Kim Kardashian

The Woman Who Built A 7M Following For Impersonating The Kardashians

The Kardashian sisters are sitting around a gleaming kitchen table, passive-aggressively discussing who should host Thanksgiving dinner this year.

“Me,” says Kourtney in her trademark monotone drawl. “But as long as you guys are here by three and gone by four…Those are my boundaries.”

“Not the Thanksgiving Express!’ quips Khloé, raking her long nails through her hair, before Kim looks up from her phone to fix her eldest sibling with a scathing stare many now know all too well.

This scene, however, is not yet another fight from the first family of reality TV, but a hilarious comedy skit by TikTok influencer Yuri Lamasbella, whose uncanny ability to mimic the famous sisters has seen her amass more than 7 million followers across social media. That includes 4.3 million on TikTok, a further 2.4 million on Instagram—and over half a million on YouTube too.

Kardashian influencer
Yuri Lamasbella, 32, has become an internet sensation. Here, she is wearing a SKIMS nude vest and blue jeans.YURI LAMASBELLA/INSTAGRAM/@YURILAMASBELLA

It was March 2021—during the height of the coronavirus pandemic—when the now 32-year-old mom-of-one first uploaded a clip of herself playing her “favorite sisters.” During the skit, Kourtney tells Kim that she wants to double-check with her son that he is happy to spend the summer in an opulent vacay destination. It quickly racked up an astonishing 18.8 million views.

“It just blew up so I decided to do another, then another, and soon going viral became the norm,” Lamasbella told Newsweek.

“At the start I wasn’t making any money on TikTok, but within a month I realized I could make a living,” she continued.

A lifelong fan of the family’s show (she was just 16 when the first season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians hit screens), Lamasbella previously worked in HR, when family, friends and colleagues constantly commented on the distinctive sound of her voice.

“Friends and former colleagues always used to say I sound like a Kardashian or a Valley girl, which refers to someone from California. I grew up watching the Kardashians and I watch every episode so it was almost natural that my first impression would be of them. I decided to record the first sketch to pass time during the national lockdown,” she said.

At the time, Lamasbella was four months pregnant with her son Amauri, now two, and binge-watching the show. A ‘regular’ discussion between Kourtney and Kim at the time stood out as one she should recreate, simply because of how detached from her reality it was.

“I remember Kourtney asking her children if they wanted to go to Palm Springs for the summer. It was funny to me as I don’t remember ever having the opportunity of deciding where we would go on our family vacations as a child,” she said.

While Lamasbella might have struggled to relate to the Kardashian family drama, she certainly knows how to imitate them.

From left, Kris Jenner, Kourtney, Khloé and Kim Kardashian at the the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards on November 10, 2019, in Santa Monica. Lamasbella tends to portray these characters the most.GETTY IMAGES ENTERTAINMENT/FRAZER HARRISON / STAFF

Prior to becoming something of a TikTok star she had worked in the corporate world for four years, before leaving due to burnout and becoming a beauty blogger. She’d already amassed a solid following of 400,000 on TikTok before she started impersonating the Kardashians—but just one month after she started posting her skits it hit 1 million.

Today, the videos consistently receive millions of views, never fail to leave the internet in stitches, and include sending up everything from Kim’s new SKIMS nipple bra to Kourtney’s viral pregnancy announcement at a Blink-182 concert.

Lamasbella also intertwines famous moments to promote paid partnerships too. Recently, she perfectly executed the moment Kim lost her diamond earring in the ocean, by falling into a pool and promoting a diamond company. The video posted on November 23 racked up 3.1 million views. (You can watch by clicking here.)

This is in addition, of course, to her beautifully imagined conversations that the famous family might have. (See the latest Thanksgiving dinner.)

While she’s mostly focused on the three elder sisters, she also does skits about matriarch Kris and the younger Jenner sisters.

Kardashian impersonator
From let, Lamasbella wearing a short black wig while impersonating Kourtney Kardashian Barker, and wearing a blonde wig to impersonate Khloé Kardashian.YURI LAMASBELLA/TIKTOK/@YURILAMASBELLA

Her videos are always tastefully orchestrated with the affection of a true fan and delivered with kindness. Lamasbella said she intentionally writes the scripts with care and some topics are strictly off-limits.

“I do have my boundaries. I would never impersonate the kids or make fun of them. Nor will I mention Kanye because of his mental health,” she said.

“I have poked fun at Tristan Thompson before but it’s hard for me to put that content out there because of the children.

