Melanated & Motivated|Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth

Besides me being a college graduating senior, my 2018 opened up many opportunities for me in fashion and journalism. One being a stylist assistant to Row A Seat 1’s Girl Boss, BeBe Jones for the Nike Chicago x Bank of America Chicago Marathon collection, then I had the opportunity to witness and participate in the Q&A for a leadership event featuring ELAINE WELTEROTH at Ball State University for Row A Seat 1 – Check out some of the coverage below!


WHO IS ELAINE WELTEROTH?

If you aren’t aware of who she is, especially if you’re into fashion or journalism you definitely should… If so, you probably know her as the former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. But, before becoming the head honcho at the tender age of 29, she reigned as the Beauty & Health Director of Teen Vogue. 

Before I go further, please allow me to express how amazing it was to meet this woman. When she was answering questions, she took her sweet time to really make sure we were all on the same frequency, she’s very articulate and passionate. She had no issues being patient to some of the excruciatingly long questions and background stories, yet she made direct contact with everyone who came up to her. Such a humble spirit. 

Now, let’s get into ELAINE’S LOOK:

  • Hexagon shaped light brown marble earrings
  • A blue blazer
  • Orange pattern blouse
  • Burnt orange leather ankle pants
  • Beautiful peep toe sandal heels

“Lets talk about getting hired, just getting the job. Being a 29-year-old woman, who gets called in to see Anna Wintour. Appoints you into this role and its not really like this was an application process. It wasn’t like I applied for this and I pitched myself and had time to think about it. I went from being a teammate to being a leader, I worked at Teen Vogue as the Beauty Director for about 5 years… and I one day I just got called in and I was basically just told, ‘You are now the editor of Teen Vogue and the press release is going out in 45-minutes.’ That day I remember seeing my name in headlines and similarly when I got the job as a Beauty Director. Seeing a headline that read, ‘Elaine Welteroth becomes the first ever black beauty director in Condé Nest 107th history,’ it shocked me.  I say that not for congratulatory, but because it was a realization for me, its not like as a young person you go apply for a job to make history… You don’t plan to see your race in a headline. It did something for me as a young leader. But if I’m going to be the first ever black beauty director that comes with a responsibility to represent for a whole community of people who’ve never been centered at a mainstream magazine like this that speaks directly to young people. What does that mean?” – Elaine Welteroth

Lexii Taylor and Elaine Welteroth having a moment in time!

What does this mean? There are a million and one brown girls counting on you to set the standard and shed light on our capabilities. Women like Elaine are role models for aspiring fashion and beauty lovers like myself. Her having this position can be the catalyst for diversity in young journalism as well. She is the definition of using her voice and platform to promote change and social understanding – #BossTingz

“I can play by the rules, I can do what’s already been done, but at a time like this at such great disruption that’s almost a death sentence for any brand. Particularly one that speaks to young people” –Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth speaking at Ball State University

What is the point of having a position of power, especially in the MEDIA, if you are going to just be like the ones before you? You have to be the change you want to see and if black people are always complaining about what isn’t being done, we should start walking in progression. A lot of times when a person of color gains an important role, they become hesitant to use their voice in fear of losing their job. That’s why its vital to have more diversity in the workplace anywhere. 

A friend of mine, Anthony asked her about a statement she made about the best advice she had ever received: “Bite off more than you can chew and then chew as fast as you can,” and he continued to ask how it applied to her life now. I was surprised when she said that at the time it was relevant, but looking back on it now she would say differently. “That was my early/mid-20’s advice, which I would edit now at 31… I will say now that there is no glory in a grind that grinds you all the way down.”

Black Girl Magic: Lexii Taylor and Elaine Welteroth

HELLO! As people, in general, we tend to over-extend ourselves because we think it will be worth it the end, but is success more important than sanity or peace? There should be purpose and clear intent in where we put our energy. I commend her for admitting that some things aren’t worth stressing over because young people in particular because we equate grinding with being tired and stressed all the time. I have learned myself that when there is too much on my plate I need to revaluate and rediscover purpose.

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