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History of Kibbe Typology – Olga Brylińska Image Consultant
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Who is the real creator?
History of Kibbe Typology

The history of the typology often referred to as the Kibbe typology, is very complex. Its roots go back to Hollywood in the 1940s. Joseph Bonomo (American weightlifter, strongman, stuntman, actor, and promoter of a healthy lifestyle), at one point in his life, turned his interests toward women’s image. In 1947, the prototype of the base types appeared for the first time.

They were as follows:

  1. The Sophisticate
  2. The Gamine
  3. The Outdoor Woman
  4. The Exotic Woman
  5. The Aristocrat
  6. The Womanly Woman

In the following years, the typology created by Joseph Bonomo changed hands. New names, new modifications, new concepts and theses come to life.

Key creators and contributors are: Joseph Bonomo, Belle Northrup, Harriet Tilden McJimsey, John Kitchener, Carol Tuttle, and David Kibbe.

The author of the five basic types is Harriet Tilden McJimsey. According to her concept, we distinguish:

  1. Gamine
  2. Natural
  3. Classic
  4. Romantic
  5. Dramatic

Today, the above-mentioned names are both the names of the types themselves and the names of the five basic groups. We can say with absolute confidence that Harriet Tilden McJimsey is the creator of the pillar on which the concept of this typology is based.

In their writings, Joseph Bonomo, Harriet Tilden McJimsey, and John Kitchener present a vision similar to mine. The point is not to force ourselves to fit into one and only one type. If we cannot fully find ourselves in any of the thirteen types, it means our physiognomy and aura are complex, and we are not the so-called pure type.

In 1987, a book entitled „David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis” was published by David Kibbe. The typology described by David Kibbe was based on the foundations created by Harriet Tilden McJimsey. At the same time, David Kibbe expanded it and specified as many as thirteen types of beauty. David Kibbe types described in the book „David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis”:

David Kibbe types described in the book „David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis”:

  1. Gamine
  2. Soft Gamine
  3. Flamboyant Gamine
  4. Natural
  5. Soft Natural
  6. Flamboyant Natural
  7. Classic
  8. Soft Classic
  9. Dramatic Classic
  10. Romantic
  11. Theatrical Romantic
  12. Dramatic
  13. Soft Dramatic

At present, David Kibbe introduces some modifications and corrections to his concept from time to time. Over the years, he has also departed from many substantive issues presented in his book. Of the thirteen types, he also excluded two main types, created by Harriet Tilden McJimsey – Gamine and Classic. Apparently, they were somehow inconsistent with his subsequent vision of female physiognomy. It is a pity because the ever-new ideas of David Kibbe no longer constitute a coherent continuity, and the author himself does not explain his decisions in any way. The method he currently uses is a poetic license.

I definitely prefer order and clarity. Also, I’m not going to agree with the fact that all of the Gamine and Classic women have suddenly disappeared from the face of the Earth. It is absolutely ridiculous to me.

I like and appreciate the original version most, described in the book „David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis.” The thirteen types described by David Kibbe create a well-functioning and coherent whole.

The typology popularly known as „Kibbe” is mainly helpful for people who are so-called pure or almost pure types. Difficulties begin when we find some pieces of ourselves in two, three, or even four types. Unfortunately, the fact is that there are more „incompatible” people than pure types. That is why there are thousands of internet deliberations and entirely incorrect diagnoses.