Badass Women: Elaine Welteroth

It’s women empowerment week since 2018 is starting out to be the year of the woman (even though every year should be the year of the woman). In conjunction with Black History Month, I wanted to talk about one of my roles models who I believe is a trailblazer for creativity in journalism and advocate for social change. She was the first ever African American editor-in-chief for my favorite publication, Teen Vogue and a woman who ceases to amaze and inspire me. This is Elaine Welteroth.

One of the reasons why I relate to Elaine is that she is from Santa Clara, CA and went to college in my hometown, Sacramento. She went to Sac State and majored in Mass Communications and Media Studies with a minor in Journalism, which is exactly what I’m pursuing now. She worked for Glamour magazine as a beauty writer and editor before climbing the ranks to senior beauty editor. She later found her way to becoming the first African American Beauty and Health Director for Teen Vogue in 2012 and later became only the second African American editor-in-chief and youngest editor-in-chief in 2016.

As someone who has followed her writing for years, that this woman has a lot of spunk and passion for her work. Her work is noted more for the Teen Vogue’s increased political and social justice coverage and if you see the transitions in the Teen Vogue covers over the years, more and more women of color are on the cover. Within the editions, more stories about women changing the world are more prevalent and empowering. She also hosted the first ever Teen Vogue summit in 2017 bringing together women of all ages, races, and passions to meet and work with powerful women in the workforce and in politics such as Hillary Clinton. She is truly the voice of this generation and one of the main reasons why I want to pursue what I want to pursue. Her drive, energy, and influence has made the difference in journalism, social justice, and woman empowerment over the years.

While she is leaving Conde Nast later this year, I know that she will continue to do more work for society to put women first. She inspires the confidence for women to fight for equality and not be afraid to speak/write about what they believe in, which is something we all need right now.