Sexualizing little girls has a history of tragedy
A former child beauty pageant star on the controversial Toddlers & Tiaras TV show has committed suicide at the age of 16.
Her body was found Monday in her car in a park in Washington State. She had turned 16 just a week earlier.
Kailia Posey was one of the most famous contestant on the child sexploitation show which ran from 2009 to 2013.
May 11, 2022 — Kailia Posey died by ligature strangulation in her car at Birch Bay State Park, reported the Whatcom County Medical Examiner.
‘Ligature strangulation is when a constricting band is tightened around the neck by force other than body weight,’ the medical examiner explained. ‘Hanging is when the band is tightened by the gravitational weight of the body,’
Further details of the autopsy and toxicology reports would not be disclosed to the public in order to preserve the victim’s privacy as the details would be ‘highly offensive’ to her family, it was reported.
“A beautiful baby girl is gone,” her mother Marcy Posey Gatterman posted on social media. “We mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.”
Perhaps if Kailia had been allowed to have a normal childhood…
Toddlers & Tiaras featured children in sexually provocative outfits, and glamorized with makeup and even fake teeth. This sexualization of little girls sparked outrage among parents of children who led comparatively “normal lives.”
Several times on the show, the mothers of the beauty pageant toddlers would scold their children and make them cry when they didn’t rate high enough in the scoring.
Parents watching the show at home, and family therapists, were shocked. “Shame on them,” was a typical condemnation of the mothers of the beauty pageant babies.
The show’s producers enjoyed the controversy-driven ratings until the show was cancelled after too many complaints and a notorious lawsuit.
One toddler contestant’s mother, Lindsay Jackson, was ordered by a Kentucky judge to stop entering her five-year-old daughter Mady in pageants after putting fake breasts and a provocative behind on the child, and dressing her up to look like a little Dolly Parton.
The mother was in a custody battle at the time with Mady’s father, her estranged husband Bill Verst, who based his case on the mother’s sexploitation of the little girl.
In the end the court awarded Mady’s mother primary residential custody, with both parents having joint legal custody, a decision that angered many parents.
The shocking, unsolved murder of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey is a notorious example of how toddler beauty pageants can turn into terrible tragedy.
JonBenét was savagely killed at the age of six in her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, on December 26, 1996.
Her father, John Ramsey, told police he found the girl’s body in the basement eight hours after she had been reported missing. The child had been brutally bludgeoned on the head and strangled. A homemade garrote was around her neck. Unidentified DNA was found in her underwear.
Ramsey and his wife Patsy, a former beauty queen, claimed their daughter had been kidnapped and showed police a long, rambling handwritten ransom note that had all the earmarks of being fake.
JonBenét’s death was ruled a homicide and both parents were suspects. But to this day the murder remains an open investigation in the Boulder Police Department.
The child’s mother, Patricia Ramsey, died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 49. The father, John Ramey, 78, remarried in 2011 — his third wife — and moved to Michigan.
Little JonBenét was brutally murdered, Kailia Posey killed herself, and Toddlers & Tiaras is off the air. But the sexualization of little girls in child beauty pageants continues.