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Let’s unpack: The lucrative Instagram subculture of Kardashian lookalikes

Words by Bianca O'Neill

Illustration by Twylamae

Apparently, you can never have too much Kim or Kim-related kontent in your life.

If there is one person who has truly made a career (and a whole lotta millions) out of Instagram, it has to be Kim Kardashian – followed closely by Kylie Jenner. Fans clamber to replicate their image, so much so that Kylie’s heavily Instagram-promoted makeup line has propelled her into the Forbes 100 rich list, the youngest person to make it onto the coveted list of billionaires.

But it’s not just their respective makeup lines raking in the dough – reportedly the Kardashian klan demands anywhere upward of six figures for each sponsored post on Instagram, too. (That sugar bear vitamins company must have a *very* generous marketing budget.)

In fact, Michael Heller, CEO of a digital marketing firm who organises some of their Insta-deals, told Us Weekly that brands pay up to $500,000 for access to Kim’s 109 million followers – and with Kylie snapping at her heels at 106 million followers, one can only assume she demands a similar figure.

Khloé and Kourtney, meanwhile, can earn up to $250,000 each for sharing #sponsored posts with their 74.4 million and 61.9 million followers, respectively. Just for a couple of Instagram posts, you guys.

So it’s really no wonder that looking like the Kardashians – sometimes to the point of freakish accuracy – can be lucrative too.

Perhaps the closest example to home is the eclectic stylings of Kim-lookalike, @sydneyfashionblogger.  A few years ago, a story went viral about the Ministry Of Talent-managed blogger making upwards of $5,000 per post, after a fee sheet was leaked to the media. But now with double the followers – over 1.1 million on Instagram – we’re pretty sure that number has more than doubled.

And she’s not even the most explicitly-Kim looking blogger out there (although she did dye her hair platinum blonde at the same time as Kim).

Jelena Peric is one example who has made a mint from being a Kim K lookalike. With 1.1 million followers herself, she posts regularly branded images and videos promoting beauty products, clothing, and more. Kamilla Osman is another, who weirdly also dated Tyga – Kylie’s ex. Although she doesn’t appear to disclose sponsorships on her posts, her 588,000 followers can’t possibly think it’s all organic.

But the most creepy of all? That would be Sonia and Fyza Ali, Dubai-based blogger sisters who look almost identical to Kim and Kylie. With 779,000 followers on their joint Instagram, they also don’t appear to disclose partnerships – but you’d better believe I don’t buy that posts like this are unpaid.

Dr. Jason Diamond, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon that Kardashian herself has Snapchatted visits to, says that Kim’s face is the most requested in his office. “Kim is far and away the most highly requested face — there is not even a close second.”

His niche is so popular, particularly in the Middle East, that he even has an office in Dubai, where he says 90% of his patients request to look like Kim specifically.

Another cosmetic doctor in Beverly Hills, Dr. Simon Ourian, tells WWD that this superficial desire has gone beyond just looking ‘like’ Kim, to all-out obsession.

“By just merely looking like her you can get a job and be an influencer yourself. There’s a huge group of people who just look like Kim and some of them have over two, three million followers. They haven’t really done anything, they just look like her. People follow them because they look like her,” he said.

So will we ever get bored of seeing Kim Kardashian – from a weekly reality TV show to her daily Snapchatting, Instagram posts and Stories? Based on the huge interest in following these bloggers, apparently, you can never have too much Kim or Kim-related kontent in your life.

And because of that never-ending fascination, these women are raking in the dough, just like the mogul herself.

It’s a weird world out there.

Follow Bianca’s journey as she waits for a famous person who looks just like her to break into the mainstream so she can rake in the followers at @_thesecondrow, or listen to her podcast at @thefashionpodcast.

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