David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

I once posted a question here, asking girls if they are familiar with David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory. It is not very popular, so when I got very few responses all saying that they have no idea about it, I wasn't surprised. So I thought it would be a fun topic to share, especially since most of the ones who responded are interested to know about it. David Kibbe is a fashion stylist from New York.

I myself am still learning about it, and before writing this I searched for a lot of blogs on Kibbe's theory and I just got to know some more new stuff about it! Since I first learned of it, I feel like I am constantly learning more about it even if I am not necessarily doing any research. At the beginning the theory sounds VERY confusing, because some words that we commonly use have slightly different meanings in Kibbe, and it took me some time to be able to understand them. It took me months to figure out my own body type, I actually realized it very recently. I am also aware of the fact that, sometimes people interpret his theories the wrong way so I tried to check more sources before I omit any contradictory information. His theory does get tricky at places and they are hard to understand.

To anyone who is interested in learning more deeply about it, I suggest reading the same blogs, watching the same videos on it over and over again. It helped me! I first learned it from the YouTube channel Aly Art. Check her out, she is awesome. She has an entire 'Body Types Series' playlist on her channel and she is still continuing the series. It is from her videos that I got inspired to share this myTake, so I will be sharing things that she shared anyway. The first time you read this, you WILL struggle a bit.

Regardless of your opinion on this theory, I hope you find this post interesting. :) Grab a snack or take breaks in-between cause it's a LONG post.

Yin and Yang

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

According to David Kibbe's Theory, our bodies consist of feminine energy and masculine energy. Feminine energy is called yin, and masculine energy is called yang. All of our bodies consist of yin and yang in different proportions and they show up in various features: our bone structure, the flesh that covers the bones, the facial features, vertical line and height etc.

Yin consists of qualities like small, short, rounded/curvy, soft features etc.

Yang is the opposite. Big/broad, tall, sharp/angular, strong and prominent features etc.

Some example of yin features: soft cheeks, gently sloping shoulders, small hands and feet, hourglass figure, petite.

Some example of yang features: chiseled face, strong jawline, long limbs, big hands and feet, sharp nose, exceptionally tall.

Usually one would say that the theory suggests you to find the right clothes for your body type, and then make adjustments to it based on your personal style. Wrong, it's actually the opposite. Start with your personal style, then make adjustments where needed with the knowledge that you gained about your body type. Sometimes you may not be close to any one off these body types but rather in-between two different types. Everyone is different!

The Basic Body Types

There are 5 basic body types. Keep it in mind that even though sometimes I will say words like, 'completely', 'all', '100%', there is never a 100%. There are always exceptional features but we don't count them. We consider what is most strongly apparent, what body type fits you the closest. What people notice in your body first.

I will give examples of celebs just for the sake of it, but it is actually hard to tell their body types from pics because of all the prep work, makeup, lighting and angles, Photoshop, and of course, plastic surgery. I did not even know many of these celebrities until now that I kept searching for good pictures of celebrities with each of these body types! I will show only one pic of them. Search on Google for more pictures of them and see their faces and bodies for better understanding.

Remember that these body types apply for all body weights, underweight or overweight. Even when you gain a lot of weight, you just gain fat. It does not affect the bone structure and the flesh.

1) Dramatic

David Kibbe describes this body type as one that consists of all yang features. Chiseled face, sharp angular features, moderate to very tall, narrow shoulders and hips, lanky, taut skin, strong vertical line/straight body shape, small or flat chest, long limbs, big hands and feet. They still maintain their strong vertical line, a straight body shape when they gain weight. Tilda Swinton, for example. Taylor Swift is also Dramatic.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

2) Romantic

The complete opposite of Dramatic, this body type consists of all yin. Moderate to very short, soft and rounded features, small and delicate bone structure but on the slightly wider side, short fleshy limbs, busty frame, curvy figure, big round eyes, a very womanly appearance. They retain their curves even if they lose or gain weight. Marilyn Monroe was Romantic. And so is Beyonce. I actually know one more YouTuber, a makeup artist who, I feel like, is the perfect example for Romantic. Her channel is Kaushal Beauty.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

