COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Diana Rantamäki, video creator & influencer
The one thing we can all agree on is that comedy is the only thing that kept our sanity throughout 2020 and 2021. While the whole world was shoulder-deep in making banana bread, scrolling through Instagram Stories and whisking up Dalgona coffee, a new generation of comedians emerged from the app of the decade — TikTok. They brought back the nostalgia of Vine, but in a longer format, which is something we were all longing for in secret. Lip-syncs, filters, cool transitions, the app had it all, and we all watched ordinary people from all over the world rise to fame and success by simply making us laugh.
For us,Diana Rantamäki is the first person that comes in mind when talking about this phenomenon. She has been making us cry-laugh for months on end with her brilliant timing and priceless face expressions fit for the big screens. Having blown up on TikTok in an incredibly short amount of time (we’re talking over 6M followers in just two years!), Diana is now a new mom to twin boys and navigates her way both through motherhood and the whirlwinds of having social media as a job. However, she must indeed be Superwoman, as her efforts to create original and hilarious content still prove to be successful. We are beyond thrilled to have Diana share her story with us, and have her be part of our Cool Faces of Bastet Noir Series.
Hi amazing women! Diana here. I am 29 years old and have just recently become a mom of twin boys. I am married to Tomi, that’s my husband, 😉 , he offered me his last name and it sounded cool so I said yes, I can be Diana Rantamäki. I grew up in a small town in the Philippines, raised by my Filipino mom and surrounded by cousins and coconut trees. I am now based in Finland, trying to live the life my Finnish father used to have, but this time, in a more lightweight sense with a twist of Filipino humor.
What’s your morning routine like?
My morning routine starts with no alarm clock but with the giggles or cries of my little ones. Greeting them both at the same time and taking them one by one to our cozy living room so I can feed them both. When the babies are full and clean, I leave them at their playpen while I rush to brush my teeth, put on some skin care products then proceed to the kitchen and brew some fresh coffee. If I get lucky, I can drink a warm coffee.
Your TikTok following has exploded in such a short amount of time, gathering the likes (literally) of people all over the world, including us! Many know you from your original and comedic content with the Big Head filter, so naturally, we have to ask: how did this all start, what was the inspiration behind this iconic series of sketches?
My TikTok blew up so surprisingly and all by accident. I never intended to be popular on TikTok. I downloaded the app for fun and to laugh whenever I want. One time, while I was 5 months pregnant, I saw Jason Banks’ video and remembered laughing so much. I click on the sound cause I wanted to lip sync the video, but to my surprise I saw everyone using the BIGHEAD filter. In my mind I thought this is a trend. Let me try it. So I did and after one try I uploaded the video and went to bed. Woke up to millions of views and thousands of followers. It went super viral within a week and my video ended up everywhere. People started commenting that I should do more and it just started then. The character evolves when my belly becomes too huge for my own clothes. I have to start wearing my husband’s shorts and shirts. It became a uniform for BigHead and I still do that till now. Nothing was planned but it became a series because people loved it. It is because of the community that loves my physical comedy and how I portrait these characters. I am so blessed.
You’ve been dabbling into the Youtube and Instagram sphere as well, in addition to doing TikTok. How have you found this newfound career path, in addition to being a new mom to baby twins?
I always had a YouTube channel before TikTok and Instagram but my channel was mostly just for me. I love creating videos with my friends and family and mostly I am behind the camera. I started Instagram because I thought I wanted to become an influencer. But it really takes a lot of work. And I stop thinking my life is not that interesting for people to actually follow me. But now, because of my huge following on TikTok, my Instagram and YouTube also change. Now I also post my videos on Instagram for people who don’t have TikTok. I also share my journey there and build a community of like minded people. I have to be honest, it is pretty hard to keep up. Especially on YouTube, editing videos takes so much time. But when you enjoy it, time is never wasted, only invested.
I get a lot of help from my husband. He is very hands on with the kids. He also supports me so much with all the social media work. I also have my family with me who always lifts me up and encourages me. My friends, when they are proud of me, make me feel more positive with what I do. It makes it all worth it. But I never jeopardize my kids. They always come first. So when days are hard, I don’t pressure myself to make content but just focus on them. I am doing this on the side so when the time comes that I am ready and confident with my creativity, I can do bigger things and might not need to return to work in a restaurant. Instead I will have more time to spend with my family.
You also have an official merch store called Big Head Thoughts, where a portion of the proceeds goes to help stray dogs. Can you tell us a bit more about this philanthropic aspect of your business, what made you want to donate to this specific cause?
We launched our merchandise with my partner from Miami. He approached me to do this project and I accepted and thought it would be amazing to do this for a cause as well. The animal shelter was located where I grew up in the Philippines. They didn’t have enough supply or medicine for the stray dogs. I saw their post on Facebook and I thought I could help. So I reached out to them and that’s how it all started. We have donated to them portions of my profit. Unfortunately, right now we barely have any sales anymore. Hopefully I get to launch another brand this summer and will find another cause to help. I always believe that when you share your blessings, you become more blessed.
Three things you wish you knew before starting out?
First, I wish I didn’t overshare my kids’ life on social media. I am not keeping them a secret but I am very careful about what I put out there.
Second, I wish I was stronger mentally. There are things I stopped doing for a while because I got haters on TikTok especially when a video gets viral. But I realize now, no matter what I do, there will always be haters. I should not stop doing the things that make me happy because they thought they won.
Third, I wish I knew how hard and time demanding a social media job is especially when you are also a full time mom. We don’t have babysitters or neighbors that can help anytime. So for everyone who wants to pursue this career, keep in mind that when you’re starting, it will feel like a 24/7 job. Ask help when you need it.
Biggest failure/setback in life, and what have you learned from it?
My biggest setback in life was during my 3rd trimester, I got a lot of online hate and bullying. That’s when my videos were really trending and off the chart. I took it on myself. I questioned my own creativity and value. Of course, I was more emotional and sensitive because of the pregnancy. What I know now is that not everyone will be happy for you especially when you start to become successful. Whatever you do, there will always be people who will try to take you down. We might think that the world is against us, but in reality, it is smaller than we think. Out of hundreds of people who cheer for us, one hater will exist. And by this ratio, it is clear to focus on the people who always have our back. Enjoy your life.