Kaia Gerber: It ‘takes a moment’ to realize if I’m looking at a photo of myself or my mom

Rande Gerber , Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber attends the British Fashion Awards at the Royal Albert Hall,  on Monday 10th December, London, UK. James Shaw/Retna.

Back in the day – the 1990s – I was a Cindy Crawford fan. The Era of the Supermodel was a real thing, and Cindy, Linda, Naomi, Christy and Claudia were everywhere and every single person had a favorite. Cindy and Linda Evangelista were my favorites – Linda was the chameleon and Cindy had the wholesome-with-an-edge vibe. Regardless of which one was your favorite, I think everyone acknowledged that all of those women had the It Factor, that intangible watchable quality that made them fascinating models and celebrities.

So, as an old-school Cindy fan, I was sort of disappointed to see that neither of her children really inherited that It Factor. I was also disappointed in how hard Cindy pushed her kids (mostly Kaia) into modeling at such a young age. Cindy was already grooming Kaia for supermodel glory when that child was like 12 years old. Back then, I used to feel for Kaia… it was clear that while she was a perfectly pretty girl, she was never going to live up to her mother’s expectations, nor would Kaia live up to the expectations of everyone in the fashion industry that she should basically be a new version of her mom. But as Kaia has gotten older (she turned 18 in September), she has grown into her looks a bit more, and you can definitely see more “Cindy” in her. Guess what? Kaia knows it too.

Kaia Gerber and her mother, Cindy Crawford, have had countless twinning moments, from Met Gala parties to Paris Vogue covers. But the 18-year-old model didn’t notice her uncanny resemblance to Crawford, 53, until recently. In a personal essay for Vogue’s November 2019 issue, Gerber (whose dad is Crawford’s husband of 21 years, Rande Gerber) opened up about the similarities she shares with her mom and what it feels like following in Crawford’s modeling footsteps.

“From day one, people in the industry were often taken aback by my resemblance to my mom,” Gerber wrote. “As I get older, it happens even more, and it’s not just a visual thing: It’s everything from our mannerisms to our voices.” But Gerber admitted that she often doubted their likeness: “It used to be that I didn’t see it at all, but now I will look at a picture and have to take a moment before realizing which one of us it is.”

Now, she sees a slew of similarities between her and her mother, adding the one thing she appreciates more than having Crawford’s runway looks is her personality.

“The biggest compliment is when someone says I act like my mom,” Gerber explained. “Beyond her beauty and obvious appeal, she has always been my hero and my role model because of the way she treats people and the lens that she sees the world through, and that’s something for which I’m beyond grateful.”

Geber jokingly added the one trait that sets her and Crawford apart: “Quick tip: My mom’s the one with the mole.”

[From People]

Yeah… not really. As I said, there’s totally a resemblance now. Now that Kaia has grown into her looks more. But when Kaia was younger, it was more like people wanted DESPERATELY for Kaia to look like Cindy and… she really didn’t. She just looked like what she was: a young, pretty girl who should be in school, not walking a runway. Still, Kaia is really doing the hard-sell on “I look like my mom, HIRE ME.”

The British Fashion Awards 2018

The British Fashion Awards 2018

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.

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100 Responses to “Kaia Gerber: It ‘takes a moment’ to realize if I’m looking at a photo of myself or my mom”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    Umm no, honestly I don’t see it. This kid is a charisma vacuum

  2. Blaire says:

    *side-eyes* oh really tho Kaia I think you need glasses…

  3. Eliza says:

    Oh the PR coaches are so lazy lately. No. No it doesn’t.

  4. Claire says:

    It doesn’t take a psychologist to see there are major issues there. Enmeshment, much? I am worried that she has not gone through the normal process of psychological separation from her parent that most teenagers experience. Also, she is pretty but not a model.

    • Mignionette says:

      I wouldn’t say enmeshment. She clearly idolises her mother and wants to emulate her success but I’m not sure its goes that far. Likewise Cindy is living vicariously via Kaia.

      Also I think Kaia is one of the prettier models of her generation. The push towards Instagram homogeneity has really killed off the slightly more unusual look a la Linda Evangelista or Helena Christensen.

      • A says:

        Kaia Gerber is barely her own person, is she? She’s what? Not even in her 20s just yet. You don’t know yourself in your 20s, you’re still feeling around for the adult you’ll become. So it’s inevitable that you latch around for the identity the world gives you, even if it isn’t something you jive with.

