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Jojo Siwa Did Not Invent “Gay Pop” and Here’s Why

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

Oh Jojo Siwa… where to begin. If you’ve been on the internet in the past few weeks, you’ve definitely heard of Jojo Siwa and her new “rebrand.” This new era of hers has consisted of the release of her new song, Karma. What really caught people’s attention with this song was the corny lyrics, heavily autotuned voice, and questionable dance. The music video for this song is definitely… something. I couldn’t even describe that video if I tried, I was traumatized, to say the least. 

Surrounding this whole “rebrand”, Jojo Siwa has made some shocking and questionable statements. In an interview with Billboard, Jojo Siwa states that she, “wanted to start a new genre … called ‘gay pop.’” Many people had negative reactions to this statement, because it’s not true. Gay pop has been a genre in music for a long time. Icons such as Elton John, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, and more, have curated a whole appreciation for gay pop and the representation and interconnectedness queer people have with music. Overall, within the queer community, history is very important. It feels disrespectful for Jojo to try to say she’s inventing gay pop. Even if that wasn’t her intention, gay pop is still very popular today, without Jojo Siwa. Artists such as Hayley Kiyoko, Kehlani, Girl in Red, etc. have been iconic figures within the last decade. The music video of “Girls Like Girls” by Haley Kiyoko changed my brain chemistry when I was in middle school. Girl in Red was also a queer artist that got me through quarantine. Newer artists that are becoming more popular now include Chappell Roan (my lord and savior), Renee Rap, Troye Sivan, and more. Chappell Roan especially, has been working for over ten years to get her start within the industry, and she is finally getting her props. I’m not saying that Jojo doesn’t work hard, it’s just that she has no place representing gay pop. 

Jojo’s genuineness has also been questionable. She has stated that the TikTok dance to “Karma” was exaggerated to get views. This leaves me confused on whether this whole “rebrand” is genuine. Is this gay pop genre just another one of her ideas to get media attention? Or does she actually care and will understand the history and importance of representing the queer community? 

Overall, I am totally down for Jojo Sisa to release gay pop music and embrace her sexuality, I’m all for it! But, listening to criticism and learning history might actually make people take her new music and style seriously.

Paige Jones

Mt Holyoke '27

Hey! I am a student at Mount Holyoke College, I am 19 and use she/her pronouns.