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How Does Jojo Siwa’s New Rebrand Compare To Iconic Celebrity Rebrands?

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 West Chester chapter.

Anyone with a social media account in the last two weeks has most likely been exposed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to ex-Dance Moms and Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition star Jojo Siwa’s new single “Karma” in her recent attempt to rebrand herself to appeal to an older audience. Although the song has earned some internet virality, it may not be the exposure Jojo had hoped for, as her new style has turned into the internet’s hottest new meme. This unfortunate attempt to rebrand sparks up conversations about who has successfully rebranded themselves and what it takes to make a genuine change. 

Jojo’s Background

After Dance Moms left the air in 2019, Jojo retained her stardom by continuing to release music. Although never reaching mainstream audiences, Jojo’s songs helped build her brand of bows, bright colors and glitter, as well as pulled in a loyal young fan base. Over time her fanbase and brand grew so much that she earned a contract with Nickelodeon where Jojo had her own show and licensed merchandise. Bows, food, toys, clothes, you name it – Jojo was everywhere. Her pink and sparkly aesthetic as well as fun and empowering lyrics appealed to young girls, but in early March she started hinting at something new in a teaser video with dramatic sounds and dark colors. I, an avid Dance Moms fan, have been silently watching Jojo over the years just to see what she does next. I can’t say this rebrand wasn’t predictable, as someone who also has grown up with Jojo in a sense; I understand why she wants to leave behind the childish image. But, Jojo’s rebrand has been done so poorly, and the internet yet again is turning her into a meme.


In interviews, Jojo herself has compared this rebrand to Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz era. The internet was quick to fight this claim, as Miley’s rebrand was a good one. In the years following Cyrus’s exit from Disney, she began to act up in public to forcefully remove the Disney star mold that she had been wearing for years. The media did not like the shift in Miley’s behavior – and her performance at the 2013 VMAs with Robin Thicke remains one of the most shocking live performances in pop culture history. In her release of Bangerz, Miley reclaimed the controversies against her and wrote about them in a way in which fans and listeners were able to enjoy, and became an iconic era of the early twenty-teens. 


Another notable celebrity rebrand in recent years is Taylor Swift’s Reputation. In the months prior to the November, 2017 release Swift had been involved in a very publicized feud with Kanye West and his then wife Kim Kardashian. After floods of snake emojis from Kardashian fans filled Swift’s instagram comments and twitter mentions, she blacked out all her social media accounts. Swifties immediately knew what this meant, and prepared themselves for an album release, but Reputation was nothing like fans expected. The album covered themes of love like her prior albums, except it had a completely different sound and style as well as featured suggestive lyrics different from her very “family friendly” music released previously. The album also perfectly encapsulates the exhilarating feeling of meeting someone you love for the first time themes of which future albums build off of. Taylor Swift was known as America’s Sweetheart but “Reputation” captured the “good girl gone bad” story and was a huge success for the star.

Jojo did some bad things…

Jojo’s rebrand differs from both Bangerz and Reputation. The controversies that both Miley and Taylor were involved with prior to their rebrands were, for the most part, trivial. Miley’s release of Bangerz was more so poking fun at how everyone was reacting to her actions, and Taylor’s release of Reputation was her way of reclaiming her name and bad reputation. Recent allegations that led to Jojo’s rebrand however were not so petty. Jojo, for years since Dance Moms has been off the air, still is seen with and defends Abby Lee Miller, of whom other former cast members don’t associate with. As an adult now looking back on Dance Moms, Miss Abby’s behavior is nothing to defend or be proud of. Jojo also still associates with people like James Charles and Colleen Ballinger, who both have credible allegations of grooming behaviors towards minors. Jojo and her mom, Jessalyn, also recently began managing a girl group called XOMG Pop, where young girls and their moms were promised stardom by the Siwas. After girls began leaving the group in troves, fans began to speculate what went wrong. Ex-member Leigha Sanderson was interviewed by Rolling Stone, who wrote “They also allege Sanderson was forced to work under intense physical duress, with Jessalyn encouraging her to attend a video shoot just a few weeks after she underwent spinal cord surgery…Leigha started bleeding through her bellybutton during a rehearsal… Rather than encourage her to take a break, the Sandersons say, Jessalyn told her to put a maxi pad on it, so it wouldn’t leak onto her costume.” After the interview was released as well as other ex-members sharing their experiences, things did not look good for Jojo, shortly after this came to light she started subliminally posting about her upcoming rebrand. 


Jojo’s release of her single “Karma” was so perfectly timed that it’s almost comedic. She began getting serious allegations about child abuse and then starts dressing in black (still sparkley with glitter) and singing about how she was a bad girl and did some bad things. The song is so vague that it doesn’t mention any of the things people are mad at Jojo for. Yes Jojo, you were a bad girl and did some bad things, but WHAT DID you do? DO YOU even know? 

Both Miley and Taylor alluded to their controversies heavily in their rebrand albums which really captured the shift in their brands, because we as listeners know they are self-aware. Jojo doesn’t seem to have any self-awareness, as there’s no mention of any of her allegations anywhere on her social media and she is still actively associating and posting with Colleen Ballinger and Abby Lee Miller. Although for the time being Jojo’s rebrand has been somewhat successful – as she is definitely getting attention and all the publicity she could ever need, I don’t think she will keep this image up for long because it is obviously not genuine. I think Jojo could have a chance at a successful rebrand if she disassociated herself with bad people around her, because a lot of us forget that Jojo is truly a victim of child exploitation herself. Jojo came close to successfully rebranding herself after she came out as queer in 2021, as other members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies were sending their love and support towards Jojo, and built her a new audience of her peers. This also was one of the first times a celebrity with an audience base of mostly children came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and challenged the child star mold. However, her actions since then have pushed away the supportive community she built in 2021, and yet again Jojo has become the internet’s favorite meme.

Hannah Morowitz

West Chester '26

I am a secondary education/history major who loves crocheting, listening to music, crossfit and pop culture!