Saturday Night Social: Jojo Siwa and James Charles Are Gendering So Hard Right Now

Illustration for article titled Saturday Night Social: Jojo Siwa and James Charles Are Gendering So Hard Right Now
Screenshot: YouTube

We’ve all got a @dril tweet we’re never not thinking about. For me, that @dril tweet is: This Whole Thing Smacks Of Gender,’ i holler as i overturn my uncle’s barbeque grill and turn the 4th of July into the 4th of Shit.”

I refer to this tweet so often as it gave me language to describe something I’d never quite had the words for—that is, when something that smacks of gender. What does it mean for something to smack of gender? Well, it simply means that it’s doing just that: smacking of gender. The gender is self-evident. The gender is overpowering. What else is there to say? The gender—it simply smacks of it.

I bring this up because YouTubers James Charles and Jojo Siwa released a collab makeover video on Friday, and the whole thing smacks of gender. In it, the 21-year-old makeup artist gives the 17-year-old Dance Moms star-turned-teen corporate overlord “a full transformation,” which for Charles means no glitter, no bows, no rainbows, and no taut, jaunty ponytails tugging at Siwa’s hairline.


It’s a more mature femininity that James is going for, rather than Jojo’s typical girly maximalism, but as he gets to work on her makeover, the younger YouTuber starts to rebel with chaotic little masculine barbs.

“I’m brother baking my brother brows,” Siwa says, interrupting Charles with a boyish twist on his signature overuse of the word “sister” as a catch-all prefix. He gasps exasperatedly, asking her to stop. She doesn’t, telling him:We’re gonna do my brother brows. Let’s go.”

When James reveals the final look—subtle, sophisticated, and subdued with soft blonde waves spilling over Siwa’s face—his makeover subject loves it, just not on her. “If it was on any other human, I would say, ‘That human is the most stunning human in the whole world!’” Jojo says, toying with a kind of intentional gendered dissociation. “I feel like a different version. I feel like I’m Joelle right now”—that is, her unabbreviated legal name.

I have no other words for this video except that the gender within it is off the charts. It’s probable. It’s palpable. It’s simply overwhelming! In short, it smacks of gender. Judith Butler is, most assuredly, shaking.

Freelance journalist (GQ, W, Esquire, elsewhere), here on weekends

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Krispy Porkchops

Shelter Catstravaganza!

This week marked a change in routine. The First Lady and I elected to have our children learn remotely, so we have been busy supporting them as they return to a school schedule. This means no more daily visits to the shelter. Which is okay because I got to do it when I needed to (didn’t I, Wynn?).

That being said, I *did* manage to get in some visitation, so not to worry, all *sorts* of goodness is on its way!

First, a good news/bad news announcement. Penguin, we had a good run, but it ended this week. BenBen was adopted. We even have an update: “ His new name is Steve and he’s doing great. He loves the wood floors and adores his 5 year old little girl...He was not happy about the complimentary four-paw pedi he received before he went home. As soon as he saw his little girl,” all was forgiven.

So I made my first evening visit to the shelter in quite some time, and it was not without its share of excitement.

Last week, I made my first visit to Nala, if you recall, which went quite well. This time, it started out quite similarly - lots of wiggles and rubs and affection.

But then She got triggered and tensed up. Quivered, Growled. And hyperventilated like I’ve never seen a cat hyperventilate before. Cheeks billowing and quick breaths, the whole nine yards. So I stayed a bit, sang the lullaby softly to her, then left.

When I returned later (and again the next day), she was fine, eager to see me, but I stopped and left when I sensed she might be escalating again.

Her roomie, Luna, Takes it all in calmly.

Meanwhile....I had already visited Payday once. Again, she was very frien - butt rub!!

Then she started getting all furburny - while I was sitting right there.

THEN...during my first visit with Nala, right across the hall, she sat at her door, looked me straight in the eye, and, in a tiny, voice, called me to come back. Repeatedly. And when I did, as I opened the door to her room, she hopped up on the bench and positioned herself for rubs.

This has never, ever happened before.

Meanwhile, Tiger and Griffin have a new roommate: Martha, the very proper lady I introduced last week. She’s happy to have her freedom. I just wish my phone wasn’t charging while T and G were staring at her in pure horror - priceless.

Griffin got the wanderlust! She went and hung out in the window, watching the night traffic.

I aligned the two lights across the street perfectly with her reflection. Spoooooky.

Tiger, you’re going to get up for of these days.

Finn is perfecting his bed-using skills.

I’ve decided to add more videos to Bruce’s Twitter feed. Let’s start with Gill, demonstrating how he is able to fit his entire self into that tiny cave. Impressive.

And he squeezed himself back in, too!

Kittens, pretty kittens.

Speaking of which, Missy wanted to introduce me to her kittens, Chester, Jasper and Sebastian. Hello, all.

Plush is such a happy, happy fellow.

Coral is just so endearingly scraggly, don’t you think?

So elegant. So stately. So Pink.

Remember Her?


KitKat is leaning more toward the rubs and less toward the nips.

Wynn update: He has moved into the corner room with perches and trees, but he is still very shy. Understandable! It’s a bigger room! Quite daunting! But he is still eating and has wonderful, loving, patient humans. He’ll be okay.

And lastly, enjoy: