How Gia Peppers Is Becoming This Generation's Game-Changer One Talent At A Time

Finding Balance

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.

The first time I met Gia Peppers, I was a student in the WEEN Academy, a four-week crash course in the entertainment industry.

We had been told that one day during the academy, alumnae would come by and have a WEEN roundtable, a day many of us were nervous about because you never know what to expect in the academy. As my WEEN sisters and I sat around in a circle, alumnae, including Gia, came in, offering discussions of Black women just talking about life, the industry, and perseverance.

Of all the things from that day, I remember making a mental note about something strange about Gia (she probably noticed me just staring at her and maaaybe was creeped out). I took note of how energetic she was, yet simultaneously, how calm her spirit felt. Up to that point, I had only known the name and face through my constant Instagram stalking, cheering on the sidelines because I just thoroughly loved another DMV (D.C., Virginia, and Maryland) native killin' it. She was someone I immediately made my big sister in my head, constantly following by example.

But Gia is one of those people who will steal your heart before you know it. She's young, but wise beyond her years. She's nothing short of showing people what putting in the work looks like, but also what it means to stay humble and never be above anything or anyone. But behind all the 'Gram flicks, the BlackGirl Podcast, and the nightly games during NBA season, how does Gia keep it all calm, cool, and collected?

In this installment of xoNecole's Finding Balance series, sitting outside a cute little café in the city, Gia and I chatted, woman to woman, sister to sister, creator to creator, and woman of God to woman of God. We talked work, life, and of course, balance.

xoNecole: What does an average week look like to you?

Gia Peppers: Lately, it's varied. Every single day comes down to planning and executing when you're a freelancer. Nowadays, I do a lot of hosting and get to do cool work as an on-air talent. Before, I was a journalist, but I knew I wanted to be talent. Of course, there's different perks involved, including the money. People were willing to help get me where I wanted to go, but you have to become more intentional about what you put out, and it has to be dope, especially since you don't have a standard 9-5.

During NBA season, it's a lot about travel. If I have a shoot, I'll be up and there by 8-9 AM. Then after, I get on Amtrak and get back to D.C., chill, do my makeup, and have everything ready for production meetings at 5:30. From 6-9 PM, we're hosting the game. Mom picks me up from the game, and then Dad and I will get up at 5 AM and he'll get me to the train and I'm back in NYC by 8 AM.

I also make sure to work out, pray, meditate, and set my intentions for the week.

I get a lot of really great headspace there, and then I'll work outside cafés, and sit and plan out what I want to do for the rest of the week. For me, I have waited way too long and there's all this work that I have to sift through, like my EPK! I always prep before things, so if there's an interview or event happening, I'm studying my script or writing it if I have to. It's about seeing what's coming down the pipeline and then preparing for it. I'm also getting better about posting on Instagram, and the community I've created online is really dope, so I try to put some dopeness out into the atmosphere. It's part of the territory as a host. So when it comes down to it, it's down to planning and execution.

When things get stressful, how do you get back to yourself? What role does religion and faith play in your life?

I grew up in the church. When I got to college, that's when I learned what's really inside of me, as I feel most people go through. I knew that I always had an awareness of my calling and purpose, probably because I'm the oldest in my family. I had to be an example for my brother and sister, but it shaped a lot of who I am. Even now, I'm not a wild kid, but I try to balance life when I can. Everything that we do is up to us, whether we try to act like it's a piece of a bigger picture or not. Everything we do is bigger than us. I learned how to hone in to the higher frequencies out there.

When you pray, you can ask God for help. You can tell Him you're upset, and He will help you out. It's an everyday decision to choose yourself, your health, and your dreams. You can accomplish whatever you want, it's just going to take work to do it.

But what happens when you get those thoughts of doubt? Those thoughts that tell you you can't be great?

It can be tough because people try to say "greatness" is this thing that only one person can do. Anybody can be great, but do you have the guts to be great? Can you walk around with egg on your face and 20,000 people look at you? Can you be the same person when you win OR lose? I had to learn how to be that person, but it also starts with understanding that you have to take care of yourself and be aware of your body and its needs. Step back and take some time for yourself, replenish yourself when you need to. The entertainment industry can take a lot out of you, and you need to find the things that work for you, whether it's a sermon or motivational podcast.

Awareness is the key.

