The Transformation Of Lala Kent From Childhood To 31 Years Old

The following article includes mentions of alcohol addiction.

Chances are even if you don't watch "Vanderpump Rules," you've heard of Lala Kent. The new mom was just working as a hostess at Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant SUR when she started her reality show career, but she's come a long way since then. Bravo fans know that Lala has always managed to keep things interesting over the years, thanks to her brutally honest attitude, over-the-top wild side, and tendency to not shy away from drama.

Yet Lala isn't just known for her on-camera feuds with her TV costars or her on-and-off relationship with Hollywood producer Randall Emmett. The former model has parlayed her reality fame into everything from landing acting roles, including a part in the horror film "The Row," to hosting her popular podcast, "Give Them Lala...With Randall," to writing a bestselling book. Additionally, perhaps because Lala knows a thing or two about changing her look, she also launched skincare and beauty lines, along with a baby clothing line. All are sold under the label name "Give Them Lala," which, if you didn't know, comes from a catchphrase she coined herself. 

But Lala wasn't always the badass TV star and businesswoman she is today — she was once just a bullied young girl from Utah who had big dreams of stardom. Despite facing her fair share of scandals, Lala has found the career longevity that eludes many other reality stars. She's also undergone quite the transformation over the years, thanks in part to a few cosmetic procedures and a lot of growing up.

Lala Kent grew up in Utah

"Vanderpump Rules" star Lala Kent may have thousands of Instagram followers, but little Lauren Burningham (Lala's real name) apparently didn't feel like she belonged. In an interview with The Daily Dish, Lala opened up about growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Mormonism is "the main culture and religion." However, her family isn't Mormon, which she says made it "tough being in that environment and you being the outcast." She elaborated, "It was weird when you would go to school with everyone that was Mormon because they just believe in completely different things."

Luckily, Lala was still able to find other kids she connected with. She revealed, "I gravitated towards the people that were in theater class and choir. And the arts were usually for people that weren't religious." It also helped that Lala had always been close with her family. She's posted on Instagram about how special her late father was to her, as well as how her younger brother, Easton Burningham, is her "best friend." 

Lala has also described her mother as her "best friend," telling Millenium in 2017, "She was always there for me and always will be." It was her mother's job that instilled a love of animals in young Lala and eventually led to her becoming an animal activist. She explained to Celebrity Page, "My mom works for the Humane Society, so for me, I just grew up loving animals and wanting to treat them humanely."

She was bullied as a teen

Growing up, Lala Kent wasn't the "cool girl" she is now. In fact, her school years were difficult for her. She revealed to Millennium, "I was constantly bullied. Kids would throw Diet Coke at my car when I'd drive by. It was horrible." Lala had a theory about why her peers were so cruel. She dished, "I don't like to say, 'jealousy' because it sounds pretentious but I was modeling since I was 12. I bought and paid for my own BMW in cash, people were looking at me wary of what I'd achieved." She added, "I was also this theater geek."

Perhaps it was the "Vanderpump Rules" star's struggle to fit in that sparked her desire to leave home. Even though she didn't make a permanent move to Los Angeles until her twenties, she wrote in her memoir, "Give Them Lala," that she first experimented with living in the city at age 19. However, her stay "lasted only six months."

Although Lala may be happy to put some experiences behind her, she does seem to look back at her teenage self fondly while still being proud of how she's changed. This became evident when she shared a photo of herself at age 19 next to one taken a decade later on her Instagram Story in 2019. She wrote (via E!), "I look like the same Utah girl, who has turned into a woman, with better eyebrows and fuller lips. I also learned how to do makeup."

Lala Kent moved to LA at age 23

In 2013, when Lala Kent was 23 years old, she moved to Los Angeles to start a new life. She explained in her memoir, "Give Them Lala," that she planned to "go to Hollywood, where I would make it as an actor, my dream since I was a little girl." While Lala didn't necessarily land a breakthrough role upon arrival, she did find a steady job as a fit model. She recalled, "I was a living mannequin, being photographed in various outfits that would go on clothing companies' e-commerce sites."

Lala knew that being in LA brought her closer to achieving her "acting dreams," although she admitted that she wasn't "laser-focused" on her goal since she was in an on-and-off relationship with a football player named Carter Hoffman. Lala started dating Hoffman when she was 21 and still living in Utah. She confessed that he had her "wrapped around his finger" at the time, but she came to realize that he didn't treat her right.

