Kailia Posey, known as ‘grinning girl’ in popular GIF, dead at 16


Kailia Posey, who became a popular GIF from her appearance on the reality TV show “Toddlers & Tiaras,” has died unexpectedly, her mother says. She was 16 years old.

Marcy Posey Gatterman said in a Facebook post that her daughter died on Monday, but specific details about the cause or circumstances of her death were not immediately known.

“I don’t have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone,” Gatterman said in her post. “Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.”

Several reports mentioned that Kailia was involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, where her family lives, but officials have not confirmed that. A police spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kailia appeared on the TLC show “Toddlers & Tiaras” in 2012, when she was just 5 years old. A scene from one of the episodes – in which she grins – became one of the most popular GIFs on the internet. It remains popular and is still frequently used.

“Toddlers & Tiaras” was a controversial TV show which followed the world of child beauty pageants. Most recently, Kailia took part in the Miss Teen USA pageant in Washington state, where she finished as the second runner-up.