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Former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth speaks at ASM

Elaine Welteroth answers student questions at the ASM. Staff photographer Tessa ’19.

Award-winning journalist and former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue Elaine Welteroth spoke at an All-School Meeting on Wednesday, March 6 for International Women’s Day.

Welteroth became the second African American to hold the editor-in-chief title in Condé Nast’s 107-year history when she took over the role in 2017. During her time as editor, Welteroth focused on sharing stories of groups she felt were previously marginalized or excluded from mainstream media.

“As a journalist your job is to tell other people’s stories,” she said to the Marlborough community. “I’ve told other people’s stories for ten years – women, people of color, folks from the LGBT community – people who I felt’s voices were marginalized.”

 

Marlborough’s Girls Go Global club collaborated with the Alumni Council to bring Welteroth to Marlborough, and club members wrote questions to ask Welteroth during her Q&A with the school. Club co-leader Dorrit ’19 said they hoped students would be able to relate to Welteroth and find inspiration in her story.

“I think that just having someone who’s relatable to us – she’s young and super accomplished and has similar aspirations to a lot of girls who go here – made it a lot easier to find something to connect to in her speech,” Dorrit said.

Welteroth described her upcoming memoir, “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say),” as her offering to girls and women. She said social media often allows people to only see the “highlight reel” of others’ successes, and she wanted to “pull the curtain back” on how complicated people’s journeys can be. She said she encourages other young people to share their voices through their writing.

“There’s a beauty in the nostalgia in reading a good book and writing a good book, so I hope the next generation of readers will be more encouraged to write,” Welteroth said. “If you have a story to tell, write it.”

Many students said Welteroth’s story inspired them to pursue their own passions, regardless of what society dictates as acceptable.

“It was really cool that she did what she wanted to do, regardless of what other people told her she could or should do,” Kyra ’19 said.

Welteroth said she hopes her work will help eliminate stereotypes about female leadership and create more opportunities for women to hold high-level positions.

“I feel like it’s a person’s responsibility to make it easier and not confusing, less daunting and less isolating for the next [generation], for the second, the third and fourth,” she said. “We are kicking doors open so they can stay open.”

 

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