Following their split, Lala tried to sever her attachment to Hoffman by "hooking up with as many people as possible." She also seemed to put more focus on her work. Not only did she land a few small acting parts, but she briefly worked at SUR for the first time when she was 23. While Lala dished that she quit after a manager admonished her for her treatment of some VIPs, the restaurant would eventually launch the career she always wanted.

At 25, she joined Vanderpump Rules

At 25, Lala Kent's life changed forever when she joined the cast of Bravo's "Vanderpump Rules" during Season 4. Speaking to Slice, the Utah native explained how she landed the coveted spot while hanging out at SUR. "I had friends that worked there and Lisa [Vanderpump] had come up to me one night after she had seen me interacting with the staff and offered me a job," she recalled. "And with that hostess job came the show opportunity."

But just because Lisa took to Lala quickly didn't mean that Bravo viewers or her other co-stars did. In her memoir, "Give Them Lala," she wrote, "The hate I got on my first season ... was anxiety-triggering on a whole other level." Worse yet, some of her castmates were ganging up on her. "Stassi, Kristen, and Katie became the worst mean-girl trio ever, and it was three against one at all times," she recollected. 

Lala dished that all of the shade just made her want to be rebellious, which is why she decided to go topless on the cast trip to Hawaii. When it comes to her scandals, like up hooking up and then feuding with castmate James Kennedy, Lala doesn't seem to have regrets, telling The Daily Dish, "It's a part of my story ... like what are you going to do about it?" While Lala almost quit the show a few times, she's managed to get past the drama and stick it out for several seasons, even perhaps becoming a fan favorite.

She began secretly dating Randall Emmett at age 26

Part of Lala Kent's intrigue and drama on "Vanderpump Rules" was linked to her once-mystery boyfriend, Randall Emmett, whom she referred to as "my man" during her early seasons on the show. The two first laid eyes on each other in 2015 at SUR, where Randall was attending "a Christmas dinner." Lala told Cosmopolitan that he got his assistant to tell her he was interested in casting her in a movie. "So then we started that whole process, I booked the film and then we just had this instant connection," she recalled.

Because Randall's divorce from "You" actor Ambyr Childers wasn't finalized, he wanted to keep their romance a secret. However, it didn't help their low profile when Lala got Randall's initials tattooed on her. She would also often talk about the lavish gifts he would give her, including Chanel goodies and a Range Rover. This led to Lala's castmates and some viewers accusing her of being a gold digger. She recalled to Cosmopolitan, "I was just madly in love with this person ... and so my feelings got hurt when people spoke about the money aspect." 

The two finally went public with their romance in early 2018, and the cast eventually warmed up to Randall, with Lala telling Slice, "He put forth such an effort to be good with them." That same year, Randall proposed. Lala confessed to Us Weekly at the time, "I just can't believe I get to have this man forever."

27-year-old Lala Kent admitted to plastic surgery

By 2017, it was apparent that Lala Kent's physical appearance had changed significantly since she first started shooting "Vanderpump Rules." The then-27-year-old admitted it was because she had gotten some plastic surgery. She told Zwivel, "I started doing Botox when I was about 23. It's a bit addictive." She added, "I also did Restylane in the lips."

Less than a year later, she admitted to People that she had overdone it. "I've had every part of my face injected. The things I've decided to stop doing is the filler in the cheekbones, the Botox above the eyebrow and the lips because I just feel like I'm a walking cat-duck," she joked. However, she's happy with her overall transformation. In a 2020 post on her Instagram Story (via Bravo), she wrote that she used to have "such a little baby face," adding, "I will say though, I thoroughly enjoy my new face."

Lala clearly isn't one to shy away from a taboo topic. She dished on "Vanderpump Rules" in 2017, "I'm not the type of person who's going to walk out and be like, 'I've had nothing done, my face just changed like this.'" Reactions to her altered appearance have been mixed. "People say that I look ugly now," she stated, adding that others thank her for being honest about her cosmetic procedures. And she doesn't judge others for having work done, telling People, "If you like injections and you like plastic surgery ... then do you boo."

Age 28 wasn't easy for her

Age 28 brought a lot of changes for Lala Kent, including her decision to get sober. "Drinking for me was medication instead of celebration," she told Cosmopolitan in 2018. "When I really came to the conclusion that I am in that zone of having a problem, I just said enough's enough." During an interview with In Touch, she said a particular trip in 2018 was her wake-up call. "I get on the plane. I'm face-chugging out of a bottle, and the next morning I woke up and said, 'I will never live this way again,” she recalled.