        I think if you’re the child of a famous person, you inevitably live in their long shadow. The world is gonna have its expectations, and its gonna have its disappointments when you don’t meet those expectations. It’s up to parents to raise their kids with a good enough sense of self that they don’t feel beholden to fulfilling the expectations of the world at large. In Kaia Gerber’s case, I think she’s not even there yet.

  5. Steph says:

    Lol., yeah…no. shes a really pretty girl but no.

  6. Kersplasha says:

    She’s beautiful, but looks more like Rachel Bilson then Cindy Crawford in photos.

    • Elisa says:

      yes, she could be Rachel Bilson’s twin. 🙂
      Cindy – and also Kate Moss and Vanessa Paradis – were so present, but their daughters look so vacant, like their are not really here. I hope I’m making sense. 🙂

      • Kersplasha says:

        100% agree

      • Porter says:

        @Elisa, you make total sense! That vacant look seems to be THE trend in modeling (or at least nepotism modeling) currently. You see the same thing in Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, both Hadids (but especially Bella). I can understand the appeal of aloof, but dead-eyed and wooden? I don’t get it! Everyone looks like they’re on quaaludes.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Complete sense. Because there’s nobody home. Social media has sucked all brain matter. The young don’t know how to properly feel, engage, react, endure, empathize, commiserate, enjoy, cry, and on and on. Emojis do it for them. In person, there’s a new generation of tweaked void. That’s my take anyway lol.

      • Lady D says:

        My son’s friend and his wife, she’s upstairs on her phone, he’s downstairs playing games, and the two of them are having an argument on their phones at the same time. Head, desk. The art of communication is going to be lost.

      • My3cents says:

        That’s what I was going to say- Rachel Bilson!

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Lmao LadyD! I have to admit, I’m guilty of being lazy and grabbing my phone to text or call someone in the same house! Mom used to yell at me from another room which would send me to the moon. Whether it was, ‘MABS! COME HERE!,’ or my favorite, trying to have a complete conversation, eventually I quit yelling back and simply ignored. But we always have our phones! Heh heh. Modern moms don’t have to scream! But I still do that too.😚

    • kliving says:

      YES! THAT’S who she reminds me of! I couldn’t put my finger on it. Definitely Rachel Bilson more than her mom.

  7. Originaltessa says:

    Cindy smoldered. She was sultry and sexy, and just drop dead gorgeous. I love Kaia’s look too, it’s just very different from her mother’s. They are very different models.

    • justwastingtime says:

      Said it before I have seen both IRL, CIndy in her early 20s in a NYC bodega and her daughter in at my son’s school in her late teens. Both with no makeup. CIndy was magnetic, her daughter blended in with the other kids. The son looks more like Cindy than the daughter.

  8. S808 says:

    She’s gorgeous and there is a resemblance but no one is looking at her and mistaking her for her mother. That being said I hope she’s able to make a name for herself outside of her mother who almost seems like helicopter mom in terms of her modeling career.

  9. Maria says:

    Sure it does.

  10. Guest says:

    Kaia, to me, looks more like her dad. I don’t really see Cindy. The son looks like Cindy.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      That’s what I see, too, and the son seems to have much more potential as a model. More striking and unique looking.

      • Guest says:

        Yes, I see the same with the son

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Agree. I’d go so far as to say feature-wise, he is very handsome and may have the “it” factor. Can’t really see an expression in his eyes in the photo, though.

        Great bone structure.

      • OriginalLara says:

        I concur. And isn’t it funny how charisma works? Presley seems to have more in his little finger than Kaia in her whole body. She’s one pretty, pretty girl but not even the best people in the fashion industry, hair stylists, make-up artists, editors, and photographers, can make her look interesting.

      • BANANIE says:

        And I just realized he has a mole, too!

    • Myrtle says:

      Has anyone else noticed that first children often resemble the father more than the mother — perhaps due to DNA relic of ancestral survival strategy?

  11. Slowsnow says:

    🧐 can we just acknowledge that obsessing over models is a teenager thing to do that as grown-ups we no longer do rather than melancholically talk about beautiful ladies that wore clothes to sell stuff back in the day?
    The It factor is such a silly sexist thing that turns women into objects. There is no It factor for men and when there was (for cute actors) they tried to shed it (like Ryan Reynolds or Goslin, Depp etc). Let’s look at what women do.

