Freddie Ransome Likes To Spark Up In Order To Wind Down
In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
Everybody has a best friend in their heads. For some it's Natasha Rothwell's Insecure character Kelli; for some, it's Megan Thee Stallion twerking up and down the kitchen while cheffin' it up. For me, it is BuzzFeed's very own Freddie Ransome. And why not? She's gorgeous, down-to-earth, hilarious, and gets paid to be herself. Talk about living your best life, right?
The popular creator, video producer, and personality is no stranger to life on-camera and has an approachable, transparent nature to her when cameras aren't rolling. Freddie is a member of BuzzFeed's vertical LadyLike YouTube channel, a cast of five women who challenge what it means to be "ladylike" through style and beauty tries, career exploration, and deep dives into pop culture.
Courtesy of Freddie Ransome
Freddie has a jam-packed schedule between getting Saweetie-inspired makeovers, going bald for a day, trying on prom dresses from Amazon, and taking flawless selfies on her Instagram page. But nothing compares to when she has some alone time for herself.
For this installment of "Finding Balance", xoNecole had the chance to discuss with Howard University grad about sparking up as a means to wind down, making time to FaceTime friends during her busy schedule and playing with her cat as a form of self-care.
xoNecole: At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?
Freddie Ransome: I don't think I understood the importance of this until maybe 2016? I was 26, had been living in LA for about a year and had landed a Junior Video Producer role at Buzzfeed. I had felt like everything I worked hard for since I graduated in 2012 was finally taking shape. I had a salary, finally! This was the year I started toying with the idea of taking vacations, staycations, and remembering that I was hired for a reason and that my opportunity wouldn't get snatched away from me for taking time for myself.
What is a typical day in your life? If no day is quite the same, give me a rundown of a typical work week and what that might consist of.
Every day of the week, I'm knee-deep in emails. Deciding if I want to accept certain opportunities, looking through PR emails, and constantly brainstorming and figuring out ways that I can contribute to my community, specifically Black women and girls (all of this is with the help of my management team). Sometimes, I'm shooting Instagram stories and in-feed Instagram photos for brands; when I'm not doing that, I'm prepping for my acting coaching sessions by memorizing scenes and if I have a self-tape audition, prepping for that. When I'm not doing all of those things, I'm online shopping or looking at the home buying app, Redfin, at homes I want to buy, but can't afford (laughs).
"This was the year I started toying with the idea of taking vacations, staycations, and remembering that I was hired for a reason and that my opportunity wouldn't get snatched away from me for taking time for myself."
What are your mornings like?
So, I'm NOT a morning person, but I've actually gotten better at taking my mornings by the horns since quarantine began in March. I guess I'm holding myself more accountable. I wake up, check my phone, brush my teeth and wash my face (I'm a night showerer), get dressed in my athleisure of the day (today it's cheetah print biker shorts, a t-shirt with Snoop Dogg's face on it, and tie-dye socks), make an iced chai latte with ingredients from Trader Joe's, fix breakfast, which is a rotation between bacon and eggs, a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, rolled oats, boiled eggs, or last night's leftovers. Then, I crack open my computers to check those emails!
How do you wind down at night?
This is my favorite part of the day! I light all of my incense and candles, shower, smoke some weed, and watch something light and funny on Netflix. Lately, I've been re-watching The Simple Life and other random old reality TV shows. I'm usually in bed by 11.
When you have a busy week, what’s the most hectic part of it?
When I have a busy week, the most hectic part of it is sending over content to brands for them to review and having to make tweaks or re-shoot some things under a tight deadline. I usually get pretty overwhelmed by deadlines, so I find myself having to take some deep breaths to stay calm and focused.
Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?
I know it sounds corny, but I play with my cat, Roberta Sinclaire. I got her a little over 2 years ago and I have to say, she has saved me this quarantine! We just hang out and watch TV. Some of our favorite shows include Insecure, Ozark, Never Have I Ever, This is Us, Dave, the list goes on. Also, I've learned how to give myself a gel manicure with tips and knotless goddess braids, while in quarantine. I've decided to hold off on eyebrow maintenance until salons open again (laughs).
"Self-care can look so many different ways. If you feel you're too busy for it, I would encourage you to carve out the time you would normally carve out for a doctor's appointment you can't miss (we all have those) for a morning or afternoon to yourself. Sometimes, chores and taking care of certain things I've been putting off is a form of self-care."
