I notice a great deal of confusion about Kibbe’s body type system, especially when it comes to Yin and Yang. The understanding of these two forces is crucial for defining one’s type and place on the Yin-Yang scale. Quite often such absolutely different types as Soft Classic and Soft Natural, or even Soct Classic and Soft Dramatic are being confused. This stems undoubtedly from the lack of understanding of how Yin and Yang work in our features in Kibbe’s body type system. I’m not a Kibbe expert – the only expert is David Kibbe himself, but I’m presenting this topic following his views. So let’s clarify it.
Yin and Yang DOESN’T mean female vs male or feminine vs masculine. Many women mistakenly consider Yin and Yang as the indication of female vs male features. Naturally, when taking the test they know that A and B answers stand for sharper, more Yang features, so they resist them and that’s how they ruin the results of the test. Kibbe actually doesn’t recommend the quiz anymore, but even without it people may tend to want to be something they aren’t.
Even if you do a quick search of Yin and Yang in Wikipedia, you’ll find that it is:
“a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another”
I don’t see any mention of female vs male, do you? In fact, female vs male isn’t even the best example of Yin and Yang! The best examples would be light vs dark and soft vs sharp. That’s exactly how Kibbe works – Yin stands for softness, roundness, delicateness, and Yang – for sharpness, definition, broadness.
There’s no pure Yin or Yang. Look at the header image for this post – the dark side has a bit of light in it and vice versa. Why so? In this concept of dualism, light doesn’t exist without dark. Without having an opposite force, the nature of a single force can’t be fully appreciated. Would we appreciate the day if it would last 24h, every day? Would we cherish the night if there wouldn’t be daylight to compare it to?
You might think of extreme Yin or Yang examples, such as Marilyn Monroe or Tilda Swinton. Look closely at both. Both of them have a tiny bit of the opposite here and there and even if it’s a tiny bit, it counts.
So we arrive at the idea that everyone has their own place on the spectrum between Yin and Yang.
Neither Yin nor Yang is prettier. Would you say Lauren Bacall (extreme Yang, Kibbe Dramatic) doesn’t look feminine, attractive, stunning? Would you be able to argue that she’s not as pretty as a woman on the opposite side of the spectrum – extreme Yin Elizabeth Taylor? I doubt that.
Without Yin, we would be blind to the stunning beauty of Yang. Yang features would simply be mundane, usual to us. Same with Yang – its sharpness is the opposite to the softness of Yin, but then it gives us the ability to appreciate it.
It’s easy to tell Yin from Yang. I sometimes hear that Yin and Yang in Kibbe body type system is very difficult to tell and disagree completely. What features are usually Yang and Yin?
Soft Round Small Delicate Short Luscious Curvy
Sharp Broad Long Blunt Taut Muscular Straight Narrow (e.g. eyes and limbs if they are long)
To see a lot of actual examples of Yin and Yang features, I’d suggest you checking out the Kibbe quiz – I illustrated each option for all the questions, so it can help clarify how to distinguish sharp vs soft features.
How to evaluate Yin and Yang? If you dislike something about yourself, then try to imagine for a moment that you love everything in your features. Once you try to accept them, you won’t have a problem telling if they are rounded, sharp, or blunt. The thing is, your beauty is like nobody else’s. It’s got no categories, it doesn’t care about types – it simply exists. It’s no different from a beauty of a flower or building because it doesn’t need anyone to define it. Try to find appreciation for it. Try to understand that your features are what makes you, well, YOU. Look at yourself with love – then you won’t want to judge your features unfairly.
Takeaway: Yin and Yang aren’t about feminine vs masculine, but simply about two opposites. Yang features are sharp, precise, often prominent. Yin features are soft, round, and often luscious. Your features are your precious asset because they make you a unique person you are and please make the world and yourself a favor – embrace yourself. Nobody else can use your talents and shine like only you can, because there’s only one you.
P.S. If you’d like to get notified every time I post, subscribe to my blog below. Quality of my content is very important to me and the only way I’ll develop this blog is by contantly improving it. I sincerely appreciate every subscriber and will deliver the best posts.
More on Kibbe’s Metamorphosis: