JoJo’s voice has always resonated the pain and love that are the realities of life. Whether it be through the pain love can bring, or how pain can be alleviated by the beauty of love, we can all relate as soon as her powerful voice hits our ears. In her new song “I Am” from her latest album “Mad Love”, the concept of both pain and love can be felt as JoJo sings of the necessity of self-love.
The whole album chronicles the obstacles in JoJo’s life that have impacted her self-image. While she’s had challenging moments, she is finally able to climb above the solitude of these self-made barriers. Before releasing many of the songs off Mad Love, JoJo spoke to Motto on the issues of body image and body shaming which have led to notable insecurities in her life.
“In my early career, I felt like a product. When I was 19, that feeling was confirmed. It hurt and affected me deeply, but I didn’t want anything to hold me back from moving forward with my career. And instead of rebelling or saying “Go f-ck yourself,” I wanted to make myself into a better product…. It was the unhealthiest thing I’ve ever done.” (Motto 2016)
The beauty of ‘I Am’ starts off with the title itself. We are already introduced to the premise of the song, which is JoJo revealing who she really is. The question is…. who is she revealing herself to? The song begins:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, you seem to think you know it all. Why do I believe? You tear me down just to laugh, but if I break your shining glass I’ll just see pieces of me.”
The opening lines reveal the protagonist of this story is JoJo herself. This soliloquy to the mirror also personifies her insecurities, yet even if she were to break it all down, she would never be able to escape pieces of who she really is. The remainder of the song is in fact JoJo questioning herself, discovering the self-induced hate that has led her to question her worthiness. Yet, there are plenty interjections (being the hook) that reflect the resounding self-affirmation “I am worthy of love”
One would think ‘love’ and equate it to the status of a relationship, but in this case JoJo affirms she is worthy of the “love” she grants herself. The message being we are all worthy of self love, which is a more important love than anyone else can give. With solely a piano, and the echoing choir stacks of her voice, JoJo sets the tone for the listener, and that is to sit down and reflect on that person in the mirror. Because everyone in fact is capable, and most of all, worthy of love.