Agua fresca is a drink particularly popular in Mexico.

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE: Spa water TikTok trend is accused of cultural appropriation

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A backlash is brewing against the latest TikTok drink called spa water.

The trend appears to have started with TikToker Gracie Norton, who made a beverage — comprised of ice cold water, cucumber, a fruit, lime juice and sugar — in a video for her over 500,000 followers. The post has since been deleted.

Critics say it bears remarkable similarities to a Latin American non-alcoholic drink called agua fresca.

According to Dexerto, Norton posted multiple videos of her making this drink and every single one of them were taken down due to the criticism she received from the Latin American community.

Multiple TikTokers then decided to stitch — which is a way to combine videos on the platform —Norton’s video, including user @itsdonutshole who discussed gentrification. He didn’t want the drink to be associated with a mud bath from a spa.

“This is the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation,” he said.

Agua fresca is a drink particularly popular in Mexico.
@itsdonutshole

He mentioned that the beverage wasn’t simply a “cool trend” that needed a special name like spa water and credit should be given to the country it came from.

Parody videos also began coming out with members of the Latin American community, sarcastically calling their agua fresca spa water around their parents or at restaurants.

The comments of these videos continued the backlash.

“Next thing ya know out Horchata will be ‘cinnamon milk,’ ” one person commented.

“They just renamed churros Cinnamon Wands lol jk,” said another. 

Norton has since issued an apology on her Instagram account.

“The proper name for the drink is Agua Fresca, and the origin belongs to the Latin community. I sincerely apologize to the Latin community and those of you that I have offended,” she said.





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