Now and then, the internet can’t quite contain itself. Serious news evolves into memes with a 48-hour shelf life. Videos from non-celebs go viral without reason.
Last December, 16-year-old Cole Smith-Walter (@kylieful) tweeted out a set of photos, one featuring a very cinched Rihanna, in one of her signature belted Anti world tour outfits. The photo was placed near other images of chic belts.
Though, instead of referring to the classic accessory by its usual name, he referred to them as...waist chokers. “I want a waist choker so bad omg,” he remarked with a heart-eyed emoji. He was being sarcastic.
No big deal, right? Wrong. Nearly four months later, for reasons unknown, the tweet went viral. Much to the dismay and delight of Twitter.
Some found it hilarious. “A.... waist... choker..... what a name. Wow. Glad someone finally came up with a name for a belt. Oh wait,” said @haley_raely.
“...this waist choker is a MUST cop,” said another in a tweet that featured a studded belt. Remember those?
While others were, well, triggered by this whole debacle. “Really bruss? A waist choker? Yall a whole new breed of stupid. Its called a fuckin belt n u needa get whooped with one,” said @lyssagyal.
“I can't not believe I'm alive to witness someone calling a belt a waist choker” said another peeved user.
To be fair, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, Smith-Walter confirmed that he meant the tweet as a joke. “I was making fun of stores like Urban Outfitters that try and call everything a trendy name," he said. "Nobody seemed to get the joke."
Users began retweeting and responding to the phrase "waist choker" remark mostly after one user, Dee Carr, retweeted the photo set commenting, “a belt... i hate y'all.” Carr’s tweet was retweeted more than 25,000 times as of Saturday morning.
Like most internet trends, no one's quite sure why this old tweet went viral, but it's clear its struck a nerve. Was it residual frustration after the choker trend maxed out last year? Maybe Smith-Walter's tweet tapped into the anti-Coachella demographic. As we all know appropriation — of all things from culture to old school accessories — is often put on full display at the yearly music fest.
Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time an an ancient accessory was renamed for the Social Media Age. After all, aren’t waist trainers just modern day corsets?