I only heard about Elaine Welteroth recently. Fan of the tv show The Bold Type, I read in an article that the style of the character of Kat (Aisha Dee) was inspired by the one who had been the youngest editor of the magazine Teen Vogue. Intrigued, I immediately looked for her Instagram account, which is by the way absolutely amazing, and read some articles about her. And a few months later, she published her first book. Already a fan of this extraordinary woman, I did not have the patience to wait for a possible translation into French to read her story. “More Than Enough”, is, in her own words, a “half-memory, half-manifest” addressing young women in order to point them to their own success. But before going further on the book, let me tell you about the author.
Elaine Welteroth is an American journalist, writer and writer born on December 10, 1986. She grew up in a mixed family: Her father is white, and her mother is black. This peculiarity of his identity will play an important role in the development of her social conscience, especially concerning sexism and racism. She has been able to impose her vision of the world, including in the Teen Vogue magazine that she runs in 2016, more diversity and political awareness among her young readers, thus changing the image of the magazine. It also manages to modernize it by giving more space to politic. This will be neither her first nor her last feat in the Condé Nast editions, since she was also the first black woman to become the director of the beauty and fashion section of Teen Vogue in 2012.
More Than Enough : claiming space for who you are
Empowerment is one of the trending words of recent years and it is this concept that is permeated with this book that distils anecdotes, life stories, reflections on society and advices. From her birth to her resignation from Teen Vogue, we follow her through the important moments of her life : the day she realized that her family was different from others, her job at Ebony magazine, her romantic relationships, her mistakes, her success… In an era where feminism is renewed and where women take a stand to speak of intersectionality, this type of work is indispensable because it shows an example of a black woman who is successful and reveals the reality of the difficulties she has faces, and how she overcame them. He becomes, to whom knows how to read and impregnate it, a source of inspiration. I found it easy to read. It was a bit like watching a series. Each chapter begins with a quote of the kind found on Instagram motivational accounts. Nothing better to propose topics of reflection, and to say that in the life, everything is possible.
What I learned from this book.
Elaine tells her story to her readers as she tells her to friends. Having been a teenager in the 2000’s, her references were for me very familiar and a pleasure to find during my reading. Reading her personal and professional background has shown me that even the most successful women make mistakes, have ups and downs, but are always persevering. Elaine had a vision. Without knowing how she would get there, she gave herself the means to achieve her goals and had the nerve to put herself forward, and enough self-confidence to impose her ideas and create changes around her. She also listened a lot to her instinct and intuition, the “je ne sais quoi” that inspired some of her decisions. Also, she learned the lessons of her mistakes but also of her successes. If you can do anything in English, I can only recommend that you read this book. There are also many interviews on the web, videos and podcasts. What better to know a woman a little better to the positive influence.