Singer, dancer, actor and YouTube star JoJo Siwa has had her ups and downs in recent years.
Since coming out as gay in 2021, Siwa dealt with backlash from the more conservative parts of her fanbase, including a now infamous incident in which a fan told her to stop talking about it in her concerts—which she brilliantly refused to do.
But resurfaced clips from the earliest days of Siwa's career show she's always had to be a fighter, long before she'd revealed any personal secrets.
Siwa cut her teeth in reality TV beginning when she was just nine years old on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, a spin-off of Dance Moms, a show infamous for the often abusive tactics of its star, dance teacher Abby Lee Miller.
And as clips circulating on TikTok have revealed, Siwa was often on the business end of Miller's cruelty.
It's left many people slackjawed—both at the viciousness she endured and at her resilience in the face of it.
Siwa herself shared the clips on her own TikTok feed in the form of a Duet, with the onscreen caption:
"When people hate to try and hurt me but this was my childhood..."
What follows are clips from Dance Moms in which Siwa is the butt of Miller's bullying tactics.
The first clip is one in which Miller made Siwa's fellow dancers write essays on why they think Siwa should be kicked out of the Abby Lee Dance Company and then read them aloud to Siwa's face.
On national television, no less.
Siwa, who was still a small child at the time, is seen crying as she listens to her teammates savage her—and is then screamed at by Miller for crying.
Other clips show parents of other dancers insulting Siwa and Siwa panicking about Miller's potential punishments for mistakes she made while dancing.
It's a testament to Siwa's strength she was able to go on to have an incredibly successful career on Nickelodeon and YouTube, have several different lines of her own products and a successful music career despite the way she was treated as a child.
And on TikTok, people were quick to tell her so.
While Siwa has been killing it, Miller went on to serve a prison sentence for fraud and financial crimes and make an unsuccessful bid to join the cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
She has since announced Dance Moms will be returning for a ninth season some time in the future.
Hopefully with a little less cruelty.