You Don’t Need To Hate JoJo Siwa | Teen Ink

You Don’t Need To Hate JoJo Siwa

August 6, 2022
By dasein SILVER, Vancouver, Columbia
dasein SILVER, Vancouver, Columbia
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked"

In 2020, readers of the TIME 100 list may have noticed a name they didn’t anticipate: JoJo Siwa. Naturally, we envision a perky young woman, adorned with fluorescent bows and cheerfulness uncommon in her time and age. Popular consensus proclaims JoJo as a joke, self-satisfied at outgrowing her. But jokes aside, her cyberbullies can get more abusive. So ponders a Quora user: “is JoJo Siwa mentally sound? She seems to behave…5-7 years younger. How is her...behaviour...acceptable at her age?”

To understand what society deems “acceptable at her age,” we must examine the culturally conditioned publicity of the teenage girl. There is the “wild rebel,” the “crazed fangirl”, the Bella from Twilight, the Karen from Mean Girls. These tropes aren’t just egregious misogyny, but ingratiation to a male audience, and for years have been broadcasted on a mass scale to be internalized by impressionable teenagers. Soon, the statement started to read: teenage girls are all irrational, vain, insecure, and male-attention-seeking. But we don't treat other age groups this way. Try thinking of a teenage boy. You’ll conjure up fewer stereotypes, more diverse portrayals, and more positive tropes like the 'everyman.'

JoJo Siwa’s online presence isn’t what we expect. Her body isn’t sexualized, she's neither a rebel nor hasty to end her childhood. She is confident, glittery, and empowering. We defined what categories a teenage girl should lodge herself in, and she didn’t comply. So uncomfortable this made us, that we deemed her perverse. We hated her and scoffed at her fans. And even now we are quick to stiffly push JoJo into societal boundaries. An answer to the Quora user asserts: “5–7 years younger? Try at least 10. I’m guessing soon after 18, she’ll go all Miley Cyrus. Or hopefully not, Lindsay Lohan.”

The truth is, though JoJo Siwa doubtlessly has a unique personality, all teenage girls are, likewise, unique. As we rush to demote them into stereotypes, we frequently harm them more than we realize. "Women and girls have long received conflicting cultural messages about the ways that they express themselves," explains Erica Scharrer from the University of Massachusetts. "The fact that JoJo Siwa is critiqued for wearing things considered too childish and Miley and Noah Cyrus are critiqued for wearing things considered too revealing shows the constant policing of women's outward appearance.” JoJo simply refused to be pigeonholed.

As a young woman myself, I know that puberty is hard. But having to stumble my way through society’s misguided conventions, navigating demeaning stereotypes and normative tropes, can be much, much harder. So let’s banish the stereotypes from our minds. As for JoJo, NYT journalist Hayley Krischer affectionately observed: “the new young teenage heroine of suburban America showed no fear.”

Works Cited

With Hair Bows and Chores, YouTube Youth Take On Mean Girls - The New York Times

Why do some people hate Jojo Siwa so much? - Quora

Why Everyone Actually Hated Jojo Siwa - YouTube

Why Criticism of JoJo Siwa Might Harm Her Young Fans - Insider

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This article has 4 comments.

on Nov. 16 2022 at 11:28 am
ilovetaylorswift, York, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
not you referring to Lindsey lohan and miley cyrus :(

on Nov. 16 2022 at 11:27 am
LindseyLohansbff, York, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

on Nov. 16 2022 at 11:19 am
LindseyLohansbff, York, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
Perioddd jojo siwa ate that up!!!

on Nov. 16 2022 at 11:19 am
LindseyLohansbff, York, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
Perioddd jojo siwa ate that up!!!