin-dominant.

I actually follow the Flamboyant Gamine weight gain pattern perfectly: “Body tends to become stocky and square. Excess weight usually collects from the waist down, rarely above. Arms and legs tend to become thick, as does the waist and hip area. Face may become very puffy and fleshy.”

My ribcage has remained pretty much the same, but my limbs and hip area have gotten decidedly thicker–and more and more square. I came to Kibbe because of weight gain. I used to be very skinny and didn’t even understand what a “problem area” was, because everything looked good on me. But with weight gain, I no longer knew how to dress myself without hating what I saw in the mirror. In the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations, my problem areas were no longer a problem. Breaking the line in the right place emphasizes the nice shape my upper torso still has and and breaks up the boxiness of my bottom half. I see the magic that knowing your Kibbe type can do–which is why I can only shake my head when people try to dismiss the recommendations as being “too 80s.” Some details need to be tweaked, and we have to make allowances for the wonders of spandex, but the basic outline of how your type should dress has not changed. What flatters your body hasn’t changed.

I asked some other Flamboyant Gamines what they thought, and the consensus seems to be that when skinny, an FG can borrow more from straight Gamine, and maybe even some from Soft Gamine. But with weight gain, you’re better off sticking strictly to the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations and not wandering off. I don’t know how it works in other types, but I wager that the results would be the same.

So in my case, I have found that while weight gain may make me seem more yin at first glance, it has actually emphasized the yang qualities of my shape, and has made sticking to my yang FG recommendations far more important.

Have you gone through a similar experience with weight gain and Kibbe?

Flamboyant Gamine “Curves”

This is basically more or less on the same subject as my last post, but I thought it was important to give it a separate post because of my other posts on the subject.

To recap, before, I thought that, if you were curvy, the difference between Flamboyant Gamine and Soft Gamine was in the face. I think you’ll still see a difference in the face, but there’s a difference in the body, too.

The SGs and the FGs have a much more similar shape than we usually think of them as having. The main difference seems to be that FG will have angles and an SG will have a curve.

Let’s look at Brigitte Bardot (SG) and Audrey Hepburn (FG). Brigitte’s measurements at one point in her career, according to this website, were 36-20-35. Audrey’s were 34-20-34. So relatively similar–Audrey is technically an hourglass, and Brigitte was a slightly top-heavy hourglass and just a little bit curvier by the numbers.
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Their shapes are incredibly similar… yet it’s clearly evident that the extra Romantic in SG has given a little bit of a curvy shape, and the extra Dramatic in FG has resulted in a shape composed entirely of angles.

SG’s curve is not as dramatically curved as a Romantic’s, such as Elizabeth Taylor (36-21-36, so not too far off from our G women above). But you can still see the curve vs. angularity in FG.
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So what makes a “curvy” FG instead of a Soft Gamine? Angles instead of curves. I think you’d still be able to tell from the face, but it may be easier to see in body shape.

Why I’m Not a Soft Natural

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I don’t like body-type recommendations very much. I much prefer Kibbe’s emphasis on creating harmony within yourself, and not trying to conform to classical rules of beauty and symmetry. That being said, there is obviously a body-type component to Kibbe. You wouldn’t have an apple-shaped Theatrical Romantic, for instance. But recommendations for my type (hourglass–my shoulders and hips are even, and I have a small waist) conflict with FG, and FG works, so that was enough for me to dismiss body-type recommendations as nonsense meant to achieve something that isn’t possible.

While I’m still not their biggest fan, I am now realizing that there is a way they could work for me. Yesterday, one of the members of our Facebook style community began a project mapping Kibbe Image Identities to Imogen Lamport’s body types. Now, of course I went in with my usual suspicion of body-type dressing, especially since I know that my body doesn’t fit the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations very well. I consider myself to have X with a secondary H. The more weight I gain, the squarer my shape gets, my hips especially. This person sees X-H as a Soft Natural shape. I do, too. I see similar shapes to my own when I see Soft Naturals, and I’ve never understood why Soft Natural is just so awful on me. If you read the description of a Soft Natural body, it sounds like me, weight gain patterns and all.

