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!
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