You have to have people who believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself. Write it down so when you forget, you can see it. And you have to do the work. If that means listening to your favorite love songs to get yourself in alignment, you gotta fight for yourself. When bad thoughts come through, you have to sweep them away, and tell them that's not true. Those things slowly but surely get you back.

Do you exercise?

I have a trainer! She has helped me become more aware of what I'm putting into my body and how much time it takes to really keep your body on track. You don't have to be extreme and do all this stuff to your body. I think once you get into this mental state that you realize you have the power to transform anything, including your body and your mind, the physical exercise really becomes nothing. Get those endorphins going! Working out has helped me, but you don't have to join a gym. You can do what you need to do while at home or outside. But I need a trainer, because I know I'll be at the gym and just be on my phone. (Laughs)

I want to know how you find balance with friends.

From the time I was a kid, my mom had us in several things. I was taking ballet, and then piano, and vocal lessons because I was trying to be Beyoncé. So, I really learned at a young age that life is compartmentalized in different ways and experiences that help you achieve. I've always been okay with having multiple things going on at once, and I'm a person who can operate in that. Like, if I stay still too long, I'll be like, "I have to get out of the house." Again, everything is intentional.

Check on your friends, celebrating and showing up for them and yourself. Putting out that you need your friends.

Our sisterhoods and our tribes have kept our culture together. If you find someone who makes you feel more inspired, stick with them. I came from the Girl Scouts, but also WEEN Academy, who gave me people who work in the industry and look out for me. Join organizations, learn how you can get into spaces with women. Create your peer spaces.


Family, I'm nothing without them. Black moms can be a bit crazy, but my mom does not give me a choice when it comes down to talking to the family (laughs). I learned on my own spiritual journey, God puts you on this Earth with people on purpose. I have one job — to love the people in my life, my parents, and siblings. Even if you don't have a family, creating your family is dope. Just stick with the people who give you positivity, and be sure to pour back into them.


Oh, I'm still learning about dating. (Laughs)

How have you learned the power to say "no" to things that don't serve you?

It is a situational basis, everything is different. As a person who is in the middle of her journey, sometimes the right tradeoff is worth it. Not looking at the dollar signs, but seeing the larger payoff.

You have to be smart with how you choose your opportunities, because every opportunity isn't the same.

I think the reason I was so out of alignment was because, at some point, I allowed myself to stop being aware of my purpose, but also, just taking care of the spiritual part. Being in a relationship with God has to be an everyday relationship like you would be with your boo. I stopped caring, I gave the "no" rejections more power than "yes", and I just gave up because I'm human.

What's the hardest part about all of this? All that you do?

There are so many hard parts to this. Being an on-air talent is hard because you don't have an agent, you're just hustling. I'm a hustler by birth, but the hardest part is staying in the hustle mode but also giving yourself the space to regroup. Also, the disparity in pay between men and women is REAL. I'll talk to my male counterparts and they'll tell me they got twice as much.

Moments like that remind me it's about being vocal and finding out which battles are worth it.

If you have the power to be like, "Hey, so she shouldn't be getting paid less because she's a woman," and utilizing your power to help others, you should use it. Every battle has its own set of war tactics, but everytime you go through it, you add something to your arsenal. You have to be really focused and determined on what your big picture looks like. It can be tough, but remember who you are, whose you are, and where you're going, and you'll be fine.

For more Gia, follow her on Instagram. Check out past Finding Balance ladies we've featured by clicking here.

Featured image courtesy of Gia Peppers

The Evolution of Serena Williams

It is like witnessing magic when you watch an athlete do what they do best. To see a mere human soar in the air over to the other side of a bar or to witness someone run at a speed quicker than a human thought. A basketball player defying gravity just to get a ball into a hoop. A ballerina turning their body into a top, spinning and spinning without fatigue.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Lori Harvey On Dating With A Purpose & Not Compromising Her Peace For Anyone

Lori Harvey’s dating life has consistently been a hot topic on social media and now the model is shedding light on some of her dating do’s and don’ts. In an episode of Bumble’s new “Luv2SeeIt” content series, the SKN by LH founder sat down with the series' director, producer, and host Teyana Taylor and disclosed some quote-worthy thoughts on dating and relationships.

