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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

“From JoJo-with-the-Bow-Bow to JoJo-oh-no-no”: fans comment on JoJo Siwa’s rebrand

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From being dubbed the girliest of pops, the queen of bows and the darling of Dance Moms to becoming a bad girl who did some bad things, singer and dancer JoJo Siwa’s rebrand shook things up with her latest single, “Karma.”

“I mean, in JoJo Siwa’s words, ‘No one has made this dramatic of a change yet,’” senior Amanda Berne (she/her) said.

Since coming out as queer* in 2021, Siwa has made it clear that she intends to move on from her kiddish, girly branding. Similar to artists like Miley Cyrus, Siwa is rejecting her reputation as a child star and pushing herself into an edgier persona.

“She turned 21, and then all of a sudden she was like, ‘I can’t be a child star anymore,’” Berne said. “And her producers were like, ‘Let’s just slap some emo makeup on you and call it a day.’”

The internet’s reaction to the song “Karma” was mixed, but many agree that the music video is a hot mess. With excessive sexual movements and over-the-top choreography, the music video’s only memorable aspect is the shock value.

“She went from JoJo-with-the-Bow-Bow to JoJo-oh-no-no,” Berne said. 

On the other hand, sophomore Nolan Sommer (he/him) said that JoJo’s rebrand, with her new style, personality and music, appeals to him. 

“I think she’s doing it to become relevant again,” Sommer said. “But I think it’s a good thing she’s doing it because she’s making great music.”

Karma” has sparked some controversy among online communities due to the discovery that Siwa didn’t write the song herself. According to Forbes, Siwa bought the rights to the song from original singer Brit Smith and writers Desmond Child, Timothy Price and Antonina Armato. Fans and haters called her out for her dishonesty since Siwa answered many questions in interviews as if she had written the song herself based on her own experiences.

“She shouldn’t have said it was her original song,” Berne said. “I mean, if you didn’t write something, don’t claim that it’s yours.”

Following this reveal, the unreleased music video for Smith’s version of “Karma” was posted on YouTube, and in April 2024, it held No. 8 on iTunes charts, far surpassing Siwa’s version.

“It’s kind of embarrassing that Brit Smith, her song got top 10%, way above JoJo Siwa’s, even though JoJo said, ‘Oh, it’s my song,’” senior Catherine Xu (she/they) said.

Another dispute Siwa faces is her claim that she “invented gay pop.” Her queer audience has pointed out that that’s blatantly false. She is far from the first queer artist to create meaningful music, and by claiming this, she’s erasing the hard work of many other queer artists who have had to work harder to make a career in an industry that does not accept them. 

“It was kind of nice to know that someone who was such a big influencer to represent a smaller group but at the same time, she’s kind of overusing it where its making people misinterpret it like, ‘Oh, this is how the community is because of how she acts,’” Xu said. 

Xu said that even though it was nice to have Siwa empowering a lot of people as a role model, especially for this generation, it’s still not a good rebranding. Sommer, however, had a different opinion. 

“I just think haters are gonna hate,” Sommer said. “If you’re good, you’re gonna have haters.”

Siwa’s rebrand isn’t revolutionary. All it represents is her desire to break out of her child-star reputation by imitating Miley Cyrus’s much more professionally executed rebranding.

“She literally needs to listen to her own lyrics. But I feel like it’s ok to rebrand — she can do whatever she wants — I mean, she’s literally an adult,” Xu said. “But at the same time, she needs to be aware of how it’s affecting everyone, or how it’s affecting her own business because a lot of people are losing support for her because of the way that she rebranded.”

 

*The word “queer” is an umbrella term for people who don’t identify as heterosexual or cisgender. Since its use as a derogatory slur in the 1980s, LGBTQ+ people have reclaimed the word, and the term is often used by younger queer people.

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About the Contributors
Shirene Khandpur (she/her)
Shirene Khandpur (she/her), Opinion Editor
Returning junior Shirene Khandpur is back for her second year at Nordic as Opinion Editor. She can’t wait to apply new skills while learning more in Nordic this year. Aside from Nordic, she’s also a passionate executive member of Model UN and a full IB student. Outside of school, she can be found scribbling in her giant sketchbook, making amateur zines or trying to pick up a new fiber arts hobby, but that’s when she’s not binge-listening to her favorite albums or taking walks with her dog. Her goals in Nordic for the 2023-24 school year are to bring fresh ideas and new approaches to writing, while also improving her photography skills and creating more engaging articles.
Iris Huang (she/her)
Iris Huang (she/her), Junior PR Manager
Sophomore Iris Huang can’t wait to start her second year in Nordic News as Junior PR Manager. She is excited to meet new people and improve her writing skills throughout the year! Iris swims for Inglemoor, plays flute in the school’s band, and participates in clubs like DECA and National Honor Society. Outside of school, she enjoys listening to music, sleeping, doing art, and hanging out with friends.

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