How many times have you gazed out onto the Manhattan or Williamsburg waterfront and shivered with disgust at the people jet-skiing, kayaking, or even paddle-boarding out into the very clearly polluted waters surrounding the city? Obviously those adventurers' goal is to not fall in, but the chance of getting even a drop of that germy goop in one's mouth is enough of a reason for most New Yorkers to avoid such activities altogether. So you can imagine our collective shock when a TikTok depicting a bikini-clad reveler literally diving into the Hudson River (on purpose!!) went viral this weekend.
Set to the song "Electric Love" by Borns (a fitting choice considering that water is likely radioactive), the TikTok was posted by 20-year-old Donna Paysepar, who can be seen jumping off a boat into the veritable septic tank, with the Statue of Liberty looming majestically (and probably judgmentally) in the background. When Paysepar dives in, you see her enveloped by a splashy cloud of brown. Lovely.
In the four days since the video was posted, it has garnered over 3.8 million views, hundreds of thousands of likes, and over 30,000 comments, which range from the disapproving to the straight-up repulsed. Not to mention all the harsh yet hilarious Twitter memes.
— 💵🛸Finessin🔫Hearts💵🚀 (@BasedOnMars4) August 16, 2020
In the wake of the widespread "backlash," Paysepar posted more TikTok videos in response, including one in which she reads the website of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation in regards to swimming in the Hudson (spoiler alert, it doesn't really recommend it).
In an interview with the NJ Advance, the now viral (perhaps in more ways than one) video star defended her decision by saying, "I just have the YOLO (you only live once) mentality." No one's questioning you there, kid.