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The Need for Structure and the Popularity of Eli Rallo on TikTok

To anyone who’s a close friend of mine, it’s no secret that my favorite person to watch on TikTok is Eli Rallo, aka @thejarr (who is actually a HerCampus alum!). The 23-year-old, who lives in NYC, has amassed 441.9K followers on her TikTok account and 43.6K on her Instagram. Eli is not afraid to get personal on her accounts with her followers, who she calls her “team:” she talks about everything from her love and sex life to her IUD and health issues. On her TikTok page, she is most famous for the lists that she creates for things like the week ahead, specific holidays, and for certain situations one might be in (like having a crush or being single on Valentine’s Day). These lists show the “rules” for that specific thing and her followers, myself included, take these rules very seriously and use them to structure our own lives.

She’s also made rules for different days of the week, like “Chipotle Sunday,” where she instructs the team to have Chipotle on Sunday with friends like she did in college, and “Buy Your Coffee Friday,” where you can treat yourself to the best cup of coffee in your area. If you want proof of how much her fans live by this, just check out her Instagram stories on Fridays and Sundays — you’ll find plenty of pictures of coffee cups and Chipotle bowls. On her Instagram, she does frequent Q&A sessions where you can ask her any question and she answers all of her DMs. 

Her popularity isn’t surprising, nor is the loyalty of those who follow her. Eli’s rules and advice provide a level of structure that not all of us can create by ourselves. Even if some of the rules seem trivial, like her recommendation to go to an American Girl Café or a Build-a-Bear Workshop from her February rules list, they do have an important effect on those who watch her videos; they encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. Going back to a place that you used to love when you were a child can be a little bit silly, but it can also be really healing to your inner child and give you a funny story to tell your friends! It doesn’t matter that these rules don’t give stereotypical advice, because these lists are all about making your life more interesting.

Eli isn’t afraid to share the not-so-fun parts of her life either, like when she accidentally ripped out her IUD while taking out her tampon. Her vulnerability with her followers allows them to be vulnerable with her as well, as seen by the personal questions people ask her during her Q&A sessions on Instagram. She has such a cult following because her followers trust her to help make their lives more enriched — not just anyone can encourage and convince you to go do something a little out of the ordinary as a rule for the month of February.

By having someone who can feel like a big sister and your life coach at the same time, you begin to feel more relaxed. Someone is giving good advice, but it also makes you feel happier in your present life because you’re being encouraged to go outside of your day-to-day routine. Adding new things into your life can spark more passion every day, so I hope you go check her pages out!

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Kate Dahlman

U Mass Amherst '24

Kate is a sophomore English major at UMass Amherst who is passionate about all things literature! When she isn't studying or writing an essay, she loves to read, cook, do yoga, and dance. She loves being apart of CHAARG and Her Campus at UMass!
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