What advice do you have for busy women who feel like they don’t have time for self-care?
Self-care can look so many different ways. If you feel you're too busy for it, I would encourage you to carve out the time you would normally carve out for a doctor's appointment you can't miss (we all have those) for a morning or afternoon to yourself. Sometimes, chores and taking care of certain things I've been putting off is a form of self-care. Doing laundry, folding those clothes that have been in the dryer for a week, or dropping off those clothes to a women's shelter that have been sitting in the car for weeks can clear my mind! Those things that have been hovering over my shoulder for weeks are now taken care of, and I feel free!
How do you find balance with:
I bought a bike! So, I try to go on bike rides once or twice a week. The other weekend, I got some friends together who all have bikes and we rode from Leimert Park to Venice Beach. We got empanadas and to-go margaritas. Bike riding has given me the exercise and outlet I've been yearning for since the lockdown began.
HA! I've been single for about...three years. [I've] been dating here and there but nothing serious. Not because I don't want things to be serious, but because everything felt kind of forced. And why force situationships to work when I need to be forcing myself to sit down, focus, and get my tasks done? I'm on the apps and swipe during my downtime, but I can't say I actively make time to go out and meet guys. When I had committed to making that a part of my routine [and] going out once a week to lounges and bars in different parts of LA to meet different types of guys––that's when quarantine was mandated (laughs). So, [I'm] just focusing on what I can control, which is my work!
I'm a part of many-a-group chats. So, that's how I stay tapped in on the daily. But I'm working on getting better at FaceTime calls and more intimate catch-up sessions. FaceTiming one or two friends a week is always the goal.
What about health? Do you cook or find yourself eating out?
I've been cooking a lot more in the last few months. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, I was "restaurant mami" and always ate out or did take out, mainly out of laziness. I've learned how to make dishes with my Instapot, made lasagna for the first time, fried chicken for the first time...I've been throwing down. Now, you mentioned "health" (laughs). Yeah I could do better with cooking healthier foods.
Do you ever detox?
I've never detoxed. Unless not drinking for a couple weeks counts?
"I think about what I want and I get extremely specific. What company or network do I want to work with? Who would I want to be my 'boss'? And then I try to focus on the things I can control. What can I be doing on my end to be as prepared as possible when this opportunity does arise? Because it will. it's just a matter of when."
When you are going through a bout of uncertainty, or feeling stuck, how do you handle it?
I think about what I want and I get extremely specific. What company or network do I want to work with? Who would I want to be my "boss"? Which executives do I want to know my name? Or, what character do I want to play, and on what show? And then I try to focus on the things I can control. What can I be doing on my end to be as prepared as possible when this opportunity does arise? Because it will. it's just a matter of when.
What do you do when you have a creative block on a project or feel like you have to clear your head before going into a project?
I don't really think I have many creative blocks when it comes to creating. My biggest hurdle is getting started. Once I get started editing a video or working on a script, I'm on a roll. It just takes a lot of discipline for me to actually sit down and start working....without getting distracted by online shopping or Redfin browsing (laughs) The way I force myself to sit down and get started is by setting the vibes. Turning off the TV, burning candles in my office and playing the "Late Night Vibes" playlist on Spotify. Ironically, this playlist works wonders for productivity during the day.
Honestly, what does success and happiness mean to you?
Loaded Q! Wow, success to me looks like getting my foot in the door and bringing in and making room for other Black and brown folks. I want to start the trickle-in effect of people with varying perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds getting a chance to create based on their authentic experiences. Happiness looks like...me being able to create and make people laugh for the rest of my life. I want to make enough money to move my mom from Virginia to Los Angeles without her having to worry. It would also be cool to have a life partner through all of this.
For more Freddie, follow her on Instagram @Freddie!
Featured image courtesy of Freddie Ransome.
This post is in partnership with BET+.
Kingdom Business is back for its second season, with even more sermons, songs, and serpents. The series picks up where it left off, with actress Serayah as Rbel caught between the stripper pole and the pulpit. With the first lady of the church working desperately against her, Rbel must find a way to live her dreams and honor her friend while figuring out her faith in the process.
Season one served a collection plate of rivalry, deceit, and revenge –– among many other tribulations. Between the 28-year-old’s acting, conviction, and harmonious voice, here are a few reasons why season two of Kingdom Business is a must-watch.
