“Why do you like JoJo?” I ask my seven-year-old.
“I like her songs,” she answers. “And I like her dog.”
And her bows? I ask, looking at the oversized satin clip-ons – two of them, she’s trying to find room for on her head right now.
My daughter can sense there’s something going on here.
“I’m pretty sure she’s a good role model, Mum,” she says, with a tilt of the head that suggests she’s trying to read me. “I think she believes in… women.”
I have no idea if 15-year-old JoJo Siwa believes in women. I just know that “I’m coming back like a boomerang!” is yelled out way too often in my house, and those bows are… not tasteful.
Watch: Jo Jo Siwa’s music video, Boomerang. Post conintues below…
If you have no idea who JoJo Siwa is, you don’t have a daughter aged between 4-12.
She’s a YouTuber, what we might have once called a ‘pop-star’ and a merchandising goddess. Her oversized satin bows keep Pixie Curtis up at night – flying out the door at an alarming rate. She got her start on the reality show Dance Moms, broke out and became something of a mini-mogul. She is now an obsession. A one-word marketing juggernaut. Did I mention she’s 15?
And she’s touring Australia. Well, Australian shopping centres at least. For the first time, JoJo Siwa is flying across the world (under bow power?), appearing in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
And here’s my confession – I won’t be telling my daughter. I won’t be telling her that we could be off to spend a day during the school holidays queuing up to catch a glimpse of the tip of JoJo’s bow. I won’t be telling her that the all-American girl she worships from afar will be breathing the same salt-tanged air as her. That this could be her big chance to show JoJo her moves.
Why? Why am I going to miss this chance to make my daughter’s dreams come true?
Because I don’t want to. I don’t want to spend the money. I don’t want to spend the time. I don’t want to encourage that kind of blind hero-worship any more than I have to. I don’t want to be sucked into buying more merch, because every teeny star is trying to sell us stuff, stuff and more stuff and that kind of makes me nostalgic for Grunge.
I know that makes me a selfish parent. I’m not sacrificing myself, my hard-earned dollars and my energy in full service of my daughter’s dreams and desires, and I’m okay with that. My sanity counts for something too, and I fear it would be sorely tested by that shopping-centre crush, the high-pitched screaming and the “more bows!” begging.
So I’m pretending it’s not happening. And if my daughter finds out before the event, I will very likely tell her a big, fat lie.
Like: “I tried so hard to get tickets, darling, but I just couldn’t”.
And then I’ll sit back with a wicked little grin on my face and suggest we watch Harry Potter again. Because we both like that.
Oh well. At least JoJo won’t be bringing her dog.
Are you taking your kid to see JoJo? Tell us in the comments section below.