In May of last year, Eli Rallo shared a TikTok of herself getting her new office set up, which included stops for coffee at the Barnes & Noble Café and supplies from Bed Bath & Beyond.
Eli introduced herself with a smile, saying, “Hi, my name is Eli, I’m 23 years old and I’m writing a book and I want to do it together.” The “Sex and the City” theme song played in the background.
It’s a cliche that young New York City women aspire to be Carrie Bradshaw and wear Manolo Blahniks, but Rallo may be living that dream.
The East Village resident, now 24 years old, shot to fame on TikTok and Instagram with posts about “rules for first dates” and “the death of the chill girl” (such as meeting on a Thursday, drinking 1.5 glasses before meeting, and not becoming pen pals beforehand).
The HarperCollins lifestyle imprint Harvest will release her book “I Didn’t Know I Needed This: Rules for Falling Into and Out of Sex, Dating, Love, and Ghosting” this coming winter.
“Every chapter is stocked with a different list of rules,” Rallo told The Post.
“It traverses the entire dating landscape, from single to single once more and back again. So you have everything from casual dating and online dating to committed partnerships and breakups, as well as friendship, self-love, and independence.
During the beginning of the pandemic, the New Jersey native first found success on TikTok. She returned home from the University of Michigan in 2020 after earning a degree in theatre and playwriting and promptly began uploading videos of the contents of her family’s enormous glass snack jar.
Since then, her online persona has morphed to include everything from memes about the Kardashians and Bernie Sanders to pictures of her cute outfits (with Versace or Ferragamo tagged as her shoes’ designer, again evoking Bradshaw), rants about her experience in public school gym class, and lists of advice and irreverent dos and don’ts.
“Spin class and wearing your hair up” and “3 legged dogs” are two trends that have recently become mainstream, while “dating apps & car rental places” and “Fig Newtons (geriatric)” have recently become unfashionable.
Rallo’s random content and openness about her experiences with breast reduction and disordered eating have earned her 657,900 followers on TikTok, 109,000 followers on Instagram, and a talent manager.
According to Amanda Marzolf, Rallo’s manager, “when I first came across Eli’s content, I found it to be completely addictive,” as quoted in The Post.
To paraphrase, “there was something so raw and relatable about her storytelling abilities that I found myself drawn back to her content again and again.”
The same can be said of her fan base.
Her writing is like having coffee with a trusted friend and hearing their advice. “I wish I had a friend like that,” Amber Dunham, a 26-year-old accountant from Illinois, told The Post.
She doesn’t sugarcoat things and gives you the straight goods. She will tell you how it is if something is wrong, and she will shout it from the rooftops if something is amazing. Totally and unapologetically herself, that is what she is. “Anyone who is that confident and sure of themselves must know what they’re talking about,” Dunham continued.
Some people are annoyed by Rallo’s success; in fact, there is a bustling anti-Rallo subreddit where users question her authority and use the ultimate Generation Z insult by calling Rallo’s advice and posts “cringe.”
When asked for advice, Rallo told The Post that she is careful to only offer help in areas where she has “experience with or experience adjacent to.”
Rallo, who earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2021, claims she is not an influencer despite her massive online following.What she really wanted was for people to “feel good about themselves,” she said.
That’s fine with me if it means they liked what I was wearing and now want to buy it to see if it makes them feel the same way. But I never set out to persuade.
She may be quiet, but she isn’t hiding. She has met her idols, including Drew Barrymore, Tina Fey, and Cheryl Strayed, and has been featured on Tamron Hall’s talk show and invited to last year’s Tony Awards. A future episode of Rallo’s “Miss Congeniality” podcast will focus on the latter.