Misconceptions About Kibbe Image Identities (FG, SG, FN, D, TR, Classics, Gamines)

Soft Gamine vs Theatrical Romantic? Do Flamboyant Naturals look their best in boho style? Should Classics be ‘graceful, proper, gracious’? Let’s find answers together.

Over the years Kibbe system aka Kibbe Metamorphosis has been reinterpreted and misinterpreted numerous times, which is how a lot of misconceptions occured. The worst thing is that they really skew the whole system and make it difficult to use. I think it’s important to debunk these common misconceptions about certain Kibbe image identities because they are just obstacles on our way, so let’s do it!

Before I begin, let me premise this post by saying that I’m not a Kibbe system expert. I am a passionate researcher and the goal of my posts about Metamorphosis is to share my understanding of the system with those who is interested about learning and using it. Since David Kibbe doesn’t certify or officially approves anyone to practice his system, it goes without saying that the only expert is he himself when it comes to typing other people and theory behind his system. Besides, everyone interested in his system can become their own personal experts and use this system. You are free to study his system any way you prefer, but it’s my duty as Kibbe’s system researcher to let you know that there’s a Facebook group called ‘Strictly Kibbe’ where David Kibbe himself explains his system. I’m simply informing you about it and if you choose to join it, there’s no way of knowing if your expectations will be met. In my posts about Kibbe’s image identities (aka Metamorphosis) I follow the theory David Kibbe highlighs in his book Metamorphosis (1987) the way I understand it. My goal is to share my own findings with everyone who wants to learn and use this system. I don’t offer typings (goes without saying – the reason mentioned above) and always make sure that whatever I post goes in line with how David Kibbe himself presents his system. David Kibbe Website.

Flamboyant Natural signature style is boho style

Kibbe system was never about specific styles in clothing – it’s always been about determining the Yin-Yang balance and then following the features of a person to construct outfits and looks. Women who belong to the Flamboyant Natural image identity can have any style they like, independently on the style.

Gamines need an ‘insane’ amount of detail in their looks

This might seem overwhelming for any Gamine! Gamines do require detail in their looks because of their unique juxtaposition of Yin and Yang, but insane? Not really. The detail can be in how different fabric textures combine in the outfit, jewelry, prints – anything. A Gamine doesn’t need to look like Lady Gaga (unless they want to of course) every day to honor her unique Yin-Yang balance.

Adding a contrasting belt is the best way to ‘break the line’ for Gamines

So it seems that, for instance, Classics can’t wear contrasting belts because they aren’t supposed to ‘break the line’? The thing is, a belt is only one element that can either work for an outfit or not. Many pieces of clothing aren’t supposed to be worn with belt at all. For instance, long cardigans that hold their shape won’t be ‘fixed’ with a belt – the cardigan itself will still give off the stiff vertical line. The concept of ‘breaking the line’ is, I think, taken too literally. What really needs to be achieved with breaking the line is constructing the outfit in a way that would not give the feel of a long vertical because Gamines are compact, petite.

Soft Gamine vs Theatrical Romantic: SG looks like a teenage girl, a TR looks like a woman

The only feeling I have about this, dare I say, stupid and offensive, idea, is 🤦🤦🤦

Soft Gamine vs Theatrical Romantic is a common question and I think it deserves a post of its own, but just to keep it short: these image identities are different in their Yin-Yang balance, NOT in how youthful they look or any other subjective ways. Soft Gamines are grown women same as Theatrical Romantics and this stereotype about Soft Gamines being ‘cute and girly’ just needs to stop. Check out my post about Eartha Kitt – verified SG, and you’ll see for yourself that this misconception is simply nonsensical.

Dramatics can’t have a pronounced waist – their shape is more straight

Having a pronounced waist doesn’t exclude Dramatic from the list of possible image identities. The question is more about curves or their absense – not waist. You can Google images of any of the verified Kibbe Dramatics, such as Alexis Smith, Faye Dunaway, or Greta Garbo and you’ll notice that all of them have a pronouced waist. The real focus here should be on curves and whether they define the body features. Having a pronounced waist doesn’t automatically means being curvy.

