Why I Won't Be Taking My Daughter To See JoJo Siwa When She Comes To Australia
Any parent of a tween would now know the ‘news’ that JoJo Siwa (AKA JoJo Bow Girl) is boomerang-ing her way down under.
As a parent of a JoJo loving six-year-old, my reaction to hearing this was not filled with the same excitement as her 'Siwanatorz', otherwise known as her fans.
Mine was more along the lines of it's time to grab my daughter and flee the country because the ultimate epitome of obnoxious and disrespectful behaviour is on its way down under.
This 16-year-old giant bow wearing, multi-millionaire first found fame in 'Dance Moms' which I thinks sums most of it up right there. She then found popularity via YouTube and her channel currently has over 10 million subscribers.
From there she went on to secure a deal with Nickelodeon and was recently crowned the most influential person on the internet by TIME.
And of course, there’s the real JoJo cash cow, the merch. In particular the giant bows, the ones that MUST have the little silver circle with the heart inscribed, otherwise it is not the real thing you know? Well let me tell you, kids do.
While her business prowess (or her mum’s at least) is undeniable, her professional success, admirable and her fortune, enviable, that is about where my compliments for JoJo end.
But behind the JoJo brand, the identity that this teenager and her mother have chosen to present to the world, is not so admirable or enviable. And this is what makes me want to keep my daughter as far away from JoJo and her D.R.E.A.M Tour as P.O.S.S.I.B.L.E.
For full disclosure, I totally understand why my nearly six-year-old daughter loves JoJo (as many her age do). She has bright, shiny costumes, huge bows, glittery makeup and sings and dances catchy pop songs.
Initially I tried to be open, I tried to be a good parent who supported my daughter’s adoration. I truly tried to get on board with the ever smiling girl with the tightest ponytail imaginable.
I watched her videos, listened to her songs and recently viewed the TV documentary ‘My World’ (the one about how awesome JoJo is, according to JoJo and her mum Jessalynn) more than once.
The problem is in doing so, I came to realise that JoJo is not the sort of person I want my daughter idolising because even when she (or Jessalynn) are in ultimate control of her image, she still comes across as loud, obnoxious and self-important. And you don’t need to look far to find copious examples of this behaviour.
In 'Dance Moms' you see JoJo’s often cringeworthy behaviour as plain as day -- the snide comments and an excess of self-belief and you also start to understand why she became this way. Case in point this video.
This persona is one that JoJo and Jessalynn have continued on long and very consciously after the show wrapped and it is what they have used as a marketing tool ever since. Not really qualities I want instilled in my daughter.
I think JoJo summed it up the best herself when she said: “There has never really been someone who has done what I’ve done… I’m live-action. I’m the first real-life license—the first human, who is not playing a character, to be licensed as a brand.”
And JoJo is one ‘brand’ I won’t be taking my daughter to see.
Featured image: Supplied/Getty