By the end of this post, you should be able to understand and differentiate Yin from Yang based on David Kibbe’s book Metamorphosis. Believe it or not, the understanding (or the lack thereof) of these two opposing forces can make or break an entire outfit. Here are Yin vs Yang examples of Kibbe body type.
Have you, on some occasions, wondered why some clothes look better on you than others? Have you bought a piece of clothing online which you were sure would look fantastic on you only to find out that it’s the opposite? That something in the outfit feels off but you can’t figure it out?
Well, it’s probably because you’re wearing an outfit that doesn’t match your Yin and Yang balance. To look flattering and harmonious in an outfit, you need to follow your own Yin and Yang balance. When you deviate from it, an ensemble looks off and separate from you, which is never a good thing.
Before knowing that, though, you first need to have a good understanding of the Yin vs Yang examples.
Yin vs Yang examples
In a nutshell, Yin is feminine while Yang is masculine. Both of these polar opposites exist within the natural balance of the universe:
“The Yin side of nature is the receptive side, yielding and accommodating; the Yang side is the dominant side, active and creative.“
-Metamorphosis by David Kibbe
The sun, therefore, which generates light, is a Yang star. The moon, on the other hand, which receives and reflects light from the sun, is a Yin planet. It offers us the cool relief of night.
“Mountains are Yang, valleys are Yin. Land is Yang, the sea is Yin. A palm tree, flexible enough to bend gracefully in the winds of a hurricane is an example of a Yin tree. A sturdy oak, however, which is strong and solid enough to offer support for a child’s swing, would be an example of a Yang tree.”
That said, here’s a table showing you the Yin vs Yang examples of Kibbe body typing. If you’re completely new to the system, then these are great pieces of information to start with.
Yin vs Yang examples of Kibbe body typing
|rounded/ sloped shoulders||broad, sharp, strong shoulders|
|large, rounded eyes||narrow, almond eyes|
|rounded, full lips||thin, straight lips|
|rounded/ tapered nose||sharp, prominent nose|
|fleshy cheeks||taut cheeks|
|rounded cheekbones||high, prominent cheekbones|
|rounded jawline||angular, square jawline|
|soft, flowing fabric||tailored, constructed fabric|
|lightweight fabric||heavy fabric|
|ornate, ruffles, gathers, peplum||sharp, crisp, tailored, geometric|
The classic example of extreme Yin is Marilyn Monroe. Everything about her is delicate, rounded, curvy, and voluptuous. Never will you see any noticeable angularity nor sharpness in her Skeleton (shoulders and limbs), Body Flesh (bust, waist, hips), and Facial Features (eyes, lips, nose, cheeks, and jawline). The same applies to Beyonce.
Extreme Yin is called Romantic in the 13 Kibbe body types.
Extreme Yang women have very little to no noticeable trace of Yin in their Skeleton, Body Flesh, and Facial Features. All you can see are sharpness and angularity.
Being sharp, angular, and tall, these women often invoke the feeling of a cold and intimidating beauty best admired from afar. Tilda Swinton, Katharine Hepburn, and Cate Blanchett are classic examples.
Extreme Yang is called Dramatic in the 13 Kibbe body types.
Part Yin and part Yang
Not all women are extreme Yang or extreme Yin. In fact, it’s possible to have both qualities. These are the following:
Imagine a 50% Yin, 50% Yang mixed in a blender. The result is a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang embedded into each body part. The result is an even, balanced, and symmetrical silhouette from head to toe. Nor Yin, nor Yang, Classic lies in the middle (answers C in the Kibbe test).
Like Classic, Gamine is an even combination of Yin and Yang. The difference is how they’re mixed. To understand what a Gamine is, imagine a 50% Yin, 50% Yang mixed, but this time, without the blender. The result is a stark contrast between Yin and Yang.
Meaning, the Skeleton, Body Flesh, and Facial Features are combinations of opposites (mixtures of answers A and E in the Kibbe test.)
Think of Natural as a soft Yang. Instead of being sharp and angular, it is a Yang with a little softness (Yin) blended into it. The result is a broad frame (instead of narrow) and blunt (instead of sharp) especially the shoulders.
This article will show you visual examples of soft Yang.
So what now?
Now that you know what’s Yin and Yang, the next step is to learn your own Yin and Yang balance. Some women are extreme Yang, some are extreme Yin, while some are in between.
Knowing this will help you tremendously with your outfits so you’ll be able to expertly create ensembles that go harmoniously with your Yin and Yang balance. You’ll know more by taking the Kibbe test.
Note: Figuring out your Kibbe body type is not an easy task. One day you’ll think that you’ve figured it out only to think otherwise the next day. If you’re torn between more than one type, your best bet is to try the signature outfits for each of those types and see which looks best on you. A process of trial and error is to be expected but you’ll eventually get there.
Does it really work?
Kibbe is all about following your own Yin and Yang balance. Meaning, instead of following the conventional fashion advice of “Hide your problem areas and fake what you don’t have.“, the heart and soul of Metamorphosis is to honor the entirety of you.
It operates in the certainty that there is nothing to fix; that you are already perfect as you are, nor is the need to copy and fit into a one size fits all beauty standard.
While this sounds nice and empowering, does this really work? Will you actually look flattering if you follow the advice in the book? The answer is a big yes. I’ve tried it and many women have.
Once you discover your Kibbe type, you’ll finally understand why some clothes look better on you than others. You’ll finally be able to shop with certainty and get rid of the pieces that aren’t doing you any favor.