JoJo Siwa is a 15-year-old teen #boss who is quietly poised for world domination, with a massively successful merchandise line and an upcoming nationwide, 52-stop tour designed to promote... surely something. Her budding music career? Her brand?
On The Tonight Show Monday night, Siwa revealed all this and more. “At 15, you have a whole empire,” Jimmy Fallon says, and to my disbelief, Siwa listens intently and then dutifully nods in agreement. “Your face is on everything,” Fallon says, as if trying to explain the JoJo phenomenon to himself. Siwa sort of helps—she repeats back his words back to him (“Literally EVERYTHING”) for emphasis before diving into a laundry list of all the products she sells: the bows, obviously (over 45 million sold in the year 2018), but also, apparently, food, bedding, plates, party supplies, jewelry, clothes, electronics, toys, underwear. “Just imagine what Spongebob’s face is on,” says Siwa, who speaks as if every single word is of equal importance, “that’s what my face is on.”
Who taught this teen how to self-promote like this? Is that what kids are learning these days? Are 45 million kids walking around with painfully high asymmetrical ponytails?
Now, to the bows: Siwa explains the bows are not just for fun. “For me, the bow is a cute, fun hair accessory, and to everyone else, that’s what it looks like,” Siwa says, and for a moment, I wonder if my grasp of the English language has slipped. “But really what it is, is if you’re wearing a JoJo bow, you’re a Siwanator, and if you’re a Siwanator, you’re someone who’s strong, confident, powerful; you believe in yourself; you love everyone; you support everyone. So say you’re at school, and you don’t have anyone to sit with at lunch, you see there’s a kid wearing a JoJo bow, you know that you can sit with them, because they’re a Siwanator.”
I’m distinctly aware that Siwa’s way with words contains some sort of power I cannot really comprehend—when the beef started by Justin Bieber trolling her and commenting “Burn it” three times on an Instagram of her new car comes up, Siwa masterfully dismisses it as “fun and games back and forth,” and adds “now he’s supposed to be performing at my 16th birthday party, right Justin?”
The crowd cheers. Her ponytail swishes. This girl is 15 and a half years old. She will either one day rule us all, or she will absolutely somehow plot our collective demise.