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The Paw Print

‘Karma’ by Jojo Siwa: An Analysis

She did NOT Come Back like a Boomerang

Although the song ‘Karma’ by Jojo Siwa has been circulating the internet for the past couple of weeks, its virality cannot be accredited to solely good reviews. Many have taken to social media platforms to publicly share their opinions, and a startling amount of those opinions have been negative. Critics claim that the music video for ‘Karma’ is disturbing, and overly sexual. The lyrics themselves have been deemed as “petty and childish”. Karma seems to be the artist’s attempt at a rebrand of sorts, framing herself in a much more mature light and appealing to a different audience. She reportedly wanted to “make heads turn”, and she did exactly that. However, the way she did so might not be for the reasons one would think.

First and foremost, the song, especially the music video, is not made for children. The themes of dating and cheating, not to mention the seductive characteristics of the music video and the curse words in the lyrics, make ‘Karma’ unsuitable for the younger audience. The vulgar sexual displays are completely unnecessary.

There are also a plethora of issues with the music video itself. All of the elements don’t seem to fit well together. Nothing makes much sense. There was a part where they were all wearing white, but then one of them ended up wearing red. Is that the ex? Why were the rest of them wearing white? Jojo also has a black costume. Why is it black? There can’t be symbolism because there’s nothing to symbolize. All of this is due to one large blunder: there was no plot. If there were one, it was extremely poorly executed as no one would be able to tell that it exists. To be fair, a plot is not technically necessary for a music video. But, it gives more depth to a song and adds a whole new layer. Having no plot is fine as long as everything else is intriguing. However, the music video was not interesting. Half of the video was spent on shots of Jojo and other girls being close in physical distance and alluringly gazing into each others’ eyes. The visuals, outfit, and makeup were beautiful for the most part. However, Jojo does have one very questionable makeup look. Paired with an even more questionable costume that, for some reason, has wings on it, Jojo has the unfortunate appearance of Pennywise with a glittery goth aesthetic.

Additionally, it is difficult to tell how good the choreography is due to its poor execution by Jojo and the fact that the backup dancers cannot be properly analyzed. Jojo’s overenthusiasm and jerky neck movements do not seem like something a dancer with over a decade of experience would do, yet here we are. Despite having only around half a minute of what could be considered dance choreography, Jojo seemingly has thrown her previous dance experiences out the window. Less is more. There are also a ton of dancers and non-dancers on social media who have executed the viral part of the dance much better than Jojo, showing that the choreo is not that bad and it isn’t that hard; it’s just Jojo’s fault. The excessive lip-biting and seductive glances do not help at all. And, as the final nail in the coffin, if viewers manage to make it to the end, there are 9 seconds of a previous scene being reversed and sped up. In all honesty, these 9 seconds look like they belong in a meme compilation video. All in all, the music video had a ton of potential for becoming a masterpiece. But sadly, that was not the case. Jojo Siwa really fumbled the bag on this one.

The singer is also being flamed for what she reveals in between the lines of lyrics. The first stanza of ‘Karma’ claims that Jojo swears she “did it all for fun and it meant nothing,” and it “never happened, it was a secret,” This refers to her hazy proclamations of cheating on her previous girlfriend; Avery Cyrus. These lyrics do not take responsibility, nor do they hold Siwa accountable for her mistake. She tries to downplay her scandal by trying to strip away its effect and impact. In the refrain, there is a slight chance of redemption by telling her viewers that “Thou shall not lie. Thou shall not cheat,” which is the right message to send. Jojo then proceeds to make a 180-degree swerve back in the wrong direction, and says, “Thou shall not get caught or you’ll end up just like me,”. What this line conveys is that cheating in secret is fine, however you should not get caught. 

One knows just how messy a teen breakup can be. Switch that to young adults, and add the pressure of the whole world knowing about your relationship, things are bound to get ugly. But these lyrics essentially deny Jojo any sympathy. According to the entire song, her sole takeaway from that entire experience was that she only felt bad because she got caught and her then-partner allegedly retaliated. It does not help matters to recognize that throughout the song Jojo criticizes her ex’s current partner, whoever they may be, calling them “boring,”, emphasizing that point by saying “twenty minutes later, you’ll be snoring,” and even referring to them as karma themselves while using vulgar language.

While this may be a rebrand of “maturity” for Jojo, it still showcases the true immaturity of her thoughts. She refuses to truly take the blame for cheating, is petty about her ex’s current partner, and is overall very crude in the way she chooses to execute and display her emotions. The only semblance of maturity she tries to adopt is the grossly over-sexualized scenes in her music video. If your only form of maturity is showing that you get action, then it is safe to say you are not mature. This whole commodity seems to be very poorly executed, with the finishing touches akin to a toddler’s ability. Jojo Siwa has won countless awards, and is a top-notch dancer with sufficient experience to not have botched the choreography, and yet the lyrics have not improved technically, her dancing seems to have degraded, and the maturity she claims to want to demonstrate is sadly, still not in the room with us. All in all, Jojo Siwa is most definitely at the bottom of the pyramid this time around. We’ll wait and see if she can truly achieve a proper rebrand. 

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