Nothing Like A Fresh Glass Of Water
Your unemployed friend is scrolling TikTok at 1 pm on a Tuesday.
By Sacha Medjo
WTF did I just consume? is a monthly column that assesses content genres and how in the world they came to be.
Hello and welcome to WTF Did I Just Consume?!That feeling of being half asleep, half awake is how everything feels now. I believe it’s the best way to describe a period of adjustment. When I got to California, things slowed down almost to the point of a standstill. Staying with my grandparents has proven itself to be precisely what I expected. Every day, I find myself swaddled in the scents of soul food, old leather recliners, and a little tiger balm.
I just quit my job, moved away from my girlfriend whom I love, and packed my and Cat’s (my black cat AKA Cat Bush) belongings to follow my dreams in the “Golden State." Needless to say, this leaves me A LOT of free time to jump down any internet rabbit hole I encounter. I find myself carefully reading backward through 19 quote tweets of an argument between people I haven’t heard of or, better yet, watching every TikTok video concerning a subject that is so out of my realm, that I can’t help but become fascinated.
So let’s get into it, what in the F* have I been consuming?
This week, I have been knee-deep in #WaterTok and it has been leaving me stuck. I cannot stop coming back to the endless videos and observing it from every angle.
1. What the hell is #WaterTok?
Under this hashtag, you can observe a community, mainly comprised of women or people who are not cis-men, preparing and drinking a variety of colorful and saccharine-rich combinations that they are calling water. This novel phenomenon seems to be spreading like wildfire across the dieting community with the goal of promoting hyperhydration as a way to curb food cravings. The concoctions, often presented as the “Water of the Day,” combine ice, water, and a combination of flavor packets, and syrups ranging from a classic raspberry lemonade to nerds bubblegum (Ummm???!!!). The color of the beverage itself also varies.
2. Something is IN THE WATER, DAMMIT!
What is always impressive to me about internet trends like this one is the amount of time, money, and space people invest in it whether it be for views or pious belief in the results. Many of the content creators I’ve been looking at have setups in their homes equating to a hotel minibar strictly dedicated to their water. The flavorings themselves seem to come from two main sources: grocery stores or Amazon for the powder packets and an online boutique called Skinnymixes for the syrups. The syrups use sucralose as a sweetener and claim to be calorie-free, vegan, kosher, Keto, etc… you name it.
3. Take me to your leader.
The top influencers when it comes to #WaterTok are Tonya @takingmylifebackat42 and Jaycie Adamson @jayciekathleen3. Though their stories differ, they both have the vibe of AVON ladies with all of their promo codes and different online storefronts.. With over 280k followers, Jaycie Kathleen, 24, is a classico-style try-girl influencer. Most of her videos show her experimenting with various trendy skin care products, clothing, etc. targeting the millennial/gen z audience. So, I expect that this #WaterTok moment may be a phase for her. Mrs. Tonya on the other hand, at the age of 42, has been on a vehement weight loss journey, having already lost 220 pounds. The way she avoids gaining it all back is seemingly by making hydration a focus of her days. I think that her journey may be inspiring for other mothers who may be feeling discomfort with their weight or other dieting fans. Recently both of the Tiktokers have been interviewed by local news, radio, and even TV.
4. Not you too, girl :’(
Also, if you are black reading this you’re probably thinking “This some white people shit” but NO! They got black women on it too. I just want to use this segment to emphasize that anyone can be affected by body dysphoria/dysmorphia or other mental health issues affecting their self-perception. So not too much on my sisters though. What I did find interesting but not surprising though when exploring the black side of #WaterTok is how little traction the content creators have. The most popular TikTok user is Tay Alyssa @itstay.alyssa who, with content pretty similar to Jaycie Adamson caps at 11k followers.
5. I don’t know who to SLAP!
Now, I seriously think that the comeback of the 90s and Y2K trends are to blame for things like #WaterTok. It’s funny because I had actually told my girlfriend jokingly a couple of months ago “I guess Heroin Chic is up next” after seeing a photo of Kim and Khloe Kardashian looking EXTREMELY SKINTY. While many of their Instagram posts may be doctored, I’ve often used the Kardashians and other white supercelebrities as a compass in correctly predicting upcoming trends. To many, it looks like they are ahead of the game but in my opinion, it’s giving guinea pigs (no hate!). Less than two weeks later, social media was flooded with content about Ozempic, rumors of Bella Hadid’s buccal fat removal, and other body slimming procedures. Sadly, I was right again. People want to see ribcage and collarbone all over again. Fortunately, I’m not the only one to think the fad is unhealthy. Both TikTokers and medical experts have critiqued the continuous consumption of flavored waters as they may result in dangerous health problems.
So this here, my loves, is WTF I Just Consumed this past week. I hope to see you all next month with another deep delicious dive. In the meantime, don’t be shy, tell me WTF you’ve been consuming online!