TikTok‘s most recent trend, Spa Water, has taken over the app and become surrounded in controversy.
The simple drink is made with ice cold water, sugar, cucumber, and any fruits of choice.
TikToker Gracie Norton is accredited with ‘creating’ the drink. Norton said in her original video that the drink is anti-inflammatory, improves digestion and is “packed with antioxidants”. The 24-year-old primarily post videos about health and fitness.
She has since deleted all her videos where she talks about the drink following backlash from the Latino community. Many have said the trend is a culturally appropriated agua fresca, a popular Mexican beverage.
TikTok creator Neeva (@notneeva) said in a clip reacting to the trend: “It looks like the appropriation girlies are taking out their box braids and dipping their little piggies into the hispanic community.”
Another user, Ilse (@ilssemendoza) said: “For years, white people have been taking bits and parts of our culture -tuning it here and there – and then all of a sudden calling it something of their own.”
The backlash has also seen several videos mocking people’s ignorance of Latina culture and food. TikToker Daniela Rabalais (@danielarabalais) reverses the roles in a skit where she jokes about hot dogs being appropriated by the Hispanic community.
Another video made by Vic and Celina of the popular Bay family (@thebayfamily) jokes about ordering spa water from a Mexican vendor serving agua fresca.
Norton, who has over 500k followers on TikTok posted an apology to her Instagram after the backlash. The creator said she incorrectly titled the drink and has subsequently deleted all the videos about spa water.
“A majority of my content is about celebrating the many ways we can show our bodies love through trying new recipes, and I am aware that it is my responsibly to continue to educate myself on the origin of those recipes,” she said.