It didn't help that Lala suffered a major tragedy that year: the sudden death of her beloved father. She expressed her grief on Instagram, writing, "I've never felt so lost. I've never felt so sad. My world has crumbled." She later shared how she was coping with the pain. "I've learned that the passing of my dad will never be something that gets easier with time,' she wrote. "But each day I will find new ways to cope a little better."

2018 wasn't all bad, though — Lala had a reason to celebrate when she got engaged to Randall Emmett that September. "Randall had told me that he had asked my dad permission to marry me earlier this year before my father passed away which is such an incredible gift because I lost my dad suddenly," she told People.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Lala Kent feuded with 50 Cent when she was 29

Lala Kent and Randall Emmett have faced a lot of haters throughout their relationship, but perhaps the strangest feud that came their way was with 50 Cent. According to The Cut, Randall was a co-producer on 50 Cent's TV series "Power." In 2019, the rapper alleged that he had loaned Randall $1 million and had not been paid back. In retaliation, 50 Cent trolled him on social media, mentioning the Range Rover Randall gave Lala after she "let him hit it the first night" (per the "Vanderpump Rules After Show") and even comparing him to disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.

Lala wasn't having it. "She swears she's a thug from south side Jamaica queens & she's up in here watching Bravo," she wrote in response to one of 50 Cent's posts, per Comments by Bravo. Meanwhile, Randall tried to get the rapper to stop his relentless trolling by complaining of "chest pains," but 50 Cent was undeterred. The feud reportedly ended when Randall finally paid his debt.

While that feud was definitely over-the-top, it wasn't the only time Lala had gotten into it with a celebrity. The previous year, she beefed with actor Jennifer Lawrence after the Oscar winner called her a c*** on "Watch What Happens Live" when discussing "Vanderpump Rules," per Billboard. Lala responded by tweeting then deleting, "B***h, you better pray I don't see you in the streets. ... You claim you are pro women ... You're gross." Eventually, Lawrence apologized, and the two moved past it.

At 30, she was pregnant during the pandemic

In 2020, a then-30-year-old Lala Kent went through another major life change when she found out she was pregnant. She announced the news on her podcast, "Give Them Lala...With Randall," saying, "For my 30th birthday, I had the best gift given to me — my body also helped out, too — I am pregnant." She confessed she realized her life would be momentously different, adding, "Life is really hitting me in the face. It's like, holy s***. I'm turning 30, there's something living inside of me, growing ... my life is changing very quickly."

While her pregnancy was good news, when it came to her planned April 2020 wedding to Randall Emmett, things didn't pan out because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She told People, "We have decided to move the date of our wedding to July given the unfortunate circumstances of what is going on." Unfortunately, July didn't happen either, and the wedding had to be pushed back even further. In September 2021, Lala told In Touch, "We're shooting for 2022, but this will be the fourth time setting a date, and we don't want to be let down again!"

The pandemic didn't help the couple's relationship either. "Randall and I have almost broken up about a dozen times," she said on the "Better Together With Maria Menounos" podcast in May 2020. "This is definitely a test for people's relationships." Perhaps that was a warning for what was to come for them.

Lala Kent became a mom and single again at 31

As of this writing, 31-year-old Lala Kent seems to be loving her life as a new mom to her daughter Ocean, who was born on March 15, 2021. The "Vanderpump Rules" star announced her birth on her Instagram, writing, "My life changed forever. ... No one could have prepared me for this kind of love. Ocean, you are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me."

It appears that Lala has really taken to being a mother. She gushed to ET, "I can't believe that I embody the things that moms are supposed to. You just kind of sink into it. And I didn't think that I had that in me." Lala even told People that she's "ready to go" on trying for another baby as soon as Ocean turns one.

However, that plan may have changed. In October 2021, Lala and her fiancé, Randall Emmett, allegedly split. Page Six reported that he had been unfaithful. Lala made it clear they weren't on good terms when she deleted him off of her Instagram and reportedly liked a post about the cheating allegations. She also wrote in the caption of an Instagram video of her and Ocean, "I will always protect you. It's you and me, baby." So the reality star seemed to be holding her own, proving just how far she's come in life!