For Soft Gamines, a fail-safe strategy is to wear preppy style

This kind of style:

I’ve found these examples by searching ‘Soft Gamine outfit examples’ and checking the self-proclaimed Kibbe experts’ suggestions, by the way. I don’t even think most of these outfits comply with the book! They are too symmetrical and have too harsh geometric elements, which isn’t the best choice for Soft Gamines, some of the outfits are too stiff or too wide and unconstructed. In the book Metamorphosis (1987), David Kibbe says:

Line and silhouette: Broken, curved lines. Sharply tapered outline. Small, bouffant lines with crisp edges. Small, draped lines with tapered edges.

Avoid: Geometric silhouettes. Wide, unconstructed silhouettes. Soft and flowing silhouettes. Symmeteical silhouettes. All elongated lines. All strong horizontal lines. All smooth lines. Severe, straight lines.

For instance, the white jacket in the bottom row has sharp geometric style – exactly what isn’t suggested for Soft Gamines in the book. As a SG myself, I know that this kind of super symmetrical outfits makes me look boxy, disproportionally wide, hits my curves in all the wrong places, and doesn’t honor my petiteness and curvy shape at all. Specific items of clothing don’t have image identities – it’s the way the whole look is built that matters. On top of all, specific styles don’t ‘belong’ to specific image identities.

Flamboyant Gamines are ‘miniature Dramatics’

I have a very good idea where this idea came from, but it doesn’t matter now – the damage is done. The thing is, image identities are stand-alone units – they can’t be compared and they don’t overlap. I can understand when FG and SG are compared – they belong to the same family of Gamines and have a lot in common, but FG and D are two image identities that are simply too different. In terms of Yin and Yang balance, Dramatics are very Yang-dominant, while FG have a combination of opposites Yin and Yang with a slight domination of Yang.

Flamboyant Gamines have to have saucer eyes like Audrey Hepburn or Twiggy

This is also often said referring to Soft Gamines, but mostly I’ve seen it said about FG. Firstly, everyone’s Yin and Yang balance is unique and having or not having one specific feature doesn’t ‘decide’ the image identity. Secondly, facial features, even though they’ve been included in the test in Metamorphosis book back in 1987, aren’t the features to focus on when searching one’s image identity – it’s the body features that impact the choice of outfits. Besides, take a look at verified FGs like Tina Turner or Shari Belafonte – their eyes aren’t large at all. Yin in FGs doesn’t necessarily come from large eyes. Everyone’s Yin-Yang combination is unique and we’re looking for specific Yin-Yang balance – not specific features.

Classics are ladylike, polished, genteel, proper, gracious, etc.

It’s often said referring to both style and personality 😲 To keep it short, style and personality doesn’t connect in any way with Kibbe image identity. A person can be all these things and dress that way or belong to a Classic image identity and associate with 100% different features. If you feel you could be a Soft Classic or Dramatic Classic, but then these stereotypical characteristics make you feel like you ‘don’t fit’ these image identities, remember that these stereotypes are irrelevant. In the book, Kibbe refers to physical essence – the combination of Yin and Yang, which means body features – not personality. The vivid descriptions that David Kibbe used in the book were, in my opinion, a poetic way to explain how Yin and Yang combine for each image identity – not refer to specific personality types. This isn’t Suzanne Caygill saying in her book Color: The Essence Of You (1980) that personality directly depends on the coloring.

Hopefully this post gave you more info on Kibbe system and different image identities.

More on Kibbe system:

Soft Gamine vs Theatrical Romantic in Kibbe System w/Examples

Why Kibbe Image IDs AREN’T ‘Kibbe Body Types’

10 Myths About Kibbe That Ruin It For You

Why Rihanna ISN’T a Theatrical Romantic 

Waist Shape in Kibbe System. Waistline and Yin-Yang Balance

Meaning of Yin and Yang in Kibbe System

What Is Vertical Line In Kibbe’s System? w/Examples +FAQ

5 Reasons why you struggle to find your image identity in Kibbe’s system

Height in Kibbe: why Taylor Swift, Lily Cole, and Zendaya AREN’T Gamine

Kibbe image ID quiz with pictures

See you in my next post,


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Author: Alexandra @YouAndMeAndCupOfCoffee.com

Passionate researcher and writer. Coffee maniac. Pilates enthusiast. Makeup and skincare junkie. Occasionally - movie and book reviewer. Come join me on my quest!

4 thoughts on “Misconceptions About Kibbe Image Identities (FG, SG, FN, D, TR, Classics, Gamines)”

  1. I’ll admit that I stereotyped Soft Natural, since Natural is The Girl Next Door and as I saw others say “who wants to be the typical, ordinary Girl Next Door?”

