Rana Good is the founder of Naïra NYC. A writer for publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Coveteur, Mens Journal and others, she created her own platform celebrating women of color.
With her candid dating advice and vast knowledge of New York City nightlife, Tiff Baira became an instant TikTok star. However, that’s not the only medium Baira shines in — she’s also a singer, model, podcast host, and will be releasing her first book later this year. Her message to listeners and followers? Put yourself out there, be confident and don’t settle.
Her book the Bad Bitch Dating Guide won’t be out until later this year, so in the meantime, we’ve gone straight to the source to get dating advice and also find out how Baira has carved out a career in several fields at the same time.
Tiff Baira: I always loved modeling but didn’t think there would be space for someone that looks like me. It was so interesting learning the ins and outs of that world. It was hard! I was getting rejected 24/7 and it really humbles you, however I ended up having a lot of success and got to travel a lot. After first getting signed I worked with Target during my first week and my agent was like “she has a ton of experience” which I definitely did not, I didn’t have any. You’re supposed to have nude nails, I showed up with red acrylics and was moving like a scarecrow during the shoot. They were probably like “who is this girl?” It took me an hour to get one good shot but then I ended up being featured everywhere in this campaign. After that, I got into a lot of publications like Popsugar, Highsnobiety and eventually got into the body positive space. I walked during Fashion Week and built a community of models championing curve modeling.
However, curve modeling has its own rules and measurements which can also be pretty strict, for example, often I was told I need to be a size 12/14. After a while, I started losing myself and was changing who I was just to appeal to brands and get people to like me. I no longer knew what I stood for and I realized the next thing I did, needed to be fully Tiff.
@tiffbaira KEEP MANIFESTING AND LETS GET U SIGNED❤️🌟 #fyp #modeling #GossipGirlHere #modeltiktok #modeladvice #nyc #modelingagency #newyork #foryou ♬ Thot Shit – Megan Thee Stallion
Due to the pandemic, I had to leave New York City and I was like “what am I going to do now?!” I have a philosophy degree, a.k.a. a broke girl degree. I was used to going out and meeting people, and one night I was feeling nostalgic. TikTok was just getting popular so I made a photo montage of my exes, and it blew up! I was like this is fun and I have nothing else to do, so I would make a video every day. I made it an ode to what I knew about New York City. I started a series about where to meet eligible bachelors and started giving dating advice. I had so many situationships in New York City because I felt insecure and I let a lot of people mistreat me. During lockdown I realized I don’t need one-night stands to validate me. I started having all these epiphanies, and wanted to talk about confidence in dating. You need to make sure that you like yourself first and then you’ll attract someone who sees your value.
@tiffbaira TIME TO LEAVE THE BROKE BOYS IN 2021! #FYP #EveryKiss #datingnyc #nightlifenyc #clubsnyc #YerAWizard #FritoLayRickRoll #newyork #dating #foryou ♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman
I started doing virtual dating advice sessions, one-on-ones and I charged $15 for them. I was booked all day, 30-minute sessions and then I started doing hour-long sessions. I was giving so much advice, I lost my voice! I had clients all over the world, all ages, and they all had one thing in common — low self-esteem. I helped them create a ten-item zero-tolerance list, and weed out who isn’t right for them. I get them to fill out a questionnaire and say the things they don’t like when dating. For example, for me a dealbreaker is when a guy comments on my weight on the first date — “you’re pretty for a big girl” — ew, bye. It’s about finding which traits make you feel loved and confident, and I help people investigate themselves. I still do those sessions today.
During the pandemic, I got a mini mic for podcasts. I didn’t know what I was doing but just started recording, talking to people in nightlife about their dating life. I wanted variety when it came to my guests, I’ve had a divorced mom and a dominatrix on the show. We all share finding out who we are, so the podcast is about that, it was a rebellion against the perfect narrative of finding love. Recently I had an episode about how DJs find love. I wanted to hear people’s stories and deeper information about dating and relationships.
After we started doing things in person again, I started throwing events and I love creating a community. It’s really easy to feel lost in New York City. I’ve had these inclusive events at Georgia Room, Soho House, and Ray’s bar. I wanted to create something where people leave with something, a friend or a memory.
I’m writing a book called the Bad Bitch Dating Guide breaking the old rules and making your own. I’m working really hard on that. I went through a phase when I just dated these finance guys — I dated a hedge funder who gave bad head! Also, another time I had two boyfriends with the same names. It wasn’t serious but we would get together every Thursday. One day I found out he had three other girlfriends and another night he invited all over for a reveal. I think he wanted us to have an orgy. I was like “I’m heading out.” The other girls were great though, at least he had good taste. These guys throw money around and you think you’re immaculate, but you need to know your worth. People who try to act better than you do that because they’re insecure. Build yourself and find someone that wants to build you too.
I don’t believe in games but I believe in reading the room. I always say shoot your shot, create an opportunity to find out if someone likes you. If you’re flirting at work and then give them an opener like “hey I’m going to this happy hour on Thursday, do you want to come?” and they’re sat no, then read the room. Leave it to them to make the next move. If someone likes you they will try to be around you, make themselves available to you, and if that’s not the case move on to someone else.
I call it a dating muscle – it gets easier to date and makes you feel less bad about rejection. I feel like a failure in dating if I let an opportunity pass me but I’m not waiting by the phone. If you send someone a text, don’t send 20 — read the room. If you meet someone out and you had a good vibe, why wait for them to text? You have thumbs, get to it — life is short. If they don’t respond, okay, date his friend. Date his dad. There are so many people out there, you’re wasting your time by waiting for them to act. Don’t waste your time on the wrong people. I believe in fate; I put the ho in hopeless romantic. Dating can be messy but if you show up as yourself it can be enjoyable.
Having fun alone goes for both dating and friendships. I’m very social but I’ve never fully fit in a group mentality/setting as I’m an only child. I like to pop in and out of things. My advice to doing things alone is that your company is still valid. When you leave a toxic relationship or friendship, it’s scary to be alone, but instead of clinging onto the next person, sit with that discomfort. Rather than get external validation, figure out what you like to by yourself. Doing things alone should always be better than being with people who make you feel lonely, like an outsider or feel bullied. Grab a book, go to your favorite restaurant and spend time by yourself. No one cares and there are other people who are alone too. Being alone is freedom to choose rather than using someone as a crutch.