If you are a black woman like me, you may have experienced this, too. You go to take a Kibbe quiz, or another body shape or body type quiz, and you try to compare yourself to the examples provided, but it doesn't quite work. Because your body doesn't quite match any of the examples.
Me, too! And a lot of the quizzes offer celebrity examples, so I got curious about one style typology in particular. David Kibbe's.
Maybe if I looked at the women of color for each type, it would be helpful. But some had no celebrity women of color as examples and quite a few had only one. Hmm.
Read on to see what I have done about it...
David Kibbe, Metamorphosis & The Image Identity System
In the late 80s, David Kibbe, modified and adapted one or more style typologies already in use, identified and named 13 types, and wrote a book about them called Metamorphosis.
There were five main Kibbe types: Dramatic, Natural, Classic, Gamine and Romantic. And then the variants were: Soft Dramatic, Flamboyant Natural, Soft Natural, Dramatic Classic, Soft Classic, Flamboyant Gamine, Soft Gamine and Theatrical Romantic.
Though these types were connected to personality, they weren't based on it. According to Kibbe, it is your physical characteristics that determine your type, and together they make up your individual combination of yin vs. yang.
What he means by that is the use of descriptors like short, long, curved, straight, soft, taut, wide, narrow, round, balanced, etc., as applied to your bones, flesh, facial features, and more, to identify your composition.
Eventually, he decided to get rid of the five main types, leaving only the variants.
Kibbe Groups & Kibbe Explainers
Then, long after the book went out of print, Facebook discovered it and him, and groups were formed to study this typology so that each group member could figure out her own type, and help others do the same. He eventually was invited to join the groups and soon took them over.
But women had difficulty understanding the system and applying it to themselves. Quizzes were made and whole sections of the book appeared on Pinterest and in other places.
Kibbe interpreters and explainers came along to try to make the system easier to decode, and some of them developed their own businesses by creating similar typologies designed to identify a woman's place in the system.
But Kibbe, What about...?
A LOT of the examples used in the quizzes others created, used in videos by Kibbe explainers, or found on his celebrity examples list were thin, Caucasian celebrities. And women of color, or those who were plus-sized, had trouble finding their place.
So last month, I got curious about just how many celebrity women of color were on the Kibbe list. And when I found out how small that number was, I wondered if I should create a Kibbe quiz for black women...
Creating a Kibbe Quiz: Take a Peek Behind the Scenes...
Stay tuned for more style type information coming your way this fall. Meanwhile, take the Kibbe quiz created for women of color.
See you tomorrow!
Want to leap over style types and go right to
creating a fall capsule wardrobe for your color type?
Go here for 150 new outfit ideas.
If you have been familiar with The Life in Color blog for a while, it won't surprise you to hear that I like scarves. I wear them so frequently, almost all of my pictures have a scarf in it.
But I sometimes get bored wearing them in similar ways, as often as I do. So I decided to celebrate by looking for new ways to wear them...
National Scarf Day
Here's a slideshow from InStyle magazine that gives you 18 ways to tie or wear a scarf: step-by-step scarf tutorial.
And Nordstrom has a tutorial using 4 different types of scarves and for each of them, they give 4 different ways to wear it: how to tie a scarf.
The Five-Day Scarf Challenge
As I was doing some research for this post, I came across an idea for a 5-day scarf challenge. Sounds like fun! If you try it, too, leave a link here or put it on social media.
Here's the article.
Did you wear a scarf today? If not, go put one on.
See you tomorrow!
The Question I Can't Really Answer
For as long as I can remember, for me, style has been about not looking so fat. Even as a child, it was all I wanted.
And once I became an adult, it became a singular style focus: to do whatever I knew would work, to look thinner, and to camouflage my overly-expanded belly.
Need to hide a pregnancy? I know how!
Other considerations were about damage control - wear the right colors, wear beautiful makeup and the right hairstyle, all in the hope that the first thing people thought about me wouldn't be, "boy, is she fat!" or "what is the deal with her stomach?"
And the question I can't answer is, what would I most want to wear if my weight or my belly weren't issues anymore?
An Eternal Style Struggle
Believe it or not, in the course of my long adulthood, I have had 5 belly surgeries. Some were because they didn't get it right the first time!
So my "Hitchcock" belly issues are now eternal.
And right now, I weigh more than I ever have in my life. Menopause has certainly not helped. Nor has medication that - as a side effect - increases your appetite.
But the truth is, I was a comfort food overeater long before I had to contend with either of those issues. And I have not yet resolved that problem, either.
Where I'm at Now, with Style
All we really can do is the best we can with what we have. Can I get an amen?
I'm trying both to lose weight and to get healthier. Not just because I want to look better, but also, because I want to live longer.
Meanwhile, where style is concerned, my emphasis is three-fold...
(1) Wearing myself - reflecting the inside me on the outside.
(2) Aligning with my body - wearing what looks best on the body I have now.
(3) Having as much fun with my style as I possibly can.
I wear the colors I love, and have a great time mixing prints and patterns, wearing big earrings and creating my own version of big hair!
Have you ever struggled with your weight? And if not, what would you say is your biggest style struggle?
See you tomorrow!
My mission is to help you discover, embrace and celebrate your own beauty and style.
Thanks for dropping by! I'll see you soon.
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