  12. Kateeeee says:

    How sad for her if she really believes this. I’m all for shameless self-promotion in search of the almighty dollar if that’s what you’re into, but I always feel bad for the people who choose to buy into their own hype. It must be so depressing when the bubble bursts. And she is so young to base her entire identity and worth on misplaced hype… I hope she is just trying to sell and doesnt actually think this.

  13. Char says:

    Oh, honey, no.

  14. JemimaLeopard says:

    She’s a gorgeous girl but like most of this current crop she doesn’t have ‘it’.

  15. Diana says:

    It’s no doubt she is a beautiful! Crazy how you can be beautiful but still lack star quality. I know it’s an intangible “it” factor but it amazes me we don’t have a better way to describe or define it.

  16. Sharonk says:

    How about Cindy recommends her daughter to go to college, like the other 18 year olds.

  17. Mrs. Peel says:

    Kaia is very pretty, but I don’t think she looks like Cindy. The brother though (I’m too lazy to google his name) is drop dead gorgeous.

    • WTW says:

      Presley is Cindy’s doppelganger, and he also models.

      • Elle says:

        Yes!! He looks a lot like her with his stunning eyes and sharp angles in the cheeks and jawline. He also has the beauty mark. Way more like his Mom than Kaia, who looks more like her Dad.

  18. Fluffy Donuts says:

    Well Kaia is slumming with Pete and Cindy wouldn’t deign to do such a thing. There, easy peasy.

  19. Ina says:

    She’s ordinary IMHO

  20. Casey says:

    Linda dated The Edge? Seriously? I never knew that?

  21. Sarah says:


  22. MellyMel says:

    Nope. Her brother however looks way more like Cindy (he even has the beauty mark) and has more of an IT factor. I know he’s done some modeling, but clearly he isn’t being pushed into it as much as Kaia.

    • Mellie says:

      I’m with you, the brother is Cindy made over. Kaia is very pretty, but the brother is model material. They are a very beautiful family.

  23. JIlly says:

    I think the son is actually stunning. He has that “it” factor and I am amazed that he doesn’t get more air time for it. If anything, he looks most like his mother. The daughter is fine and pretty though.

  24. Ashley G says:

    I lived for Cindy Crawford when I was a child. I wanted to be her. I watched House of Style for her, she was a goddess. The most beautiful woman in the world to me. Color me disappointed that her kid isn’t even half of what she was. She doesn’t look anything like Cindy, who is beyond gorgeous. I had a laugh at this article. Wishful thinking or talking people into believing it won’t make you into your mother 🙄

  25. Myrtle says:

    Did Cindy’s mole slide off her lip and down onto her chest?

  26. gelya says:

    I loved the Supermodel era. I miss it so much. Mine was Linda. I loved Stephanie Seymour to. I was also an Anna Nicole Smith fan. I don’t know if she counts but I always counted her.

    Kaia is a beautiful girl. No, I don’t see twinsies. I guess because Cindy was such an integral part of my teenage life, I see her differently. Can’t imagine Kaia in George Michael’s Freedom video.

    The Supermodels were like art form. I think of today’s models as mannequins. No expression, model clothes. It seems to me the formula the agencies expect from them.

  27. usedtobe says:

    Oh honey, you’re delusional.

  28. HeyThere! says:

    Her son is her TWIN!! Of course she resembles her mom but she looks just like Rachel Bilson(as someone mentioned up thread)!!!

  29. J ferber says:

    She’s super-thin.
    Cindy never was. She does have a small face and looks like dad. I truly believe she wouldn’t have gotten to super-model level, and so quickly, without nepotism. That’s all.

    • Jadedone says:

      J ferber we must have commented at the same time 🙂 she is so teeny, I really hope she is taking care of herself

  30. Jadedone says:

    I think Kaia is a pretty girl who clearly feels the pressure to live up to her mother. I think it’s always hard living in the shadows of someone else, that being said Kaia is much thinner then her mother was. I kinda worry about her, I hope she puts her mental and physical health first.

    • dlc says:

      I worry too! I understand modelling was VERY good to Cindy, but I can’t understand anyone pushing their child into such a looks and weight obsessed industry if they have other options open to them.