If the Spirit Doesn’t Move You, Serayah’s Singing Voice Will
Rbel, formally known as Rebecca Belle, is a stripper whose life forcibly takes a turn after suffering a tragedy. Through her quest to find the truth, Rbel finds herself at odds with the head of a local church, First Kingdom’s Denita Jordan, played by the legendary Yolanda Adams. Rbel unknowingly emerges as what a faithful Christian embodies: a perfectly imperfect human who works every day to try their best while leaning on God. Although struggling with her faith, each ballad sung by Rbel can be felt, as the lyrics relate to personal struggles we all endure in different ways. Gospel songs hit differently when your life is in shambles, and chile, Serayah is singing new life into folks.
Serayah is a Formidable Opponent to The Yolanda Adams
As one of the best-selling gospel artists of all time, it’s no easy task to take on the role of a person on the opposing side of greatness. Serayah’s Rbel does an excellent job meeting Jordan at her level while shining through her solos. Throughout season one, Rbel emerges as a top streaming artist, an accomplishment that begets something of a holy war.
Serayah’s Acting Range is Engaging
As a former stripper trying to make a name for herself in the gospel industry, you can imagine the struggles that could come with it. Rbel goes through a range of emotions, all understandable and relatable. Despite several crises of faith, Serayah ensures Rbel delivers a humbling performance that makes the audience root for her redemption.
The Kingdom Business Soundtrack is Everything
Streaming now on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music, the Kingdom Business: Season 1 soundtrack is one you’d want to add to your playlist for high and low times. Aside from four soul-soothing songs from Serayah, the soundtrack also features singles from co-star/Hamilton’s Chaundre-Hall Broomfield, gospel artist Chandler Moore, and legend Yolanda Adams.
Serayah’s Rbel Makes You Root For Her
With First Kingdom beginning to crumble under the pressure of lies, infidelity, and deception, Rbel’s window to take that top spot seems wide open; however, the end of season one showed us the Spirit had other plans. Whether you believe or not, Serayah’s Rbel makes you want to see her win. Who doesn’t love a good underdog with a laid 22” bust down? Whether she seeks Him or not, God is proving to be on Rbel’s side. But is it enough to turn everything around for her? Will Rbel lean on faith or fear?
With secrets coming to light, success within reach, and the devastating conclusion of season one, you don’t want to miss season two––especially with more guest collaborations. Kingdom Business returns to BET+ on Nov 2.
BET+ Original | Kingdom Business | S2 Official Traileryoutu.be
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Gender wars. We’ve all seen them, and I’m willing to bet my next writer’s paycheck that if there’s one topic you notice, basically every time you scroll on social media, it’s body counts. Lawd, I don’t care what platform I tiptoe on to see what folks are talking about; one way or another, body counts are going to enter into the chat — and, more times than not, at least half of the people in the discussion (which is usually more like a debate) are triggered. Triggered AF.
Do I find myself ending up in that emotional kind of space? Nah. I’m the kind of person who is in the lane of, “If you did it, why should you be uncomfortable talking about it?” In fact, I actually wrote an article for the site that reveals my personal “count”; it’s entitled “14 Lessons I've Learned From 14 Sex Partners.” Personally, I’m not ashamed of or uncomfortable with my past. I’m also not the most private person in the world either (clearly) — what’s done is done. But hey, that’s just me.
As far as what I think about the debate as a whole? Well, because I know that there are (eh hem, pun intended) different strokes for different folks, I thought it would be a good idea to broach this topic from a few different angles — just so we can hopefully get out of the cul-de-sac of the whole body count drama.
So, please bear with me as I attempt to tackle this topic in a way that is aimed to reduce the triggers and, perhaps, bring about a bit more internal clarity (if you don’t already have it).
1. Perhaps If We Stop Referring to It As “Body Count”…Giphy
Another motto that I live by is “If you want to understand the ‘tree,’ you need to get a look at its ‘roots.’” That said, when it comes to body counts, I think just hearing the term subconsciously gets on people’s nerves, whether they realize it or not, because it sounds so…well, violent (kind of like how it feels whenever someone talks about “beating it up” in reference to sexual intercourse). And they would be right to think that way because…do you know where “body count” actually came from?
