Sharing experiences or perpetuating stereotypes? A TikToker from the United States explained why she finds her friend’s video of how to wash clothes in Costa Rica offensive. Surely, the original video was meant as Katya sharing with her followers something that intrigued her, a semi-automatic washing machine. It’s likely she never saw one before and did not mean to stereotype.
Vanessa Lee pointed out, however, that it’s important not to perpetuate stereotypes. She said that the video may seem innocent but it feeds that misconception that all Costa Ricans live in a jungle. I find that comment strange because in the jungle they would likely not have running water, hoses, washing machines, etc. and would wash clothes by hand.
The truth about how people wash clothes in Costa Rica varies greatly. There are plenty of places with automatic washers and dryers. Probably the majority of places use semi-automatic ones like in the video. Still in other parts of the country, even semi-automatic machines are seen as a luxury and clothes are washed by hand.
Both the original video and the response video went viral quickly. The first has 4.1 million views, 227,000 likes, and 1,200 comments and the second has 246,000 views, 44,000 likes, and 1,600 comments.
@tropicalrussian Lester no!! #costarica #livingincostarica #foryou #foryoupage ♬ Deja de Soñar – Karicia