Elaine Welteroth made history at just 29-years-old when she became the youngest editor in the 107 year history of Conde Nast, as well as being the second person of African-American heritage to ever hold the title of editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue.
She used her new platform to help bring attention to important world topics such as social injustice, politics, and socioeconomic issues. In 2018, Elaine made a stunning and risky career move by resigning from her position at Teen Vogue in order to move to California and sign with Creative Artists Agency. Now just over a year later, she has released her long awaited memoir, More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say).
Her memoir tackles everything from racial identity and the intricacies of black womanhood, to what it means to feel truly valuable and powerful in life and career. In an interview with InStyle, Elaine talks about why it was important to tell her story, and who she felt the book would impact the most:
” Why was now the right time for you to write a book?
Honestly, I feel like the book wrote itself. I don’t make any move in life unless I feel called to do it, and not to be all ‘woo-woo’ about it, but it felt like a calling. It was something that I felt like I had to do now. It’s funny because my brother said, “Elaine, you’re only 32, why would you write a book about your life?” I was like, “I have a lot to say. Now.” I think we do a disservice to ourselves when we question the value in our story, and I think that’s what’s kept women small and quiet for so long. This is for a huge community of young women who need this, and it is inclusive of the kind of young woman I was. I would have loved a book like this when I was coming of age — coming into my own, finding my voice, and carving out my career path for myself.
What do you want readers to take away from this book?
I hope that women and people of color see themselves in this come-up story and are inspired to dream bigger. I hope it validates the dreams of young women who are still finding themselves and trying to figure out their purpose in the world. I also hope that it breaks down some of the myths that we tell ourselves and each other about success.
We live in a culture that makes us feel like we’re not enough; we’re not smart enough, successful enough, young enough, old enough, beautiful enough, woke enough. Ultimately, the intention of the book is to provide this reminder that you can experience the feeling of being enough at every stage of your evolution. It’s not a destination. ”
She goes onto talk about how her career success was no longer just a personal victory once she realized that she wasn’t just a black woman making power moves, but one that was making history:
“Seeing my name in a headline for the first time and learning that I had made history as the first black director in Conde Nast’s history reframed my role in a sense.
In that moment, it changed how I saw myself — from being a hardworking girl who landed a job she worked hard for, to being a black girl making history. It was no longer about doing whatever it takes to climb the ladder or assimilating and following the rules. I realized I was there to make a difference, and that my being there inherently would make a difference.”
If you ever needed any career advice that would light the fire under you and inspire you to aim higher than even the wildest dream your mind could conjure up, here’s a final word from Elaine Welteroth:
“Something I like to tell other women is that your life is a series of dreams realized. We need to give ourselves permission to accomplish a goal and go after the next. We don’t need to be defined by one title or one career path for the rest of our lives. We’re living in a new world now where there’s no shame in having three or four careers, sometimes at the same time. It can be scary to carve a new path or blaze a new trail, but it’s also incredibly exciting.”
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