Published: 2022-05-05 17:40
Last Updated: 2022-10-01 19:30
Kailia Posey, a young star of TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, famous for her viral grinning meme, died by suicide at the age of 16.
The death was first announced by her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, as she shared a photo of Kailia and wrote, "I don't have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever."
Later on Tuesday, her family sent a statement to TMZ that said, "Although she was an accomplished teenager with a bright future ahead of her, unfortunately in one impetuous moment, she made the rash decision to end her earthly life."
"She won countless crowns & trophies after competing on the pageant circuit her entire life," the statement said, adding that "her highly acclaimed talent as a contortionist had already led to professional touring job offers, and she had recently been selected to be a cheerleader at her high school next fall.”
Her family also said that Kailia loved aviation and was planning to continue her work in the entertainment industry while pursuing her goal of a commercial pilot's license.
The late Posey had appeared on the TLC program at least twice and had started to do pageants at the age of three.
She became well known in 2012 after her iconic grinning face meme which was taken when she was five years old.