So when I looked back on my previous Web Crushes I noticed something that bothered me: with very few exceptions, they were all white people. This wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, which kind of bothered me even more because I didn’t even realize that I was being exclusive in my promotion of online personalities. Since realizing this problem I have made more of an effort to follow content creators of color, one of whom is the brilliant Franchesca Ramsey.
Often known as Chescaleigh online, Franchesca is a comedian, vlogger, actress, and more. Her YouTube channel was my first introduction to her work and is one of the best places to find her content, in my opinion. I first came across her because of a song parody of hers denouncing the crime of vertical videos, an issue which truly speaks to me on a deep, spiritual level:
I can’t begin to describe the pain it causes me to see videos filmed in the wrong aspect ratio… especially when it’s so easy to avoid!
I checked out her other videos and found that she wasn’t just funny, but also very intelligent. A lot of her content deals with issues of social injustice with a lot of discussion on race dynamics. I really admire her ability to talk about these difficult issues with candor. She utilizes humor and occasionally sarcasm, but never lets these modes of discourse trivialize the message she’s conveying. She can make a video like Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, where a comedic skit is obviously used to shine light on problematic behavior between two ethnicities, and then she can use the classic vlogger style of talking straight into the camera in The N-Word “Double Standard” to directly engage the audience in a lesson and discussion on racial issues.
One of my favorite of Franchesca’s videos is one in which she gives advice on what to do when called out for intolerant, ignorant, or otherwise unacceptable behavior. In the video, she recalls a time when she was called out for a transphobic skit she uploaded to YouTube and goes through her emotions on being called out: feeling like a bad person, not realizing that what she did was wrong, etc. and then concluding that those things didn’t really matter. What mattered was that she hurt someone and needed to give a legitimate apology which didn’t involve making herself the victim. The video is excellent and should be required viewing for every person who gives a fake apology after being called out on their behavior:
Franchesca’s frank discussion of uncomfortable issues has earned her the attention of organizations and people such as The Huffington Post, Anderson Cooper, and more. If you’re interested in Franchesca, check out her website for more info on her many talents and subscribe to her on YouTube.