  31. lanne says:

    She’s a gorgeous girl, but she’s a different type of model than her mother. Mom was sexy, healthy, with something that suggested mystery. Kaia’s more fragile, girlish, and gawky. Nothing about her says sexy to me. She’s still growing into her body, so maybe she’ll suggest sexy later on. Right now, a sexy picture of her would make me uncomfortable to look at–Brooke Shields in “Pretty Baby” uncomfortable. She’s a pretty good catwalk model, and she can pull off high fashion in a way that’s different from her mother. Cindy was never much of a catwalker–that wan’t her strength. Being Cindy’s daughter obviously opened the door for her, but if she’s going to have a memorable career, she needs to define on her own terms and not just do Cindy cosplay. I saw her in the Chanel couture show and she modeled a really mature look (meaning one for an older woman) quite effectively in a way that didn’t suggest Cindy at all.

  32. Betsy says:

    Did I read somewhere that designers kind of hated the supermodel years because they felt the supers outshone the clothes. I don’t think that’s true; I think if anything the increased focus on fashion made them strive to design better clothes. I just don’t see models as interesting coming back for a while.

  33. elle says:

    In that top photo, Kaia reminds me more of Pete Davidson than her mom.

  34. Bee says:

    She is trying to gaslight us. From the comments you can see we’re not buying it. Those “people in the industry” are telling her what her mom wants to hear.

    All these young nepotism models just need to be quiet. None of them are doing themselves any favours.

  35. Branvoyage says:

    Nah, she’s not pretty enough—-says me, who is sitting here in my sweatpants with a potato chip dust on my protruding gut. Lol

  36. jbyrdku says:

    Could you imagine what it would be like growing up in that house if she wasn’t pretty?

  37. Amy says:

    Kaia is an exceptionally good-looking girl, but her mom had that extra something that just made her pop. Of course, Cindy was a knockout in the physical sense, but her vibe and energy is what really distinguished her from all the other beautiful young women and girls who grace the pages of magazines. It’s hard to define the “it” factor, but you totally can tell when someone’s got it. And Cindy had it.

  38. Deedee says:

    Week, she’s prettier than Kendall Jenner and more photogenic, I’ll give you that. I was in nyc the other week and saw a huge ad with KJ in it and I just laughed because it was so bad. No charisma whatsoever.

  39. Lexistential says:

    Yargh no. Her brother has Cindy’s sizzle and looks. Kaia is cute (can’t unsee Rachel Bilson) but doesn’t have Cindy’s distinctiveness, nor anything that makes her stand out among today’s nepotism models. Time will tell if she becomes distinct and known for her own look/vibe on her own, and for her long term mental health, I hope she does. I also agree that Kaia has the potential to carry out more high-end couture looks more than Cindy did; it’s partially due to her current girlishness, but she has a delicate quality that can become her way to have a mark. (It won’t come from saying she’s Cindy’s mole-less twin.)

  40. Toots says:

    Cindy Crawford looks like Caitlyn Jenner in those photos.

  41. Joanna says:

    None of them come close to Gia in her prime. Look into those soulful, longing eyes and she is in your heart for life. Not surprising Cindy was called Baby Gia when she came on the scene.

  42. Jace says:

    I think her son looks more like her than her daughter.

  43. Kyra WEGMAN says:

    Ha, I’ll bet her mom can tell the difference. Dream on, kiddo. Make your own path.

  44. Caty Page says:

    Sometimes from the side she looks like white Zendaya, but mostly I get “super feminine and delicate” version of Rachel Bilson.

  45. A Fan says:

    Google a younger pic of Cindy (pre-surgery) and you will see it is her son, Presley, who has her features.

    Kaia’s hair makes it seem, at first glance, she looks like her mom. She is a lovely girl, but lacks the photogenic magnetism and model features her mother had.

    [*Runway may be different.*]

  46. anony7 says:

    In that last photo Rande, Cindy and Presley look like triplets with those sharp granite chins and jaws. I actually prefer Kaia’s softer, less angular look.

  47. A says:

    I don’t blame Kaia Gerber for cashing in on the strategy that her mother and people around her have decided for her career trajectory, which is that she’s basically the Cindy Crawford clone. Companies are banking on the nostalgia that comes w/ any of the 90s supermodels to bring in a certain segment of the population. Kaia Gerber isn’t being marketed to the Instagram generation, who for the most part have their own cultural icons, who don’t appeal to the people outside of their generation. And Kaia isn’t one of them.