But I think there are words in Kibbe that are loaded. These words are loaded because he seems to use them in a different way than people who aren’t Kibbe. One of these is “curvy.” I think that in Kibbe, “curvy” means a curved line, not just 36-24-36. He describes Soft Naturals as, “slightly curvy, tends to an hourglass shape, but not extremely so.” We tend to think of how curvy someone is in measurements. But I think Kibbe is talking about the line we see. An SN can be mathematically curvier than a TR, especially when you consider that Naturals are often curvier from the side than the front. But the TR will have a curvier line to their bust, waists, and hips.

And this is exactly why Soft Natural doesn’t work for me. I don’t have a slight curve. I have what I described in this post: a very tapered ribcage on top of squarish hips the same width as my shoulders. My torso shape is composed entirely of angles and straight lines, no curve in sight.

Who else had this non-curvy hourglass body shape?

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Audrey. Hepburn.

This shows that even a wasp waist is possible in FG, provided that everything is composed out of angles and straight lines, no curves. While an I or a plain V might be more common in FG, I think that if you combine I or H with V, you get the FG version of “curves.” We can only highlight our waists in something that follows our shape exactly, whether it’s from structure or bodycon. We cannot softly emphasize, the way SNs do. A softly flowing curve makes no sense over dramatic angles. I also don’t like to cinch, but your mileage may vary. So this is why both Soft Natural and recommendations for X shapes did absolutely nothing for me. I am an inverted triangle and a rectangle masquerading as an hourglass.

I think that if you are searching for your Kibbe type, read what Kibbe says about bodies very carefully, since he often means something a little bit different than other people. If you have no curvy lines, you can’t be a curvy Kibbe type. You want to match what you’ve got. So even if you have something that may seem to kick you out of a type, like a wasp waist for FG, really look at what is creating these particular details. You may end up with something totally different from the obvious answer.

The Two Types of Flamboyant Gamines

Update, 6/24/15: Please read this post. I no longer believe in the idea of “curvy FG” or the idea of “two types of FGs” as described here.

When I last talked about FG, I discussed the physical guidelines that can help you decide you’re a curvy FG or a Soft Gamine. Today, however, I’d like to expand on the idea of a curvy FG, and discuss what I see as the two categories of Flamboyant Gamine.

Kibbe has, for the most part, done away with the middle categories of C, G, and N. The obvious result of this is that people who would have once found themselves comfortably in one of these middle categories now has to decide whether they fall on the yin or yang side of the scale. (Note: I am linking that post mainly for the chart. Some stuff in that post, especially about how I see myself, no longer applies.) This means that people who have just a little bit more Dramatic than Romantic in the composition of their Gamine are now Flamboyant Gamines.

This is actually a huge change. In the quiz, while I know some feel that it can only confuse you, it actually gives very good clues as to how the types are put together. If we look at FG, he says that FG is nearly equal A and E answers (Dramatic and Romantic) with extra B answers (Natural). These extra B answers ensure that even if you have more E answers than A answers, you’ll still be yang-dominant. Gamine is just an equal mixture of D and R, but if you had a little more D than R, you’d probably still fall into the Gamine category, rather than Flamboyant Gamine.

But now that G has been eliminated, those of you who have more D than R, with no N, would still end up in Flamboyant Gamine. There have always been people, such as Twiggy, who have seemed to lack N and ended up in Flamboyant Gamine. But they were exceptions. Now, there are lots of Flamboyant Gamines who don’t have N at all, and thus will look a little different. What the N does is widens. It adds a more mesomorphic figure. It may even add curves–I believe all curvy FGs are FGs with N. N is, after all, sharp D yang softened by some yin. Those without the Natural yang are the people who look more classically gamine, rather than the sturdier and wider FGs with N.


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Tina Turner and Geraldine Chaplin
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The elimination of the plain G type has created two kinds of FGs. We can think of them as F-leaning FGs (Flamboyant Gamine with N) and G-leaning FGs (Flamboyant Gamine without N). I do not like to use “N-leaning” or “D-leaning.” I find it misleading, since neither kind of Flamboyant Gamine can borrow recommendations from the Naturals or from the Dramatics. F-leaning FGs are actually the FGs described in the book, and will probably find it easier to stick with the book recommendations for FG, without dipping into the Gamine section. G-leaning FGs will likely prefer the Gamine recommendations to the FG recommendations alone, and may find some of the FG recommendations, such as plunging necklines, to be unflattering, but may want to sharpen up Gamine to work with the extra yang they have.

