Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

David Kibbe's Metamorphosis: Discover Your Image Identity and Dazzle as Only You Can

Rate this book
David Kibbe shows women how to express their personal style--Romantic, Clasic, Dramatic, Natural, or Gamine--through an entirely new method of analysis--analyzing personality traits in conjunction with physical characteristics. 32 pages of full-color illustrations.

252 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 1987

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

David Kibbe

1 book8 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
33 (44%)
4 stars
21 (28%)
3 stars
10 (13%)
2 stars
9 (12%)
1 star
1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Meg.
109 reviews1 follower
January 30, 2022
If you can get past the 80s veneer on some of these styling suggestions, the overall concept is one of the most brilliant, affirming, and holistic approaches to style that I've ever seen. Kibbe argues against the current beauty system that is set up to make women feel as if a given feature is wrong so that they purchase something to "fix" it. He emphasizes how Nature has given you a perfectly balanced body structure and face that can harmonize with how you dress yourself. This book plus a deep dive into the Kibbe corner of Youtube has genuinely changed the way I view myself on a physical and emotional level. Kind of wild tbh. Anyways, copies are so hard to come by these days you may have to do some digging to find one. It was worth it though!
Profile Image for Debbie.
205 reviews5 followers
December 7, 2009
Kibbe offers a unique approach to personal style by combining body line, coloring and even a touch of personality to create one's style image identity. By analyzing the proportion of Yang and Yin elements in one's face and body lines, Kibbe determines an image identity. There are 13 image identity styles - Dramatic, Soft Dramatic, Romantic, Theatrical Romantic, Classic, Dramatic Classic, Soft Classic, Natural, Flamboyant Natural, Soft Natural, Gamine, Flamboyant Gamine and Soft Gamine. Kibbe offers information about clothing styles, separates and accessories that will be most flattering to each type. He also offers makeup and hair color techniques that combine one's season and image identity. [return][return]Overall I have found this an enjoyable and useful book. It is a bit out of date but there is still a lot of helpful information to be found within it pages.
Profile Image for Laianna.
355 reviews
March 17, 2022
Halfway through this book, it had already changed my life. It took me a while to settle on an “Image ID” but now that I have, I feel like I’ve entered a world of possibilities. I love the detailed, practical tips on clothing, hair and makeup. I appreciate that David Kibbe goes out of his way to explain “essence” and objectivity in exploring one’s natural beauty. I wish Metamorphosis was back in print (or better yet, updated for a modern audience) so that I could go back and consult it again and again. Unfortunately, I have to return it to my local library, but the reverence I’ve developed for my body and the Kibbe system will stay with me forever. If you, like me, have spent months online trying to “Kibbe type” yourself, track down this book and read it ASAP. It will be far more helpful than random people on the internet and you will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Ivanie.
16 reviews
September 15, 2022
The positives of the book:
- I enjoyed that David Kibbe encourages people to take a step back to observe their face, body and hair. Kibbe emphasizes consistently throughout the book that people should discover the perfect/beautiful parts of themselves because we are unique and will always have beauty/positive parts of our physique. This was done through exercises that encourage objectively looking at oneself in the mirror and through friends feedback so as to ward off the influence of social trends on current body shapes, beauty and fashion. This also was wonderful in quieting my inner critic.
- I also did find Kibbe's various quizzes to be quite fun. I enjoyed finding my yin/yang, my fashion type, and my "fantasy" life. The yin/yang quiz created the foundation for the fashion type. And this created a guide line for how others would perceive one through fashion, and a way to accessorize and dress oneself. However, the "fantasy" life quiz allows the reader to entertain the ways in which they'd like to live. Kibbe emphasizes that although one might be longing for a dramatic/center of attention life, if their fashion type does not support such glitz and glamor (based on the fashion type) then they should not lean into it based on their fashion/accessory choices. However, they should lean into their fashion type to create this life on their own terms and live authentically that way. Ultimately this would create harmony.

