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OPINION: “I was a bad girl” but was she?

Jojo Siwa’s new “Karma” Music Video
A graphic illustration of Jojo Siwa in her new music video “Karma” wearing KISS inspired make-up for her edgy re-brand. Created in Canva by Yasemin Kalpakci

Jojo Siwa gained fame at age nine after competing in Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, and joining the fifth season of Dance Moms. During the peak of her fame, Siwa created her YouTube channel– now under the name XOMG POP!– that gained more than 12 million followers and gave her the opportunity to work with large TV programs, like Nickelodeon. 

Siwa rode the Dance Moms fame train and began selling hair bows alongside continuing to promote her YouTube channel consisting of vlogs, challenges and most notably music videos such as “Boomerang,” which was an anti-bully anthem meant to uplift children, and “Kid in a Candy Store.” 

In early 2021, Siwa came out to her followers in a social media post wearing a “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” t-shirt. Appearing more mature than ever, she shared a sweet message to her followers stating, “Celebrate being born the way you are everyday no matter what! 🌈👯”. 

This maturity did not last long as Siwa and her ex, Avery Cyrus, began creating subtle drama on TikTok over Arby’s, and creating fake engagement and pregnancy reveals. Siwa also received a heavy amount of backlash when one of the young contestants on Siwa’s dance reality show alleged that Siwa had been verbally abusive to the pre-teens, and would create a horrible work environment for the girls in the show by putting the girls against each other, and even forcing one member to participate in practice just weeks after a major spinal surgery and telling her to cover up the bleeding in her bellybutton with a menstrual pad.

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“At one point, they allege, she (Jojo Siwa) screamed insults at the girls during a performance; they also allege that she played a role in helping to build a cutthroat environment long after the cameras were gone, playing favorites and pitting members against each other.”

— Ej Dickson, Rolling Stones Exclusive

Conveniently, during the time of these accusations, Siwa decided to pull a complete rebrand of herself, shocking the internet when she began to promote her upcoming single “Karma,” by warning that her song would contain “sexual themes, violence, strong language, traumatic scenarios, and flashing lights.” 

She followed the warning of her new song, by sharing clips of her tattoos (most being temporary sticker tattoos) and cussing on her social media platforms, calling an end to being known as a “child star.”

Aside from her fake tattoos and personality rebrand, Siwa also began to tease the choreography of her new song by posting dance practices. This gained her a lot of hate, as admittedly, the dance moves looked absolutely horrible. For someone who had been training since being a toddler, Siwa seemed to have way too much energy that took away from the necessary smoothness that was needed to make the moves, at the very least, suitable for the eyes.

TikTok commenter @Kitty.B3ans commented on one of Siwa’s videos: “It looks like the dance I did in my living room to convince my parents for a sleepover.” 

Siwa finally released the chorus to her song late March, and the lyrics are as follows: 

I was a bad girl, I did some bad things

I swear I did it all for fun and it meant nothing

I was a wild child, you always knew it

It was a matter of time before I blew it

Thou shall not lie, thou shall not cheat

Thou shall not get caught or you’ll end up just like me, oh

Karma’s a b*tch, I should’ve known better

If I had a wish, I would’ve never effed around”

Siwa’s extensive warning list that appears before the video.

Siwa’s release of the chorus would have been a perfect opportunity for her to drop the actual F-bomb, and feel true to the explicit warnings. Instead, it left even more confused as to why she chose to use the words “effed around.”

Along with the awful lyric choices, it did not take long for individuals on TikTok to figure out that the song “Karma” was not written or produced by Siwa and was actually an unreleased song by Brit Smith – which sounded a lot better than Siwa’s version – that Siwa had bought rights to. 

Besides having the song stuck in everyone’s mind, Siwa caused further controversy by posting videos of her car, which had her face plastered all over it. However, all of this comes nowhere near the amount of hate that Siwa gained when she released her full music video

The music video was released on April 5 and featured some very unstimulating lyrics and dance moves. The entire three and a half minute music video– that was left unseen after the massive amounts of spoilers given by Siwa – showed Siwa grinding on the other dancers and dancing in water wearing bedazzled, KISS-esque makeup. 

As of April 14, the music video has 21 million views and has a now hidden number of dislikes. A review by another YouTuber showed that nine hours after the music video was released the video had a staggering 78 thousand dislikes compared to the mere 29 thousand likes. On top of the awful like to dislike ratio, it seems that of the 200 thousand comments the video has, basically none of the comments have anything positive to say about the video.

“Is the bad girl in the room with us??”

— TikTok user, @yourpookie190


After seeing the horrible backlash that the music video has, most individuals in Siwa’s position, including me, would disappear from the internet and stop promoting the song, but Siwa has not done any of that.

Infact, Siwa seems to be confused as to why she is receiving these scathing reviews. In multiple interviews after the release of the song, Siwa states that people are giving her negative reviews due to the fact that they are afraid to be different and that most of the people hating are elderly individuals. 

It seems that neither of which are the case, and that her song is not hated for being different or representing LGBT+ individuals but instead for being a song with heavy autotune, awful “edgy” outfits and dreadful dance moves.

Siwa even placed her music under a new genre that she started called “Gay Pop,” and doubled down on it when asked later to clarify why she believed she was the inventor of Gay Pop music. Siwa calling herself the “CEO of Gay Pop” feels extremely disrespectful to the many artists that created Pop music for LGBT+ individuals by going against the social stigmas that heavily existed in the past. This includes artists such as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Elton John and many more. 

It would honestly take a miracle for Siwa to overcome the hate she received for her Disney channel style rebrand, and I do believe that having been in the limelight and creating content that appeals to little children since she was nine, would answer as to why Siwa would struggle to lead a normal life. 

It could also make sense that her PR team would use the comeback as an opportunity to milk out the last bit of fame Siwa has left after growing out of selling bows for little girls. To also use this rebrand as a coverup for the backlash that she has received for allegedly abusing her girl group, XOMG POP! would equally make sense.

Whatever it is that is prompting Jojo Siwa to create this content, is bad, and I believe that spending some more time away from the media to refocus on herself and adulthood instead of money-making opportunities would truly do her some good. 

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  • Emi GreeneApr 18, 2024 at 1:52 pm

    Love this article soooo much! Yasmin always delivers the facts!