“I don’t think the kids are watching my content but I wouldn’t want to upset their family.

“Sometimes I touch the border a little bit between the sisters, but that is just what they do with each other on TV. But I would never take it too far.”

Kris Jenner
A screenshot of Lamasbella’s Instagram showing momager Kris Jenner is one of her 2.4 million followers.INSTAGRAM/INSTAGRAM

While the Kardashians’ offspring may not be watching the clips, the sisters certainly have. In fact, ‘momager’ Kris Jenner even follows @yurilamasbella on Instagram and she and some of the siblings have been known to repost and comment on the clips themselves.

In August 2022, a video of Lamasbella’s reaction to her most famous follower racked up 6 million views on TikTok. Among the avid viewers and likers of Lamasbella’s posts on Instagram is Friends star Jennifer Aniston.

In January 2023, Khloé, who is often portrayed wearing a bleached blonde wig and sticky notes in place of her signature acrylics, wrote: “hahaha I’ll never get enough of these bad Khloé wigs and the wild hand spasms.”

“Kim, Khloé and Kris have reposted my videos before—they have never spoken to me but they know I exist and that is more than enough,” Lamasbella said.

“Khloé interacts the most with the videos, especially the ones when I am playing her. She seems to love it when I play her.”

Kardashian impersonator

More often than not, Lamasbella can be seen holding her phone and quickly texting while impersonating Kim Kardashian.YURI LAMASBELLA/TIKTOK/@YURILAMASBELLA

The Kardashians may not engage Lamasbella in conversation, but they do spoil her in other ways. During her Zoom interview with Newsweek, she is wearing one of Kim’s SKIMS black turtlenecks and receives swag from the other sisters’ solo ventures too, such as Kylie Cosmetics and Kourtney’s supplement line, Lemme.

“It’s iconic to collaborate with them—I love Kim!” she said.

“She is a true business woman who capitalizes as much as possible. I admire her drive and dedication; there’s a lot to learn from Kim. She never says no to opportunities and always pushes herself to the limits.”

While Lamasbella might be some way off amassing the $1.7 billion of her 43-year-old role model, these days her own following means her viral videos are her main stream of income and she’s been paid to advertise everything from L’Oréal Paris hair products to Kiehl’s skin care.

It isn’t only Kim who inspires the TikTok superstar, but eldest sister Kourtney too.

“She is the person we all want to be, she is very blunt and marches to the beat of her own drum.

“Kourtney’s organic mindset has changed my life for the better too, I am not fully organic because it is hard. But my four-year-old son eats the best of the best now,” she said.

But during Lamasbella’s sketches, subjects such as Kourtney’s organic-obsession are often sent up for laughs. During one video, she manages to kill two birds with one stone as she portrays Kendall’s poor cutting skills after receiving a gluten-free, sugar-free, diabetes-free, Kim-free, and fun-free cake given by Kourtney.

‘The Show Is Inspirational’

Indeed, with her dark hair and glossily groomed looks, Lamasbella could easily be mistaken for the ‘Lost Kardashian,’ the name of her Kardashian parody series.

“They are my Roman Empire, I love them so much.

“A lot of the time, their problems don’t seem like a big deal in our reality but we have to understand that is their reality. We live totally different lives,” Lamasbella said.

“Sometimes when I am stern with my partner, he even tells me to ‘stop being like a Kardashian,” she added.

Kim Kardashian and TikTok Star
From left, Lamasbella sits on the side of a balloon-filled bathtub, and Kim Kardashian on the red carpet for the 20th Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 16, 2016. The influencer doesn’t just sound like a Kardashian but has an uncanny resemblance too.GILBERT CARRASQUILLO / CONTRIBUTOR/FILMMAGIC

Since becoming an internet sensation, she’s seen something of the trolling the famous family receive too. She has been accused of changing to be like a member of a billionaire family herself.

“It all started because I sound like them but now, people say I have changed my voice,” she said.

“I had rhinoplasty and people said I want to look like Kim—even though I have always hated my nose.”

“I am very much about doing whatever makes you happy but I have received backlash for subliminally promoting the family and shining a light on them.”

Looking back, Lamasbella’s life has changed “immensely” but she certainly has no plans to stop entertaining the internet anytime soon.

“I never thought it would get to the level that it is today,” she said, “Sometimes I forget that a lot of people know me and I get stopped for a photo while I am out with my family.”

“It always feels so good to make this many people laugh—that is just my ultimate goal.”

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