From the bit of research that I did, it was coined by the military in reference to the number of enemies who were killed during the Vietnam War. Eww. Now, if that’s the origin story and you “build on it” by referring to sex partners in the here and now, of course, it’s going to make you feel some type of way — right off of the rip. For me, what immediately comes to mind after taking this in is a quote by a late Black best-selling author by the name of Eric Jerome Dickey. I used to read his books, and in one of them, one of his characters said something that has always stayed with me: “Sex without love is violence.” Although I get that not everyone feels that way, it does kind of illuminate the entire body count thing if you string all of this together…doesn’t it?
So, for starters, maybe that’s why the body count discussion gets so many people heated — whether you care to share yours or not, referring to sex partners with the same words that were once used to describe enemies who were killed in a war is pretty horrifying. I mean, who wants to brag about committing an act of violence? Who wants to see all of their sex partners as enemies? Can’t we come up with something better than that? We probably — no, definitely — should.
2. According to Science, Numbers Actually DO MatterGiphy
Take it how you want to, but I personally think it is WILD that we’re living in a time when folks make fun of virgins and then will turn around and quote celebs who have cosmetic lines that reference STDs (I’ll just leave that right there). Are we in The Twilight Zone or what? And because we’re kind of contradictorily reckless right through here, it’s as if science and spirituality have taken a back seat (hell, are they even in the car anymore?) when it comes to sex.
Take body counts (again, I really do think that it should be called something else, yet for the sake of this article, let’s go with it), for example. In a world where so many people say that sex is no big deal and yet they implode at the thought of cheating (some of y’all will catch that later), it’s like most people ONLY see sex from a recreational view — and there is so much more to it than that.
The spiritual component of sex, we’ll have to get into it at another time. What I will say for now is that even Scripture says sex makes two people one (I Corinthians 6:16-20 — Message) — whether you “feel that way” or not. Okay, but since spirituality means different things to different people, let’s factor in science.
There are studies that reveal virgins have the lowest divorce rates, and the fewer sex partners you have before marriage, the more you increase your chances of having a more satisfying sex life during it. At the same time, another study revealed something that’s “interestingly odd”: women with two OR 10-plus partners had a greater chance of divorcing than anyone else (still pondering what that’s about). Then, if we look from a strictly health-related stance, reportedly, those with 10 or more partners increase their risk of being diagnosed with cancer, while another report shares that multiple sex partners increase the chance of having substance abuse issues later on in life (especially in women).
Also, multiple partners can cause greater feelings of low self-esteem (that’s according to the American Psychological Association). Not only that, but casual sex can also make pair bonding difficult; that’s because the various “oxytocin highs” can literally decrease how your brain connects with another person. Interestingly enough, another study said that having no or lots of sexual partners in “any given year” can also increase your chances of divorce too. Not to mention the fact that some studies reveal that men nor women are thrilled about their long-term partners having more than 2-3 sex partners prior to them.
Honestly, I could go on and on, yet I think you get the gist. While folks are on “former Twitter” talking about sex doesn’t have any real consequences, so you shouldn’t give your sexual choices much thought. But, those who actually study it for a living? They say otherwise. So, whenever you’re having a body count discussion, debate, or argument, as everyone is sharing their opinions, it’s probably a good idea to bring some bona fide facts into play, too.
3. Consider Your WhyGiphy
Okay, so what about when it comes to your own personal body count? Is it anyone’s business? The short answer is “no” — no, it’s not. The reason why I say that is because anything that is related to private information is a privilege and not a right. So no, no one should pressure or shame you into providing it. That said, though, I do think you should do some reflecting on why you don’t want to talk about it — I don’t mean on a social media thread (necessarily) but with anyone. Because again, no you don’t have to; however, if you pondered why you feel that way, it could reveal a few things — not to them but to yourself.
Is it simply that you are private, over and out? Or do you have some sort of shame or guilt surrounding some of your past (or current) sexual choices? Is there some part of you who is afraid of how you’ll be perceived if folks know how many people you’ve been with? Are there some things about your sexual past that, if you were to talk about your body count, would reveal some things that go way beyond the surface?
It's one thing to keep things from other people; however, it’s another thing entirely to suppress thoughts and feelings to yourself, and trust me, I have coached enough people to know that some people don’t want to talk about their body counts because they don’t want to deal with all that comes with it. Bottom line, if you’re not forthcoming with anyone else, make sure that YOU are with YOU.
