Instagram Lookalikes and Celebrity Influencers: Rethinking the Right to Publicity In the Social Media Age

Kim Kardashian-West, in March 2019, launched the sale of her sunglasses collection with an eerie series of photos portraying herself and five lookalike models, all wearing identical makeup and clothes.A year prior, Kardashian- West’s husband, Kanye West, hired fourteen Kim lookalikes to advertise his clothing line Yeezy.The advertisements, shared on the social media website Instagram, featured the lookalikes in Kardashian-West’s stomping grounds, recreating her signature hairstyle and camera poses.Many of these Kim lookalikes are influencers5—individuals with significant social media followings that leverage those followers into endorsements and advertising deals. These Kim lookalikes, and many like them, have spent thousands of dollars to look like a Kardashian-West clone.And businesses noticed, hiring those lookalikes when they can’t afford an advertising deal with the real Kim Kardashian-West.7

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