For JoJo Siwa, one of the most famous Gen Z faces on the planet, having a busy schedule isn’t just an excuse to skip an ordinary night out with friends. For the 19-year-old social media star (with more than 41 million followers on TikTok) and burgeoning LGBTQ icon, being busy is a high-octane constant — something that’s also prevented her from doing “normal” teen things like going to baseball games, summer camp or even a Pride parade.
“Because of who I am, and what I do for a living, I guess I’m able to do a lot of things — but I’m also not able to do a lot of things,” Siwa, who got her break on Dance Moms in 2015, told In The Know by Yahoo. “And so this show really gave me that chance to do those things that I’ve always wanted to do.”
In eight weekly episodes, Siwa gets a chance to hang with former Dancing With the Stars partner Jenna Johnson, join a Pride float in West Hollywood, Calif., and get behind the snack bar counter at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game.
“It was so amazing,” Siwa said, referring to her first Pride parade. “And to be honored as the Next Gen icon, I mean, it was so incredible.”
In addition to taking the girls, who range in age from 10 to 14, to summer camp for JoJo Goes, Siwa has also served as a guide, helping them weather the storms of stardom as someone who’s been there.
“It’s cool for me because I get to be their light in this industry,” Siwa said. “Growing up, I didn’t have somebody who I could ask anything or run anything by — that human who’s been through what I’ve been through or been through what I’m going through.”
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So Siwa has served as their rainbow-hued guiding light, someone who’s gotten her fair share of hate and still maintaining a positive spirit.
Siwa says it’s just about enjoying the ride.
“They’re only going to be this young once. And you really do just have to enjoy it and make every day fun and make every day happy,” she said.
That ride has definitely had its ups and downs for the multi-hyphenate pop sensation. In fact, she’s been open about her struggles with Internet trolls.
“People hate on me for different things every day, and it still does get to me,” she admitted. “But there are a lot more people who say nice things than the people who say mean things. And one thing that I learned very young is that you’re never going to make everybody happy. And so you just have to keep going forward with how you are going to be happy.”
When it comes to a certain aspect of her happiness, fans have been particularly interested in Siwa’s romantic life, ever since since she came out in a now-famous Twitter post from January 2021.
She’s been so open about their relationship, in fact, that she even shared their post-breakup Disney World reunion on Instagram. And while she told In The Know that it’s important to keep some things just between them, Siwa does say that she’s learned a lot when it comes to relationships.
“Honestly, take it one day at a time,” she said. “Like, especially with Ky. You know, I’ve said things like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to have kids one day together,’ ‘Oh, I can’t wait to get married.’ I mean, at the end of the day, I’m 19. She’s 18, and it’s like, we’re young. I realized a couple of weeks ago, I’m like, I don’t really want to think like that right now. I just want to live in the moment. That doesn’t mean that I’m not excited for that. Of course I am, but I don’t want to waste now thinking about then.”
“We, every day, wake up with a choice — a choice to be happy or sad, a choice to look on the bright side or hide in the dark side,” she added, addressing the Gen Z crowd in general. “Really choose wisely what you want to focus on.”
With such wise words coming from Siwa, who says she’s been “adulting” since she was 9, it’s easy to forget that she’s actually still a kid. She’s hoping her JoJo Goes viewers remember that.
“I hope they realize that at the end of the day, I’m a normal human,” she said. “I’m a 19-year-old kid who just loves life and loves to have fun and loves to go on adventures.”
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