It’s Time To Admit That JoJo Siwa Has Actually Always Been An Icon
JoJo Siwa coming out in the peak of her career was iconic, but she's actually always been an icon.
Over the last week, JoJo Siwa posted a number of cryptic clues that hinted to her being gay.
But this weekend, JoJo set the rumours to rest by posing in a “best gay cousin ever” t-shirt gifted to her by family. Confirming that the 17-year-old YouTuber (turned singer, actress and social media sensation) was in fact part of the LGBTIQ community, JoJo then opened up about her sexuality during an Instagram Live.
While JoJo hasn’t shared what she identifies as because she just doesn’t “really know the answer” yet and wants to “keep things in my life private until they are ready to be public”, the teen did say that she has “never, ever, ever been this happy before”.
My cousin got me a new shirt pic.twitter.com/DuHhgRto7b
— JoJo Siwa!🌈❤️🎀 (@itsjojosiwa) January 22, 2021
Why JoJo Siwa Coming Out Is So Important
JoJo Siwa, at only 17, has become one of the most popular children’s entertainers in the world.
Despite being 17, JoJo’s shtick of being loud, colourful, high-energy, and, most importantly, family-friendly has enabled her to carve out a niche in the industry as a kid’s entertainer. But with the backing of her 12 million loyal YouTube followers, JoJo has also managed to find a number of new income streams through sold-out music tours, a Nickelodeon talent deal, and a slew of branded products, like bows and even her own range of ice cream.
Simply put, not only do kids really, really love JoJo and her content, but their parents do, too. And when you consider the other 17-year-olds who are currently out there for children to look up to, it makes a lot of sense. For example, the only other 17-year-old as well known as JoJo Siwa would be her rival, Cash Me Outside-meme-turned-rapper, Danielle Bregoli, who doesn’t exactly set the best example for JoJo’s target audience of children and tweens.
Suck my dick https://t.co/A9bxDRgn9y
— BHAD BHABIE (@BhadBhabie) July 27, 2018
As the only real positive influence liked equally as much by children and their parents, this is why JoJo Siwa coming out is such a massive deal, and so important for her young followers.
JoJo sharing that she is part of the LGBTIQ community was an undeniably brave, and risky, decision for someone in her position to make — especially considering that JoJo is arguably at the peak of her career as she sells out literal arenas to her fans. So there’s no denying that JoJo encouraging children to be their true, authentic selves will likely turn a number of conservative parents against her, meaning a possible loss in subscribers, income, and in the extreme case, even certain brand deals.
But this makes JoJo Siwa’s decision to share her sexuality even more vital for her young fans. The YouTuber risking so much by coming out with such a young audience helps teach these kids that they aren’t alone, and that it’s ok to be different — even when it may be scary and not everyone may agree with it.
Ok all jokes asides jojo siwa coming out is super fucking brave considering she’s primarily in children’s entertainment and this has potential to piss off a lot of parents, networks she works with, etc but is also so fucking cool for that reason?! What a badass
— :/ (@bigfatmeg) January 22, 2021
ok but the impact of jojo siwa coming out to millions of very very young kids and their parents ?? the normalization this has …. a queen
— matt (@mattxiv) January 22, 2021
if you don't think jojo siwa coming out as gay is a big deal;
just remember that there are lgbt kids that watch her videos that may have felt so alone with their identity and seeing the person they look up to coming out makes them feel safer and more comfortable with themselves
— 🌸 bi rights (@sapphicbisexual) January 22, 2021
In her live video posted over the weekend, it was clear that JoJo realised the impact that her announcement would have on her young fans, too.
“Right now what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it’s ok and that it’s awesome and that the world is there for you,” JoJo said. “I think coming out has this stigma around it, that it’s a really, really scary thing. But it’s not anymore. There are so many accepting and loving people out there, that it’s ok.”
“Of course people are going to say it’s not normal, but nothing is normal. Literally not one thing about anybody is normal and it’s ok not to be normal. It’s ok to be a little different, it’s ok to be a little weird, strange, different,” she continued.
“I think a lot of people are afraid of being different, but that’s something we should never, ever be afraid of. That’s something we should be proud of and we should celebrate.”
But Let’s Be Real, JoJo Siwa Has Always Been An Icon
Now while JoJo coming out is a beautiful, wonderful and down-right iconic thing, it’s time to admit that JoJo Siwa has always been an icon.
Above all else, JoJo Siwa is unapologetically herself — and in that, simply doesn’t give a fuck about what people think about her. She drives around in a BMW 4-series that’s wrapped entirely in her own face, she embraces her receding hairline by continually wearing her JoJo Siwa Bows even when people clown her for it, and her home is basically a shrine to herself and her ungodly amounts of merch.
While it would feel obnoxious for any other celebrity to do, it’s hard to hate JoJo for it. This is because over the last year it’s become pretty clear that the YouTuber is doing what she needs to do for a cheque — and with a net worth of $14 million as a child, what JoJo has been able to achieve already in just 17 years of life is damn impressive.
So if she needs to dress like a glitter-obsessed six-year-old to keep children interested in her and her content, then power to her. If JoJo needs to keep driving around in a car wrapped in her own face to capture a child’s attention, then keep on driving. And if throwing herself a birthday party with exclusively JoJo Siwa-branded party supplies is how she can keep her audience happy, then party on.
She’s FLEXING. She said she got a bag EVERYWHERE. Money coming regardless! Available at Target and Walmart https://t.co/jqYEWC6bcL
— Sam 💖 (@hoodcuIture) May 19, 2020
But it’s not just my personal opinion, either. Since May, the general public begun to shift their opinion on JoJo after she started to use her TikTok account more, too.
Despite all the hate the YouTuber used to get for acting like “an overgrown toddler”, people decided JoJo Siwa was actually pretty cool after she begun to share glimpses of her real personality without all the sparkly bows and tight ponytails — something that people speculated was JoJo shying away from her “family-friendly” contractual obligations and persona.
Specifically, after JoJo shared her take on the ‘Wipe It Down’ challenge, people realised that perhaps the social media sensation actually wasn’t all that bad. In fact, people started to take note of how JoJo is actually a very smart business woman, who was simply just slowly starting to distance herself away from the JoJo Siwa character she had created and perfected over the years.
But even as the JoJo Siwa character, the music career the 17-year-old has been able to create from YouTube alone has been inspiring to watch.
Sure, is JoJo Siwa’s music the most inspired sound ever? No, not really. But if I were a 7-year-old would I think her music slaps? 100 percent, yes. And best yet, would my parents be happy that I’m listening to a girl singing about wearing ‘High Top Shoes‘ instead of twerk anthems as a young kid? Well, one would only hope so.
Let’s also not forget that JoJo Siwa’s career started on Dance Moms alongside Sia’s sidekick, Maddie Ziegler, so the girl can pick up choreography fast, too. So she can dance, sing, has great stage presence, is clearly marketable, and is an icon already well-liked by the public? Honestly, JoJo Siwa has the potential to be the next Miley Cyrus, with a Disney-star-turned-pop-icon moment of her own.
I say this completely unironically but Jojo Siwa absolutely has the talent to be the type of pop star who could headline a Super Bowl within 10 years pic.twitter.com/GY42A2bh4L
— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) September 8, 2020
Mark my words, it’s all over for us once JoJo Siwa turns 18, bins the glitter, and takes her hair out of that ponytail permanently. Siwanatorz rise!
Michelle Rennex is a senior writer at Junkee. She tweets at @michellerennex.