Photo Courtesy of Teen Vogue
Not only is Elaine Welteroth the youngest Editor-in-Chief for Condé Nast ever, or the second African-American to hold that title in the entire publication service’s 107 years in business, but is breaking down barriers every single day. The newly appointed Teen Vogue editor has brought politics, culture, and societal issues to the beauty-driven magazine for teens and she is not looking back.
Welteroth first started out studying communications and journalism at California State University – Sacramento, and eventually moved to New York to pursue an internship at Ebony magazine. She was then offered a full time, permanent position as the magazine’s Beauty & Style Editor due to her “professionalism” performed during her internship. After three years of holding that position, she took a promotion and moved to Condé Nast and became the Beauty & Style Editor and Senior Beauty Editor for Glamour magazine in 2011.
Before her advancement as Editor-in-Chief at Teen Vogue, she was first the Beauty Director for five years. Welteroth published an article in 2013 entitled “Natural Wonder,” which discussed natural hair texture, appreciating it, and how to take care of it. This was a breakthrough in modern media, because no major publications, at that time, regularly touched on anything but the beauty and style that surrounds white/european standards.
Stepping down as the beauty director of the same magazine, a position that she held for five years, Welteroth has graced the publication over the years with her thoughtful, inclusive insight. Just one month before she was crowned editor in chief, Welteroth discussed the sensitive topic of cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. During the 2016 presidential election, the magazine published a personal essay written by candidate Hillary Clinton on her appreciation of the upcoming generation. The newly-found inclusivity of the magazine has not only been favored among teens, but has increased its viewings by the millions.
In an interview with Black Enterprise, Welteroth discussed the importance behind the multiplicity, awareness, and inclusiveness that Teen Vogue now incorporates.
“In terms of making sure our team is diverse, it’s critical because we know that our audience is diverse and it’s important to have that range of voices and point of views at the table in order for our audience to feel like there is someone on that masthead who speaks for me.”
No matter what position she holds, Elaine Welteroth is a vital part of modern media, for she gives a platform for young people and their diversity.