Almost every journalist’s dream is to be the editor-in-chief of an accredited publication. At just 29, Elaine Welteroth became the first black woman to become editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, but after two tremendous years at the magazine, she is stepping down and plans to focus on her brand. After her departure, she signed with a top talent agency, CAA, to focus on doing more speaking engagements, TV, film, etc. But she did leave us with one piece of important advice: “I’ve managed to join the ranks of unstoppable women who’ve, throughout history, stared back into the face of the unknown and decided to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Now.”
Welteroth started her editorial journey at 21 when she moved from California to New York to work at Ebony as an unpaid intern – which then, in turn, fostered a permanent position. After that, she worked her way up the ranks to Beauty and Style editor at Glamour. She was then promoted to Senior Beauty Editor and was able to make a smooth transition to becoming the Beauty and Health Director at Teen Vogue – where she was then promoted to her dream job as editor-in-chief.
In an Instagram post, she wrote, “When I moved to New York City at 21 as an editorial intern, my greatest dream was to become Editor-in-Chief.” She continued, writing, “It was a goal too intimidating to even say aloud. I was convinced it was totally out of reach for someone with no connections, no trust fund, and no fancy clothes. I pursued the path anyway. Eventually, I started believing the vision placed inside of me. I learned to shrug off the fear of failure, and how to refuse the urge to shrink—even when I was asked to.”
As EIC, Welteroth is credited for bringing a deeper purpose to the magazine. With her at the helm, the magazine began to cover more serious topics like feminism and politics, along with social justice issues. This gave way to people taking Teen Vogue more seriously and seeing it as a reputable source for world news.
Upon leaving Teen Vogue, she has not only been living her best life, but she is also now an author of a book titled “More Than Enough,” which she has been promoting. If you’d like to purchase the book, you can do so here.