I am sure that you can find a similar phenomenon among the N types, C types, and SGs. For SG, for example, I think the general idea would be the same, with some SGs having moderate yin (D answers on the quiz) and some not. I just happen to have spent more time thinking about FG, and have observed the patterns in our FG Facebook group. The division is very obvious. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, especially if you’re in a type that had the middle type eliminated.

Curvy Flamboyant Gamine: Physical Guidelines

Update, 6/24/15: Please read this post. I no longer believe in the idea of “curvy FG” as described here.

I expanded my last post for some Kibbe groups on Facebook, and I figured I should put what I added here as well.

So what does a curvy Flamboyant Gamine look like?

MAC Cosmetics Viva Glam Party

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In Metamorphosis, Kibbe says we can deviate from the guidelines, as long as these deviations don’t upset our yin/yang balance. We know that Kibbe has typed voluptuous hourglasses as Flamboyant Naturals when that is listed on the “NO” list for FNs, so why can’t it be the same for FGs? It all comes down to The Most Important Thing, or TMIT. For Gamines of either type, I think that TMIT is the face—not height, because there are Kibbe-confirmed FGs like Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy, who are above-average height, and not body type, because your eye is supposed to move around on a G and not focus on any one aspect of their physicality. Obviously if you’re six feet tall, etc., it may disrupt your yin/yang balance enough to move you out of gamine, but you get the picture.

So if your face is a mix of D and R, but D dominates, it may push you out of SG and into FG, even if your body is more SG. For me, I would say my face is 1/3 R and 2/3 D, which makes SG’s rounded shapes not work and made me want to add bold geometrics to any type I was trying on. I have noticed that FGs who are closer to 50/50 in terms of their facial D/R balance tend to have the brick-shaped, coltish, very yang body we think of as being classic FG. They also can go more toward classic G in their clothes, and wear things like cigarette pants with Breton striped tee. They don’t need as much opposition/drama in their clothes.

In a way, this is not much different from how SD works—SDs are either yang faces with yin flesh or vice versa. Kibbe doesn’t have a type for yang face/yin size/yin flesh. I think SD works in this case if your curves dominate and you project an SD type of sexiness. And I think FG works if the D in your face with some opposition of R dominates.

To sum it all up, you can be a curvy/soft Flamboyant Gamine IF the opposition of Dramatic and Romantic in your face leans heavily to the Dramatic side, AND if the curviness and softness of your body doesn’t dominate over your facial features.

Curvy Flamboyant Gamine

Update, 6/24/15: Please read this post. I no longer believe in the idea of “curvy FG” as described here.

When I first realized that I was a Flamboyant Gamine, I thought it would be difficult for me to follow the recommendations because I am curvy, rather than shaped like Twiggy. If you are asked how I ended up an FG then, you can read my entire series on this topic, which was written as this discovery was being made, but basically, Kibbe does not have a category for yin in size/yang in face/yin in flesh, and I score as a “G” on the quiz. But the extra Dramatic in my face takes precedence over the extra Romantic in my body. I know this because I need bold geometrics, not the rounded shapes you find in SG.

So how do you do FG when you’re curvier than the average FG? What I have found is that it is not difficult at all. The narrow shapes and bodycon styles do enough to flatter curves, even if most of the example FGs are much straighter-looking than I am, for me to use the recommendations without having to make many concessions or alterations.

What doesn’t work for curvy FlamGams? The “blouson” style dress. I’m also not a fan of dropped waists in general. I love the flapper-dress look on other people, but I need more construction and for things to be tight.

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I would also look at Gamine recommendations, but I think all FlamGams should, whether you have a yinnier face and a straighter body or a yangier face and a yinner body. The only thing I take from Gamine, though, is move the waist up to my natural waist, instead of a dropped waist. Despite my curvier figure, Gamine is actually still too delicate for me.

If you are still finding that FlamGam isn’t working that well for you, you may well be another type completely, and that’s okay. But in the meantime, I attempted to make my first-ever Polyvore to illustrate, using Kelly O., the patron saint of non-Twiggyesque FlamGams. I actually own the dress on the left, and it is gorgeous for a FlamGam who has a conservative event to go to.

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One of the most interesting things about Flamboyant Gamine is that it is yin, sharp yang, and blunt yang. We have all of the elements of Kibbe’s system, and they are all in opposition with one another. A wide variety of Flamboyant Gamine bodies and faces is to be expected, so don’t worry if you feel like you don’t exactly look like the typical FG. The proof is in the recommendations.