An influencer’s try and share a recipe for “spa water” has sparked a dialog about cultural appropriation after customers identified the drink shares the identical recipe as the favored Mexican drink agua fresca.
The development started with Indiana-based influencer Gracie Norton, who boasts greater than 550,000 followers on the app, the place she shares well being and wellness ideas, and who posted in regards to the drink late final month.
In the since-deleted movies, Norton touted the drink, consisting of water, cucumber, lime juice and sugar, as being “anti-inflammatory,” full of “antioxidants” and with the ability to assist with digestion.
“And it’s personally just my favourite way to stay hydrated,” Norton stated, earlier than displaying followers create the drink. Norton additionally created subsequent recipe movies in regards to the drink, during which she swapped out cucumber for different fruits, in response to Today.
The movies quickly sparked backlash on the video-sharing platform, the place many customers famous the similarities between Norton’s so-called “spa water” and agua frescas. Agua frescas, which interprets to “fresh juice,” are discovered all through Mexico and central America.
“Girl made an agua fresca and passed it off as ‘spa water,’” TikTok creator @strawberrryc0ugh captioned a video of Norton’s “recipe,” whereas one other consumer, @themadzness, famous in a video of their very own that “they are now gentrifying agua fresca”.
“They are calling it spa water. You know what I think of when I think of spa water? I think of this,” the TikToker continued as they confirmed a bath filled with soiled water, earlier than displaying a photograph of the centuries-old drink and noting that “this is agua fresca”.
Norton’s video additionally prompted some creators, comparable to @erikangel_, to mock the influencer’s beverage and faux to order the spa water at an agua fresca stand. “Hi, how much for the spa water?” Erika requested within the skit, to which a lady talking Spanish responded with confusion as she requested what spa water was. “Spa water, the one with great benefits,” the TikToker continued, to which the “vendor” replied: “Ah, agua fresca.”
The backlash over the spa water development additionally prolonged to Twitter, the place customers continued to sentence the recipe as cultural appropriation.
“Being Latina is like a trend now…don’t get me started on ‘spa water’. It’s pretty annoying, you can love what we have to offer but don’t take credit for it,” one individual tweeted, whereas one other stated: “Calling agua fresca ‘spa water’ is the biggest form of cultural appropriation I have seen yet.”
Daniela Rabalais, a TikToker who just lately went viral for calling out the cultural appropriation rampant on the app by jokingly referring to scorching canines as sausage tacos, additionally shared her criticism of Norton’s recipe. She advised Refinery29 that she thought the criticism spa water obtained was “valid”.
“The criticism that spa water received is valid. It is definitely cultural appropriation as it’s something that we as Mexicans and Latin Americans have been enjoying for generations that is being presented as a new idea by white creators,” she defined.
Following the backlash, Norton eliminated the movies from her TikTok, and shared an apology to her Instagram Stories.
“Recently I filmed a spa water series, which I titled incorrectly. The proper name for this drink is agua fresca, and the origin belongs to the Latin community,” Norton wrote, in response to a screenshot. “Many of you have let me know that you would feel more comfortable if the videos were completely removed, so that is what I have done.”
Norton then went on to notice that her content material is “about celebrating the many ways we can show our bodies love through trying new recipes,” and that she is now “aware” that it’s her “responsibility to continue to educate myself on the origin of those recipes”.
“I sincerely apologise to the Latin community and those of you that I have offended,” she stated.
While talking to The Sun, the 24-year-old influencer additionally stated that she is conscious why many discovered the recipe offensive, however that she had “nothing but good intentions”.
“After talking with several people who commented on the situation, I now understand why I have offended so many people. I had nothing but good intentions, and was hoping to share a recipe I thought may help people with their PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome] symptoms,” she stated. “However, upon reflection, it has become clear to me why this was so harmful to the Latino community.
“I hope that in time, everyone will know how much I have learned from this experience and that I am truly so sorry to the people I have offended.”
While she acknowledged the problem, Norton additionally stated that it will be important for individuals who make errors to be given the chance to develop and be taught.
“I strongly believe in learning and growing from our mistakes, but people need to be given the opportunity to do that,” she stated, including: “If we cancel everyone who makes a mistake, we don’t give them the chance to correct it and truly evolve, and I think that’s a shame.”
The Independent has contacted Norton for remark.