3) Classic

Somewhere in-between yin and yang, all moderate features. Every feature is neither so sharp nor so rounded. Height is around moderate, moderate bone structure. The entire face and body are very balanced and very even, much more symmetrical than the average face and body, evenly spaced facial features, little to no contrast among the features. Even when they gain weight, the excess weight distributes all over the body evenly. Since Classic is such a perfect blend of yin and yang, it is very rare. Grace Kelly is the only example that I could find for a good Classic face.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

4) Gamine

A combination of yin and yang. Unlike Classic, where all features are moderate, a Gamine has some Dramatic features and some Romantic features, so they have highly contrasting features. Gamine types are short with narrow and sharp bone structure. Their facial features can have different yin and yang parts. Large eyes, sharp nose. Soft cheeks, strong thin lips. They have kind of an adolescent, teenager look to their faces, kinda childish. Usually their heads are larger in proportion. Emma Watson is Gamine.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

5) Natural

Also a yang-dominant type. It is tough to understand at start, because Naturals are said to have wider 'blunt' features. It's okay, I'll try to explain it. Think of a Dramatic. Moderate to tall, sharp, lanky. Now suppose, you make that sharpness more blunt, like you cut the tip of a triangle. And instead of lanky, they are wider. Wider and more massive bones, especially broad shoulders, broader than hips. More muscle definition.

So Natural types are moderate to tall with broad shoulders, more muscular face and body, blunt, squarish features. Blunt/squarish jaw, squarish shoulders, rectangular figure. In case of weight gain, it can gather into the breasts, hips and thighs, but weight collects in the waist too so the body maintains a rectangular shape. They mostly have close-set eyes. Also, Naturals often have smaller heads in proportion, so they overall look taller than their height. Most models are the Natural type. There are plenty of Naturals in media. Jennifer Aniston's face shows her Natural body type very well, her facial features are all Natural type. Notice the facial muscles and jaw. Bipasha Basu is also Natural.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

But aren't there 13?

Yes. All these body types have a version that is more yin, and a version that is more yang. That is 3 times 5 equals to 15. However, because Dramatic is already the most yang form, so it can't have more yang in it. Romantic is the most yin body type, and it cannot be more yin. So subtract 2 from 15, now you have your 13 body types. David Kibbe describes the yang-dominant types as Dramatic, Flamboyant, or Theatrical; and he describes the yin-dominant types as Soft.

A little tip: Compare the pictures of celebs with different body types, put them side by side to understand the difference between any two body types if you are confused. Search for more pics of the celebrities, especially bikini pictures.

So let's see what we get (I won't explain the basic types anymore):

1) Dramatic and Soft Dramatic (D and SD): Soft Dramatic consists of the tall, curvy women. Women who are tall and have sharp, angular bones, but have the yin type of flesh and body shape. They have Yang-dominant quite exotic, prominent faces, and yin-like curves but their bones are still sharp, their limbs are still long. Sophia Loren is Soft Dramatic. And so is Tyra Banks.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

2) Romantic and Theatrical Romantic (R and TR): Theatrical Romantic women are smallish, curvy, but have some delicate sharpness to their bones, such as, they have rounded shoulders but it is slightly tapered, not sloped. The sharpness in their faces are more apparent. Kim Kardashian has a Theatrical Romantic body type for now. I am not very sure how much change plastic surgery has caused to the look of her body type, so instead of worrying about that, I think I can safely say that she looks Theatrical Romantic for now. Rihanna is also Theatrical Romantic.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

3) Classic, Soft Classic and Dramatic Classic (C, SC and DC): Compared to the Classic figure, Soft Classics have more waist definition, and softer facial features. They still have the balanced, symmetrical, proportionate, even look. If you compare Soft Classic and Romantic, then Soft Classics have noticeably wider, heavier bones. If compared with Theatrical Romantic, Soft Classic has less contrast whereas Theatrical Romantics have some contrasting sharpness. Kristen Dunst is Soft Classic.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

