1. She Reps Her Hood — Newark, CA That IsSource:Getty
Welteroth’s first job in her hometown was being a mascot for her local hometown buffet, wearing a bird suit.
2. Ebony Ambition and DriveSource:Getty
Welteroth broke into the magazine industry via an unpaid internship at Ebony magazine. In pursuit of the internship, Welteroth wrote Harriett Cole, then editor-in-chief, a letter asking for an informational interview, sent her an email, and called her assistant numerous times. Cole gave WElterorth the chance to assist with a cover shoot for Serena Williams in Los Angeles. Impressed with Welterorth’s professionalism on set, Cole decided to fly her out for an internship with Cole at Ebony, Welteroth then later became Cole’s assistant. This next became a permanent position as the magazine’s Beauty & Style Editor from 2008 to 2011.
3. Black Girl MagicSource:Getty
In 2012, she became only the first Black woman to hold the title of beauty director at the Condé Nast publication, Teen Vogue. And, she later became the second Black person to hold the role of editor-in-chief of the publication.
4. She’s WokeSource:Getty
She is credited for the notable increase of Teen Vogue coverage of politics and social justice, encouraging readers to become civically engaged, specifically during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
5. Repping for the MillennialsSource:Getty
In 2016, Elaine was named the youngest editor-in-chief at Condé Nast and their brand Teen Vogue. April 2016, she became editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue at 29, making her the youngest Condé Nast editor in its 107-year history.
6. Slaying the RunwaySource:Getty
She became the first Black judge on the TV show Porject Runway.
7. Grown Woman CreditsSource:Getty
She has writing credits on Grown-ish.
In 2019, she wrote a memoir, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say).
9. Image Award WinnerSource:Getty
She won an Image Award for her memoir at the 51st NAACP Image Awards.
10. She’s an F.O.D.Source:Getty
In an interview with Elle, she spoke on being what Shonda Rhimes coined, an F.O.D. (first, only, and different). “I, like many women of color in corporate America, spent a lot of my career kind of just trying to blend in and play by the rules. But, when you recognize that no matter how many rules you follow, the game is going to be played differently for someone like you because you’re a different kind of player — use it to your advantage and make it your superpower. I think that’s when you can really do your most transformative work.
11. Bite More Than You Can ChewSource:Getty
In the same interview with Elle, she told the magazine that the best career advice she received was: “Bite off more than you can chew. And then, chew as fast as you can.”
12. The TalkSource:Getty
As if she hasn’t already accomplished a lot, Elaine can now add talk show host to her many accomplishments. The star recently announced that she will become the new host of The Talk, replacing Eve. Learn More
13. Big Hair, Don’t CareSource:Getty
What’s an Elaine Welteroth post about her fabulousness, without mentioning her fabulous hair. While we know great things come from within — hard work, ambition, and drive — a girl can still look super cute while crushing those goals. The former Teen Vogue editor is super fly with her style, but we especially love the “style” she was born with, her mane. She’s known for her big curly fro with tinted blonde highlights. A working girl rocking her natural hair — what’s not to love about that.
14. And, She’s Just Getting StartedSource:Getty
Welteroth has done so much at such a young age. With so many credits under her belt already, time will only tell what else she has in store for the world. Whatever it is, we’re standing by and rooting for her — and everybody Black.