Hey lovelies! So earlier this year I set an intention to read a memoir about the award-winning journalist and Project Runway’s Elaine Welteroth. I have been following her on social media for a while and being a black journalist myself, I aspire to become a trailblazer like her.
Published in 2019, this part-memoir, part-manifesto “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth transcends social and political barriers by exploring how to find your own identity on your own terms in the workplace.
Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of an unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change-makers.
Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough.
I am fascinated by how many inspirational quotes are packed inside this book! From her childhood to becoming the Editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue in 2016, Welteroth uses beauty as a lens through which she explores identity, culture, self-expression, self-acceptance, and diversity. She takes you through this journey of redefining what it means to be a woman in power and creates platforms for minorities to be seen and heard.
Welteroth openly and unapologetically shares her mistakes and secrets for making it in the industry and her encounters with powerful black women like Serena Williams, Ava DuVernay, and Michele Obama. She doesn’t try to blend in or conform to other people’s perceptions of her but rather she embraces her identity to realize that is more than enough.
As a black girl, her message to embrace ourselves as we are melanin, curls, and all is so inspiring. So often we have to navigate through spaces that weren’t designed for us and taught to make ourselves shrink in the presence of the white majority. We internalize images we see in the media of black girls who are hypersexualized being put in degrading positions and stereotypes that perpetuate racism, colorism, and discrimination. But Welteroth challenges these predispositions by voicing that we should choose to expand and make our presence known because black girls are valuable, beautiful, intellectual and we are powerful.
Welteroth reminds young women of color not to wait for change to happen, but that we are the ones who must make it happen in the workplace and through social and political activism in every aspect of our lives. I believe through her words of empowerment that my generation is able to rewrite the rules and that we shall continue to fight for what we believe in by supporting one another. This is our time to rise up and use our power to vote, to make change happen, and to create our own table.