YouTube celebrity says girl onstage is same offstage
Before last January, you probably didn’t know who JoJo Siwa was, unless you were a parent of young children.
Siwa is one of those largely self-made YouTube sensations who loom large in the lives of moppets, but tend to fly under the radars of people with mortgages.
Then Siwa came out as pansexual and she instantly gained a progressive fanbase — people who want to support the alterative sexualities of vulnerable young artists, regardless of what songs they sing or creations they create.
Memorial Coliseum is set to host Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M Tour on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Siwa began her journey to prominence on the reality shows Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms.
Like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Carly Rae Jepsen before her, Siwa used YouTube to achieve what only a major record label could have accomplished 20 years ago: international musical stardom.
Same Person off Stage
To understand how her musical stylings struck many adults in her pre-pansexual days, here are a few quotes from a 2019 column by Dublin Sunday Independent columnist, Brendan O’Connor:
“JoJo Siwa is shouting at us. She wants everyone to scream. Ten thousand people scream back at her. They want to scream. They are here to scream. And JoJo knows that.
“JoJo Siwa knows what her audience wants. And you or I don’t understand it. We haven’t a clue. A TV presenter, who’s here with her own kids, looks at me bewildered, and mouths, ‘What the (expletive)?’
“As it goes on, I feel my central nervous system starting to shut down. The bombardment of the senses is getting too much for me. I am being pounded with flashing moving videos of candy in primary colours. And JoJo and her dancers keep changing into ever more sequinny and colour-clashing outfits. Just when you think JoJo couldn’t be more shiny and clashing, she finds another outfit, with new loud colours that you didn’t know existed.”
In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Siwa said she has to fight the misconception that the above-described persona is fake.
“I think a lot of people think that JoJo is a character, and somebody today actually asked me if I was ever gonna put my character to rest,” she said. “I was like, ‘I mean, she’s been to rest because she doesn’t exist.’ But I think that a lot of people think that it’s not true.
“I think all the time people think that it’s just not possible,” Siaw said. “But it is.”
Comfortable with Self
Since she came out and removed some of the adolescent accents from her appearance, the 18-year-old said she is now feeling like her best self.
“I never expected my journey to take this path, I really didn’t,” she told Teen Vogue magazine, “I didn’t expect to feel the way that I feel right now this quick. I knew that I always wanted to feel like this, but I remember thinking I was never gonna get here. I want to move forward, and I want to age as I age. I think I’m in a great spot right now. I love what I look like, I love what I feel like, and I just want to keep that momentum.”