Hello and welcome ❤️ Image identities in Kibbe system don’t overlap – they are like planets in the Solar System and each one is absolutely unique and independent from others, but still exists by the same rules. The whole idea of comparing two image identities thereby can be considered nonsensical because how can one compare incomparable things? That being said, I think looking at two image identities side by side can be very useful in the process of learning them, in order to understand them. So consider this kind of post as not a comparison, but merely a closer look at these image identities that can be often confused because they share several important features. In my previous post I analyzed Soft Gamine vs Theatrical Romantic, now Soft Natural vs Romantic.
Before I begin, let me say 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 and/or offer typings (determining image identities), 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 a 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 is mentioned above) and always make sure that whatever I post goes in line with how David Kibbe himself presents his system. David Kibbe Official Website.
Why Soft Natural vs Romantic? These image identities can share several key features:
- moderate to petite vertical line,
- lush, full facial features,
- curves and fleshiness,
- limbs can be short,
- width is there, but in different ‘amounts’ and of different kinds
When I read physical profile descriptions for these two image identities, I definitely understand the difference:
- Romantic is delicate, SN is slightly angular
- R is rounded, SN has slightly square/blunt contours
- SN can have longer limbs and ‘leggy look’ as it says in the book, but a Romantic usually has shorter limbs because it’s Yin-dominant
- SN can be up to 5’7” tall, R is usually more petite, up to 5’5” (from Metamorphosis (1987) book)
- SN can be slightly curvy, but for R curves are the key feature
- R are small and can be a bit wide, but for SN there’s width through the shoulder area (very important!)
However, it’s easier to discuss it than to actually tell in reality (as always 😊). Hopefully, this post will clarify the situation to a degree where you won’t have to second-guess width, curves, vertical line for Romantic and Soft Natural image identities.
For my primary examples I chose Betty Grable (SN) and Marilyn Monroe (R). The reason is because I’ve got a purrrrrfect example to present to you – a video from How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) where they both participate in the fashion show scene and you can see their shape very well.
For the record, reported height of Betty Grable is 5ft 3-5ft 4 (160-163 cm) depending on the source and Marilyn Monroe’s reported height is 5 ft 5½ inches (165-166 cm), which I’d say is about right judging from their photos and movie scenes alongside other celebrities.
Btw, this movie is quite charming and you get to see Lauren Bacall (a verified Kibbe Dramatic) too, so I’d definitely suggest it to anyone, but let’s move on to the SN vs R.
It seems like the most obvious difference between Soft Natural and Romantic image identities lies in the bone structure – slightly broad and angular vs rounded and small. Now, I find that the easiest way to see the width of a Soft Natural (and Flamboyant Natural for that matter) is in the shoulder area. Take a look at Marilyn Monroe as she turns around to walk to her seat:
Her core feature is curves – it’s hard to ignore them. Betty Grable, on the other hand, has width through the shoulders:
Also, I’d say that Marilyn has double curves (both bustline and hipline are curvy), which makes her curve-dominant, while Betty’s bustline is considerably curvier than her hipline, which means that her vertical line isn’t characterized by very pronounced curves.
In the powder room scene we can see how Betty’s shoulder line is stronger than Marilyn’s, while Marilyn’s shoulders look more delicate and smaller, even though she’s a little taller than Betty:
Seeing Betty and Marilyn side by side also shows the slightly wide and angular (thicker, broader bones) vs delicate and rounded features (smaller, more delicate bone structure):
For the lack of a better word, Betty’s bone structure seems more ‘substantial’ as opposed to Marilyn’s delicate, small features, which is especially noticeable through the jawline and cheekbones. Soft Natural will always have a broader, thicker, and/or more angular bone structure than a Romantic.
Here’s what David Kibbe wrote for Romantics in his 1987 book Metamorphosis:
If your bone structure is slightly wide or lush, you may think of yourself as having a large bone structure. This is actually deceiving to you, for the shortness of your limbs and extremities offsets the width. In the context of your overall voluptuous figure, your bone structure is definitely delicateMetamorphosis, p.37
A perfect example of this is Madonna. Take a look at these pictures of hers:
It really does look like her bone structure might be thicker, more angular, and it looks even more so since she’s started working out extensively – muscular and taut look makes her true shape unrecognizeable or at least hard to detect if you rely on pictures only. So let’s take a look at her old pictures from the 70s, 80s, and 90s (click on the picture to enlarge it in a new tab):
It’s absolutely clear that she doesn’t have any width through her shoulder area and her bone structure is actually delicate, which makes her a Romantic.
I’ve noticed that sometimes the angularity of a Soft Natural is more noticeable even in facial features. The prime celebrity example for the Soft Natural image identity is Carole Lombard and her andularity and width is present in her facial features (they don’t look as rounded as Betty Grable’s, so easier to identify):
In this video you can see her body shape quite clearly (especially 1:09-1:28):
To sum it all up:
- Soft Natural will have width through the shoulders as opposed to smaller, rounded shoulder shape of a Romantic
- Romantics have a curve-dominated vertical line (usually it’s double curves – both bustline and hipline are curvy), while Soft Naturals won’t have very pronounced curves
- Soft Naturals have a broader and/or thicker bone structure as opposed to smaller, more delicate bone structure of Romantics
- The width of Soft Naturals is present through the shoulders and often facial features (jawline and cheekbones), while the width of Romantics is in the rounded width of their curves (as opposed to, say, delicate and narrow curves of a Soft Gamine or Theatrical Romantic)
- Soft Naturals can be taller than Romantics and have a longer vertical line
- Romantic image ID is Yin-dominated: short to moderate vertical line, curves, short limbs, delicate and rounded features. Yang features can be present, but in tiny amounts – otherwise they can upset the balance of this Yin-dominated image identity
- Soft Natural is Yang-dominated (but the Yang is soft as opposed to prominently angular frame): moderate to slightly small vertical line, width, slightly angular and/or slightly broad frame, slightly blunt or irregular facial contours, can have elongated arms and legs. Yin comes from the softness of the shape (flesh), soft and full facial features, some features can be small (e.g. nose, hands and feet, etc), limbs can be short.
One last thing I’d like to note: if you’re working on figuring your image identity out, I’d suggest to focus on the body features first (vertical line (short, moderate or long) and its characteristics – width, curves, or straight) than facial features.
Other posts you may find interesting:
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