Jojo Siwa’s racy new music video mocked mercilessly

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Jojo Siwa is making history … so says Jojo Siwa.

The former Dance Moms child star debuted a new look on a red carpet this week and followed it up with her first proper stab at being an adult pop singer: An electro-pop song called Karma.

It comes complete with a racy video featuring the young singer sharing many an intimate moment with her all-girl troupe of back-up dancers (Siwa, 20, came out as gay in 2021).

It’s certainly a bold rebrand for a young star who, just a few short years ago, was best known as a permanently chipper, fluro-loving children’s entertainer.

But at this point, it’s also a well-worn path, with teen stars from Britney Spears to Christina Aguilera to Miley Cyrus using the medium of a sexually charged music video to announce their transition into adulthood.

Despite this, Siwa sees herself as a genuine trailblazer.

No one has made this dramatic of a change yet. No one has made, in my generation, this extreme of a switch,” she told a visibly incredulous red carpet reporter at the recent GLAAD Awards.

“I am the first of the generation. It is very scary, but someone’s got to do it.”

But celeb watchers are less than convinced by this new-look Jojo Siwa.

The music video for Karma shows Siwa almost-but-not-quite-kissing with around half a dozen of her back-up dancers before the video climaxes with a dance break in which Siwa repeatedly and violently thrusts on top of one of the dancers as she lies splayed on a beach.

The comments under the video on YouTube, which has already been viewed more than 8 million times, have an almost universal tone of “WTF.”

“WHY DID SHE HUMP HER SO HARSHLY,” asked one person of the video’s most memorable moment.

“Y’all brave for watching the whole thing. I couldn’t last a minute,” another person complained, while others labelled it “uncomfortable.”

“I just got secondhand embarrassment so bad that I had to put my phone down and literally get up from my bed to process everything,” one person commented.

Amid all this talk of making history and boldly doing what’s never been done before, it turns out Siwa’s new single Karma is allegedly actually an old scrapped Miley Cyrus demo. Producers Rock Mafia reportedly submitted it for inclusion on Cyrus’ 2010 album, transitioning her from teen star to adult singer, Can’t Be Tamed (tweets between Miley and Rock Mafia from the time, in which they reference the track title, would support this claim).

Perhaps that was intentional – as Siwa revealed to one red carpet interviewer this week, Cyrus is her “number one idol. I want to do what she did with Bangerz. I want to have that moment. I’m flattered that the world even can compare that.”

Even more confusing is the fact that aesthetically, Siwa’s new image seems to be lifted wholesale from another performer: Gene Simmons, frontman of legendary rock band KISS. More than one interviewer pointed this out to Siwa as she debuted the new look at the iHeartRadio Awards this week – and incredibly, Siwa happily replied that she’d never even heard of the man her new image appears based on.

It was another aspect of Siwa’s rebrand people couldn’t get their heads around – how is your new image essentially KISS cosplay, but you’ve never heard of the person you’re paying visibly homage to?

Still, it seems Siwa is taking the criticism in her stride.

“People are afraid of things they don’t know,” she told E! this week.

“Things can be scary for people. New things can be very, very scary.”

Indeed.