    Actually I applied the Boho style to SN instead of FN. Now Ironically I’m now looking at SN, since I discounted it so easily before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must say I’ve found it really difficult to shield myself from stereotypes – too many of them out there and too many interpretations! Besides, every culture and every individual has their own opinion – makes it even harder.
      Strangely enough, for me the ‘Girl Next Door’ has always seemed like a compliment – I envision a natural beauty, glowing with her natural charm, someone who’s pleasant to be around, with an aura of kindness. Always makes me think of Betty Grable’s portrayal of Loco – a seemingly regular girl with stereotypical dreams, but then there’s nothing ordinary about her. And there’s nothing less ordinary than a SN who dresses in a way to honor her Yin-Yang balance – well, I think it applies to every image identity 😊
      Thank you for your comment ❤️


  2. I mentioned in another comment that I had a different blogger label me as a Theatrical Romantic with a Soft Gamine face. I don’t know if that is possible and I’m wondering if you can offer me some insight.

    I have a narrow and oblong face, with a tall forehead. I have round eyes that are not upturned at all. My nose is bulbous and wide. My lips are round. My bottom lip is full and fleshy, but I have added sharpness because my top lip is very thin. My cheeks are quite flat and only a bit fleshy when I am overweight, but I tend not to gain weight in my face.

    I am 166 cm tall. I have narrow shoulders that are a bit sharp and my collar bones protrude when I do not have extra weight. My arms are short, but very thin. My legs are short and fleshy. My waist is defined, even with excess weight. My hips are kind of straight, especially when I do not have excess weight. However, I collect wait around my stomach and waist easily. I am busty whether I am average weight or overweight.

    I have a cousin who is a Soft Gamine. Her vertical line and limbs are shorter than mine. She is obviously very short. Her curves are less prominent and her waist loses definition when she gains weight. I don’t know if it is possible for us to be the same type.

    What do you think? I look forward to hearing from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Short answer: no, it’s not possible for a person to be part one image ID and part another. I feel like this bizarre idea comes from the ignorance about the Kibbe system and failed attempts to ‘type’ people by pictures online.
      From what you’ve said, I can only give you some pointers:
      *do your best not to focus so much on every feature – it may prevent you from seeing a bigger picture. Moreover, focus on the general features of your body – not face. I described the general features of every image identity as I understand them in the post about waist https://youandmeandcupofcoffee.wordpress.com/2020/09/09/waist-shape-in-kibbe-system-waistline-and-yin-yang-balance/
      *avoid comparing yourself with anyone – women in the same image ID can be as different as night and day, but they’ll share the same Yin-Yang balance
      *only DOUBLE curves matter when you’re trying to determine whether you’re curvy or not, that is both bustline and hipline has to be curvy. About bustline: pay attention, the whole ribcage area counts, not only breast size!! As a rule, image identities with a large portion of Yin have double curves – SG, TR (narrow curves), R (wider curves), SD.
      *both SG and TR can’t be obviously tall – they are obviously petite. Both SG and TR are petite all over – they don’t have large, prominent features. If a SG or TR is around 5’5” or a bit taller, then she’ll have that obvious delicateness of features that’ll offset the slightly longer vertical line.
      *Yin and Yang research can give you some clues https://youandmeandcupofcoffee.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/the-meaning-of-yin-and-yang-in-kibbes-body-types/
      *I’d suggest you not to focus so closely on SG or TR for a while, but just explore. Watch movies with verified actresses in different image ID’s (e.g. if not for ‘The Apartment’ movie, I’d have a hard time trying to pinpoint what width is – Shirley Maclaine is a FN, ‘Children’s Hour’, helped me see how FG is delicately angular (Audrey Hepburn) and FN (Shirley Maclaine again) is broadly angular). I know examples of women who initially thought they were SG, but turned out to be FG – delicate width and angularity are hard to understand.
      You can look through my other posts on Kibbe here https://youandmeandcupofcoffee.wordpress.com/tag/kibbe-metamorphosis/ – maybe you’ll come across something that’ll help.
      If there’s anything else I can help you with, feel free to ask. Of course, I’m not an expert, but I’ll do my best to at least give you some suggestions.
      Have an awesome day ahead!


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