This past week, Elaine Welteroth publicly announced her departure from Condé Nast and as Teen Vogue’s editor-in-chief via Instagram through a groundbreaking and inspiring post. Welteroth was named Teen Vogue’s youngest editor-in chief, and only the second African American editor in Condé Nast history, in April of 2017.
photo via Eva Sakellarides
“What I know now that I didn’t know at 21 is that life is a series of dreams realized. There is no destination, but there will be breakthrough after breakthrough along the way.” – Welteroth
There is this misconception that, even at young ages, we need to have everything together right now. We have to know exactly what we want to do and every step we need to take to get to our idea of what it means to be successful. We have it bestowed upon us that we need certain things and connections to get to where we want to be. We soon start to fear failure, which we should not. The minute things do not go as planned, we become frustrated and feel as if our aspirations are unattainable and that furthermore leads to a lost of hope.
“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.” – Welteroth
Welteroth proved to us that what most of us think, is not true. With her moving to New York at only twenty-one years old without much and still being able to turn her dreams into reality by leading one of the most influential magazines of all time, she is a living example all of us can look up to. She gave a sense of assurance that plenty of people needed. It is not okay to allow limitations to be placed on ourselves.
Thinking of what we do not have can interfere with our willingness to go forward and reach beyond our so-called limitations. Be unstoppable!
Reading Welteroth’s instagram post was a breath of fresh air. It is satisfying to see a fellow woman of color and curly head, who effortlessly serves looks on any given day, reach such a high point of success and slowly become a brand of her own. While under her direction, Teen Vogue covered more than fashion and beauty. The magazine rose to become a movement, highlighting social issues and causes while also becoming more involved in politics and featuring more women of color on the front cover. Though Welteroth’s journey as editor-in-chief may have come to an end, she is only getting started and I will follow her wherever she goes. As an African American female college student, I needed to read this and I am positive others did, too. Thank you, Elaine.