The drawbacks of the book:
- This books is heavily geared towards white women. Read it and you'll quickly find out why. So take everything with a grain of salt if you're a person of color.
- The color seasons section is outdated right now as there are better ways of finding one's color season.
- The hair section was the least helpful given that I am don't have straight hair.
- I can see how people would become obsessive over their fashion type. If you cannot see yourself objectively, I do not recommend this book as you'll either try to change your answers to get the result you want based on inner pressure or the current social trends.

Overall comments:
This was a very quick read. I do think that it was worth reading as I am in different reddit communities for women of color, those interested in petite fashion, and objective beauty. I have a firmer grasp on what folks refer to based on the Kibbe types. I would probably only reference this book to read over my own Kibbe type again but not for much else.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Calcédoine .
30 reviews
July 31, 2022
David Kibbe's theory of style, based on matching your clothing to the natural yin and yang balance of your body, has gained popularity on the internet in the last decade. His theory had resonated with me from what I had read on blogs and forums, I was thus happy when I finally got my hands on a pdf copy.
However, I found it somewhat disappointing when compared to what is already available on the internet. While I think his yin/yang theory is valuable and can give great results, and that his holistic approach, considering that any woman already has what she needs to be beautiful and that her clothes need to accentuate her characteristics instead of "correcting" her, is very healthy and refreshing, other aspects of the book left me more dubious.
I'm especially not convinced about his linking of the physical traits, classified in thirteen categories such as romantic, classic, dramatic, to an "inner essence" that needs to match the personality. The idea that one needs to change her personality to match her appearance sits very uncomfortable with me and feels frankly offensive.
Aside from that, the fashion references in the book feel quite dated (which is no surprise given that it was published some 40 years ago), but the underlying theory can be adapted to modern taste, which the resources you will find online do very well.
The original book is out of print and doesn't seem to be due for a reissue anytime soon, and I'm not convinced that it really is in need of one (except for historical interest). What would make much more sense would be an updated version, with a more up to date clothing vocabulary, and maybe a refinement of the theory (and hopefully with less woo pertaining to the "inner essence").
On a side note, I was amused to discover that the seasonal color theory, which is very popular with Kibbe's followers, also comes from this book (or is at least present in it). The way it is usually presented is as another theory for enhancing your beauty, but I never saw it explicitly linked to the body types. That's maybe the only part of the book that has some added value in reading, since he explores the interactions between color and body types instead of merely juxtaposing them.
Profile Image for Kristie J..
526 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2023
Excellent, easy-to-read book that teaches women how to create our own personal image/style that emphasizes our body's natural physical appearance and makes us look and feel like our best authentic self. Kibbe does an excellent job of encouraging women to appreciate the natural physical assets that make each of us unique. The book has a strong positive tone, appreciating the various body shapes and sizes that real women have. No being ashamed of your height or your nose or your curves or your lack of curves.

From the Foreword:
The truth of the matter is, if you can first learn to appreciate the unique creature you truly are, and then simply express your uniqueness in your appearance, you will be beautiful beyond your wildest imaginings! More important, you will feel beautiful in a way, and with a depth, that you have never before experienced.

Kibbe uses the concept of yin (soft) and yang (sharp) to help women categorize ourselves into one of 13 Image Identities ranging from Dramatic (yang) to Romantic (yin). There is a quiz in the book to help you figure out which Image Identity you are. Then, the book goes on to tell women how to dress to match their Image Identity, and how to extend that concept to their hair and makeup. Since the book was written in 1987, there were not a lot of pictures, except for an insert in the middle with before and after pictures of Kibbe's clients in each Image Identity. Having pictures that went along with the quiz would have been very helpful.

This book has been out of print for years and is difficult to find. I was really pleased that I was able to request it through Interlibrary loan at my library. I can't believe the author has not made a new version of this book. The book is a bit dated with the fashions shown and the famous women referenced. It would be awesome to have modern references and additional sections like jeans for the different Image Identities, etc.
Profile Image for Maranda.
166 reviews
October 12, 2020
Actually reading the book (if possible) gives a greater understanding of Kibbe’s work and of your personal image identity!
Profile Image for Az H.
25 reviews
June 5, 2022
great book, amazing guide to fashion and aura, its just that its a bit outdated for 2022
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.