Kailia Posey, a former star of the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras, died by suicide at the age of 16 her family has confirmed.
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"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," family told TMZ in a heartbreaking statement.
Kailia had recently attended prom
"She won countless crowns and trophies after competing on the pageant circuit her entire life. 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."
Kailia appeared on one episode of the TLC reality show, which aired from 2009 to 2013. However she was perhaps best known for being the face of a hugely popular gif, when a reaction she made during the California Tropic Arizona pageant at the age of five began making its way around the internet.
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In recent years Kailia was still participating in pageants, and in February she took part in Miss Washington Teen USA.
Her profile revealed that she "loves to entertain, from performing contortion with Cirque du Soleil, to playing Agnes in the Netflix movie Eli in 2018".
Kailia had become a beloved gif used around the world
She also revealed that she planned "to study aviation in college and become a commercial pilot," and that she "hopes to show members of her generation that they can positively impact the world if they are patient and work hard".
Her mom, Marcy Posey Gatterman, confirmed on social media on 3 May that her daughter had passed away, writing: "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."
Her family has set up a fund at the Whatcom Community Foundation to provide resources to "help get much needed resources to students in crisis".
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