‘Not them whitewashing aqua fresca.’
That One Sound is a weekly column from senior internet culture writer Audra Schroeder that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok. Suggestions? Tips? Email [email protected]
Sometimes a viral sound on TikTok is just extra noise, static. But sometimes a sound can really push for change. This is the story of one of those sounds.
The audio in question is a study in tone: “Mmm that’s delicioso. The fuck out of my face.” Once you hear it, you can gauge the sarcasm. “POV: A kid hands u fake food for the 187th time,” says one viral TikTok.
@_aidan11_ They food really be mid #fyp #ShowUrGrillSkillz #foryou #FilmTeyvatIslands #xyzbca ♬ original sound – Casey Frey
aye but these abs are revealing themselves
♬ original sound – Casey Frey
A lot of the videos using the sound—and it’s been in more than 6,000 TikToks—are about food. But one viral TikTok addressed drink. Specifically, white TikTokers co-opting aqua fresca and rebranding it as “spa water.”
@lipstickittty Not them whitewashing agua fresca 🧐🤨 #SplashSummerVibe #spawater #aguafrescas #latinatok #latinacreators #lalatina #latinotoks ♬ original sound – Casey Frey
The video, from lipstickittty, has more than 2 million view and joins other TikToks roasting the trend.
“The cowboy caviar… the clean girl aesthetic and now the spa water,” said one commenter, citing other recent appropriated TikTok trends.
Where’s it from?
In August 2018, YouTuber Casey Frey posted a video to Twitter, captioned “Isn’t that the fuckin worst? So self centered.” In the clip, Frey eats pasta one noodle at a time, and vacillates between enjoying it and being annoyed that he has to say he enjoys it.
Isn’t that the fuckin worst? So self centered pic.twitter.com/5AySBPP3Qu
— Casey Frey (@caseykfrey) August 6, 2018
The video was posted to Frey’s TikTok account (where he has more than 1.5 million followers) in 2019, but the audio didn’t go viral until this summer. It’s been used to comment on the budgeting a lot of people have had to do, too.
We reached out to Frey, who’s currently on tour, for comment. As for the spa water trend, it’s the latest in a long line of things that already exist and are often tied to a certain culture being co-opted by white TikTokers and rebranded. One recent TikTok scrolls through the many videos promoting spa water or some variation of that name.
“Isn’t this like cultural erasure happening in front of our eyes?????” reads the top comment.
@xochimireles First cowboy caviar & now spa water????????????? #greenscreenvideo #spawater #fyp #latinastiktok #latinostiktok #latinoamerica #gentrification #cultureappropriation ♬ original sound – szasgrandchildren
On Wednesday, the TikToker responsible for the original spa water video, gracie_norton, posted an apology to her Instagram story and acknowledged that she has a “responsibility to continue educate myself on the origin of those recipes.” Her TikTok account no longer has any videos up.