Keep reading...Show less
Tisha Campbell Opens Up About Finding Herself Again After Divorce

Tisha Campbell has a new show on Netflix called Uncoupled which stars Neil Patrick Harris as his character learns to rebuild his life after a breakup with his long-term partner. While Tisha’s character may not be going through a breakup, the veteran actress has had a similar experience in real life. The Martin star divorced the L.A.’s Finest star Duane Martin after 22 years of marriage and 27 years together in total. Soon after the divorce was finalized, Tisha claimed that Duane left her with $7 to her name but now she is in the restoration phase of her life.

Keep reading...Show less
Black Women, We Deserve More

When the NYT posted an article this week about the recent marriage of a Black woman VP of a multi-billion-dollar company and a Black man who took her on a first date at the parking lot of a Popeyes, the reaction on social media was swift and polarizing. The two met on Hinge and had their parking lot rendezvous after he’d canceled their first two dates. When the groom posted a photo from their wedding on social media, he bragged about how he never had “pressure” to take her on “any fancy dates or expensive restaurants.”

It’s worth reading on your own to get the full breadth of all the foolery that transpired. But the Twitter discourse it inspired on what could lead a successful Black woman to accept lower than bare minimum in pursuit of a relationship and marriage, made me think of the years of messaging that Black women receive about how our standards are too high and what we have to “bring to the table” in order to be "worthy" of what society has deemed is the ultimate showing of our worth: a marriage to a man.

That's right, the first pandemic I lived through was not Covid, but the pandemic of the Black male relationship expert. I was young – thirteen to be exact – when Steve Harvey published his best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Though he was still just a stand-up comedian, oversized suit hoarder, and man on his third marriage at the time, his relationship advice was taken as the gospel truth.

The 2000s were a particularly bleak time to be a single Black woman. Much of the messaging –created by men – that surrounded Black women at the time blamed their desire for a successful career and for a partner that matched their drive and ambition for the lack of romance in their life. Statistics about Black women’s marriageability were always wielded against Black women as evidence of our lack of desirability.

It’s no wonder then that a man that donned a box cut well into the 2000s was able to convince women across the nation to not have sex for the first three months of a relationship. Or that a slew of other Black men had their go at telling Black women that they’re not good enough and why their book, seminar, or show will be the thing that makes them worthy of a Good Man™.

This is how we end up marrying men who cancel twice before taking us on a “date” in the Popeyes parking lot, or husbands writing social media posts about how their Black wife is not “the most beautiful” or “the most intelligent” or the latest season of trauma dumping known as Black Love on OWN.

Now that I’ve reached my late twenties, many things about how Black women approach dating and relationships have changed and many things have remained the same. For many Black women, the idea of chronic singleness is not the threat that it used to be. Wanting romance doesn’t exist in a way that threatens to undermine the other relationships we have with our friends, family, and ourselves as it once did, or at least once was presented to us. There is a version of life many of us are embracing where a man not wanting us, is not the end of what could still be fruitful and vibrant life.

There are still Black women out there however who have yet to unlearn the toxic ideals that have been projected onto us about our worthiness in relation to our intimate lives. I see it all the time online. The absolute humiliation and disrespect some Black women are willing to stomach in the name of being partnered. The hoops that some Black women are willing to jump through just to receive whatever lies beneath the bare minimum.

It's worth remembering that there are different forces at play that gather to make Black women feast off the scraps we are given. A world saturated by colorism, fatphobia, anti-Blackness, ableism, and classism will always punish Black women who demand more for themselves. Dismantling these systems also means divesting from any and everything that makes us question our worth.

Because truth be told, Black women are more than worthy of having a love that is built on mutual respect and admiration. A love that is honey sweet and radiates a light that rivals the sun. A love that is a steadying calming force that doesn’t bring confusion or anxiety. Black women deserve a love that is worthy of the prize that we are.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image: Getty Images

Honey & Spice Author Bolu Babalola’s Hopeful Romance
Some may see romantic comedies and dramas as a guilty pleasure. But author Bolu Babalola indulges in the genre with no apology.
Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Former Beyoncé Dancer Deja Riley On Changing Her Career For Her Mental Health

Former Beyoncé Dancer Deja Riley On Changing Her Career For Her Mental Health

"I felt like I was not enough. And my mental health is important. So when I started feeling that way, I knew that it was time to shift."

Latest Posts