4. Consider Their Why TooGiphy
Some folks are nosy. Some people like to use information against others. Some people are just messy as hell. We all know it. And so, if you’re keeping your body count to yourself because you want to shield yourself from what you discern will be nothing but toxic rhetoric, I totally get it. At the same time, I do think that there are some individuals who may want to know for other reasons.
Take a woman I know who was pretty sexually active in high school. When she met her now ex-husband in college, she lied and said that she was a virgin — well, a (so-called) born-again virgin (major eye roll). Listen, something that I’m big on is personal accountability, and when it comes to virginity, YOU ARE A VIRGIN ONE TIME. You can be a (as the church folks say it) “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) all you want, but that doesn’t change hardcore facts, and to tell someone that you’ve never had sex before when you have is dishonest — and I don’t see anything that is “God-fearing” about that.
Anyway, he was a licensed therapist who had done a lot of research on how sexual history affects one’s ability to bond with their partner. He was also a virgin, and so, for him, he felt that her past would have a direct influence on their future. I mean, I’ve already provided intel to show that he’s not totally off-base there, yet the main point is, although she could’ve taken the route of, “You can trust who I am now and accept me, or we can break up”, she lied. He found out later (years later, an ex came back into her life; LONG STORY) and divorced her — not because of her past but because she wasn’t real about it. And I totally get why he felt that way. As a wise person once said, “One lie can dispel a thousand truths.”
Listen, some of y’all aren’t gonna agree with the “checkmate” here, but if you want to know all about your man’s relational history and yet you draw the line at your sexual past — why? What’s the difference? If his details reveal a potential pattern, that same logic could apply to you. At the same time, if his past made him who he is and you love that, also, the same logic on your end. Yeah, one of the main things that goes overlooked on this entire body count thing is it isn’t so much about the sex; it’s about the mindset and choices and how they influence who we all are in the present.
And there are some people, based on the kind of relationship they have with you, who are curious about that. That doesn’t make them the devil; you’ve just got to decide if their way of thinking works for you — or not.
5. Be Honest: Does HIS Body Count Matter to You?Giphy
Speaking of gender wars, Imma tell y’all what — very few things are more irritating than blatant hypocrisy. For instance, someone once posted their own unofficial case study where he first tweeted out that women deserve more than a man with kids; it received over 12,000 likes. When he then turned around and said that men deserved more than a single mom, it only got around 2,000 likes. Please don’t tell me that you don’t see the blatant hypocrisy there. *le sigh*
Same thing goes for the whole body count thing. If you really are standing ten toes down that your sexual history is your business, it really needs to go on record that so is his. Yeah, I know that some of y’all are like, “Cool. No problem” yet let me reiterate what I just touched on a second ago: while (some) guys may want to know your literal and actual number, many women tend to be more cryptic than that. Wanting to know details about his past relationships when it comes to intimacy that’s no better.
If your perspective is your body count should hold no relevance, so should his — again, it goes both ways. So, either be willing to “care and share” or both of you come to the conclusion that so long as your past stays in the past and your STI/STD test comes out negative (because you do take annual STI/STD tests, right?), that’s all that matters.
One final point.
6. In Conclusion, Numbers Are (Somewhat) Subjective. Make Your Own Peace.Giphy
Years ago, back when my own body count was sitting at 10, I spoke at a local college here (one that isn’t getting the funding that it deserves; just needed to throw that in because it’s ridiculous). The topic was sex and relationships, so I was prepared for just about anything. When one of the students asked about my body count, and I shared, the class was almost at a 50/50 split. Meaning, half was like, “That’s it?” while the other was like, “Wow!” — one even verbally expressed how much they thought it was a lot. It didn’t phase me in the least, either side, because that’s how humans are, chile: things can be a lot or a little based on how people see the world.
And when it comes to a topic like body counts — upbringing, religious views, influence…they all play a part in whether more than one body is doing the most or having over 100 is. That’s why, in many ways, you have to come to your own conclusions about how you feel — about your count, about the subject matter in general, and about how your partner (or future partner) rolls.
What I will say as I draw this to a close, though, is if you’re proud of the things that you’ve done or at least have learned from them, that should knock out a lot of the triggering right there because whether you choose to share or only you and your Creator know what’s up, if you’ve truly made peace with your own life, body count debates shouldn’t get to you.
Just read ‘n scroll…read ‘n scroll as you watch others who need to figure out their “whys”.
You know yours — and it’s all good. And you mean that.
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Featured image by Giphy