Chill Chat

Marsai Martin Is In A Situationship With Social Media

The actor speaks with Bustle on being real in the age of AI, and how she stays well in her downtime.

Marsai Martin catches up with Bustle to talk about social media and her wellness routines.

In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their favorite skin care products to their hacks for getting a good night’s sleep. Here, Marsai Martin shares how she stays real in the age of AI and the wellness rituals she does for her.

When Marsai Martin first appeared on the beloved sitcom Black-ish as the plucky and much-too-mature Diane, the young actor was only 10 years old IRL. For nearly a decade, both the character *and* Martin herself grew up with the world as their audience — but despite the pressures of existing in an over-exposed digital era, the now 19-year-old is really real.

“I love just waking up with no makeup, a bonnet on my head, with my wonderful loud clothes. All I love to do is lounge, and just start my day from there,” Martin tells me over the phone. “[That’s] what I love to call real beauty.”

Her adoration for those makeup-free (and technology-free) moments is why she felt so connected to Dove’s re-commitment to continue using real people in their advertising — never Artificial Intelligence.

“Dove has always been a part of my family. They have highly impacted my life in the generational space,” she says. “When I heard about this campaign, it aligned with me so much because I've always connected with the idea of ‘real beauty.’”

Martin goes on to explain that edited photos, filters, and even AI-altered images can have a negative impact on self-esteem and body confidence — especially for young girls. And considering that Dove reports that 90% of content is expected to be AI-generated by 2025, a movement towards keeping things real is needed now more than ever.

Here, Martin chats with Bustle all about her relationship with social media, the wellness rituals that keep her grounded, and more.

What is your relationship like with social media?

Me and social media, I would call it a situationship. It's something that you love for a minute, that you're into, and you get to meet new people in a different way. But then again, if you do use it a lot and you start to doom scroll, it could get to you a little bit.

I try not to jump into it that much, especially since I know what it can do, and how you can feel within yourself the more you look at other people's lives. I always have to remember that social media is something that you can control, and I choose to do that for my mental health.

Do you have a Finsta?

I normally don't admit that, but I do have a Finsta that I'm on way more than my main page. I only use my main page for DMs.

What are some wellness rituals you love to do?

I love to journal, go out and exercise, or just do things that don't involve technology. It’s very important.

The other self-care thing I love to do for myself is I’m starting to cook more often...I don’t really have a recipe, I’m just cooking stuff. Anything that allows me to focus on different things and put myself in situations where I can be proud of the final results is super cool.

What about the workouts you are loving these days?

Going [to the gym] irritates me, but then when I do it it’s like, “I’m glad I got that done,” and then I’m ready to sleep for the rest of the day. But I love anything that works my upper body, my core, and definitely my upper back.

When I was filming earlier this year, I ended up doing pilates for the first time — that was super fun, and I'm hoping to jump back into it.

Who’s on your workout playlist?

My favorite rapper is Tyler, the Creator. I'm an R&B girlie — I love Lucky Daye, Victoria Monét. It's really a mix of everything.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I wouldn't consider myself a morning person or night owl. I wake up late, around 9:30. I go to sleep really early — I get sleepy at 7:00-ish, and I'll be ready to go to bed. I'm an afternoon queen.

Are there any manicure trends you're loving these days?

I love earth tones. Recently it's been neutral or super green, [but] right now, I have a pinky-nude nail that's like marble-ish with gold accents.

What about a glam look that makes you feel your most powerful?

When I'm on the carpet, I love to be able to have something that is the perfect balance between a tomboy vibe that's edgy and comfortable, but is still elegant when it comes to my hair.

So it’s either that, or when I wake up in the morning at what I call “first base” with no makeup, a bonnet on my head, and my wonderful loud lounging clothes.

What’s your sign? Gold accent nails and loud clothes make me want to guess...

I'm a triple Leo. Sun, moon, and rising — that's all Leo.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.