And then we have Dramatic Classic. The Drama shows in sharper bones and facial bones. Dramatic Classics also have the balanced look in their faces. Both the Classic types have around moderate height. Michelle Dockery is Dramatic Classic.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

4) Gamine, Soft Gamine and Flamboyant Gamine (G, SG and FG): Soft Gamine types have the smallish, narrow look yet they have the more feminine, girly look to them. Smallish, narrow sharp bones, somewhat hourglass-y but not very shapely (they do get more curves when they gain weight). If Soft Gamine is compared with Romantic, then Romantic has wider bones but Soft Gamine has more narrower, sharper bones. Romantic type has a very mature, womanly look but Soft Gamine has more adolescent, teenager look. Jenna Coleman is Soft Gamine. The YouTuber that I mentioned earlier, who taught mt this theory in the first place, she is also Soft Gamine.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

Flamboyant Gamine, on the other hand, look more tomboyish. They are quite leggy and lack curves. I admit, I still find it a little bit tough, a bit tricky to differentiate a Flamboyant Gamine from a true Gamine, I apologize for that. I do feel like Audrey Tautou is Flamboyant Gamine, because I feel like she has less softness in her compared to a true Gamine. I found Emma Watson being described as both Gamine and Flamboyant Gamine from different sources, same for Audrey Tautou, which increased my confusion. I hope learning more about it will clear out my confusion.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

5) Natural, Soft Natural and Flamboyant Natural (N, SN and FN): Soft Natural is a bit like Soft Dramatic. Yin flesh, more womanly curvy figure, but their bone structure is yang-dominant. They have the broader, blunt bones and they are usually not very tall. They also have softer facial features. Katy Perry is Soft Natural. Britney Spears is another Soft Natural.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

And now, Flamboyant Natural. They are relatively narrower but still have the blunt bone structure. They are tall, and have shoulders wider than the hips. Smaller head than body. Taut skin. Long legs. Most models, supermodels and even Victoria's Secret models are Flamboyant Natural. There are PLENTY of them and you know them too, but I will give example of Cameron Diaz here. Gigi Hadid is also Flamboyant Natural. And Kendall Jenner, too.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

Of course, there are many Naturals and Soft Naturals in the media as well, it is just that out of these three Flamboyant Natural is the most common.

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

Just a few more things to say

I think I should mention these. I read several comments on YouTube when I watched the videos, and some comments felt like good questions. What about giving examples of plus-size models for better understanding of these body types for people of all kinds of body weight? I don't know many plus-size models yet I saw some pictures of Ashley Graham and she looks Natural to me. I am not an expert so I might be wrong.

Sometimes, one may have curves but not necessarily an hourglass shape. I mean, how many petite girls with soft features have very shapely bodies anyway? It's okay... exceptions exist so you would still be Romantic or Theatrical Romantic if other features are like that. Besides, our diet isn't always the most healthy anyway... life is short and biryani is good. :/

There is a Body Types test on Kibbe's theory. I believe that taking the test again and again, and understanding special features of different body types will help (such as, if you have a large bone structure in a way that you have to take that into consideration, it automatically rules out the Gamine type). I swear, when I first tried it my results were CRAZY, they were nothing like what I am. Keep taking the test again and again until you see yourself coming with almost the same result a few times consecutively, at least I had that kind of a scientific approach towards this test. Maybe take your sister or friend's help for a more objective idea about your own body. Like I said before, you may be one body type yet close to another type. In the chart below, you get more yin from yang as you go rightwards, and contrast increases as you go upwards. See how Classic has the least contrast?

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory

There is no alternative to practice, train and repeat in understanding this. David Kibbe has written a book called Metamorphosis on this topic, and I want to read this book. For now, I just stick to the Internet. I should have given more info, but that would be too much for a myTake on G@G. I hope you like this myTake. Thanks for reading! You're awesome. :)

David Kibbe's 13 Body Types Theory
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