Dubbed ‘the grinning girl’ after her cheeky smile as a child star in TLC’s hit series Toddlers & Tiaras, Kailia Posey seemed to be the teenager who had it all. But on Tuesday, the 16-year-old’s devastated family announced that Kailia had taken her own life.
“I don’t have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone,” Posey’s mom Marcy posted to Facebook, later confirming to TMZ that her daughter had “made the rash decision to end her Earthly life”.
While Kailia’s family and friends were aware that the pageant star had been struggling with mental health issues, an unnamed friend of the teenager told Page Six they were all unaware of the extent of her crisis:
“We knew she was struggling with a few things, and we all did everything we could to encourage her and help,” said the friend.
“We didn’t know what was going on”.
From the outside, Kailia appeared to have a very full and exciting life. As a child, she appeared in TLC’s show about pageant children, Toddlers & Tiaras which ran for seven seasons on the network. The show was hugely popular, drawing in a viewership of around 1.6 million a week.
Kailia had joined the show when she was 3, and viewers gave her the nickname ‘the grinning girl’ as the toddler smiled from ear-to-ear during segment interviews.
The talented youngster continued to compete in beauty pageants throughout her childhood and teenage years. Just two months before her death, she had taken part in Washington Teen USA in February and had earned the title of Miss Lynden Teen USA last year. Read more