banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

BOOK REVIEW: More than Enough – Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth

| 15 April 2020 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: More than Enough- Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
Ebury Press
June 2019
Paperback, $35.00
Reviewed by Natalie Salvo

Non-Fiction / Biographies & Memoir

100% Rocking

People often like to talk about “trailblazers” but journalist and editor Elaine Welteroth really embodies this title. At 29 years old, she became the youngest ever editor of a Condé Nast magazine when she was appointed to helm, Teen Vogue. In her memoir via manifesto, More than Enough, she describes how she undertook this sometimes difficult but ultimately moving journey.

This book is not a career manual…
This is not intended to be read as self-help, though I do open up about how I have overcome fear—again and again—through my faith. This also isn’t the story of how Teen Vogue got woke, though I do reflect on how I woke up to the power of my own voice, and how I learned to use it to advocate for my beliefs.
Instead, consider this book a love letter—to anyone who’s felt othered, (sic) overlooked, overwhelmed, underestimated, undervalued, and still chooses to overcome.

Welteroth’s prose is very smooth and easy to read. She tackles some big issues like race and intersectionality with the same kind of aplomb as Clementine Ford. While Welteroth does delve into some difficult subjects at times, she is always a compelling storyteller. You sense that Welteroth is being as candid and honest with her readers as she would be if she were whispering secrets to her best friend. Unlike other memoirs, Welteroth doesn’t hold things back or present only the glossy version of her memories and for that, readers will be grateful.

My face then appeared in a Twitter Moment next to this headline: Teen Vogue Appointed Elaine Welteroth Youngest Editor-in-Chief in Condé Nast History.” Within hours, that headline became national news.
While I was still struggling to understand what my promotion even meant, the world was applauding me for making history.
I have thought back to that moment many times and grappled with a sense of shame and even blame over how powerless I felt in what from the outside looked like the most empowered moment in my career. Even years later, it’s hard to untangle one feeling from the other.

In her story, Welteroth describes her childhood, growing up with a white, hopeless romantic father and her sassy and practical, African-American mother. Welteroth’s Mum often doles out some useful advice to her daughter, but the author is like any other youth ignoring their parent’s wisdom. There are moments when Welteroth is forced to learn some lessons the hard way and she should be commended for sharing these with other people. Her anecdotes are relatable and filled with so much knowledge, we can all learn a little something from them.

As a journalist and a truth seeker, I believe there are universal gems buried in the stories women never tell.
I have often found myself situated in the in-between, stretched like a bridge between worlds: Black and White, beauty and activism, the past and the future. But in this sliver of space, this intersection I now own, I have learned to create magic.

It would be easy for those who didn’t know Welteroth to assume that everything just fell into place for her. This book proves that she did face her fair share of setbacks. She also worked damn hard, hustling her way to carve out space in a predominantly white industry. The media seemed closed to a self-confessed brown girl from California but Welteroth would begin her career at Ebony magazine before graduating to Glamour and eventually, Teen Vogue. At the latter, she would become close with Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, and these days is pursuing a career in television as a judge on Project Runway.

I was born on DECEMBER 20, 1986, and according to the card I found in my Easter basket one year and taped on my bedroom wall, Elaine means “ray of light.” Combine that with “world of fire,” the translation of my German surname, and you get what my mom describes as a girl with a “sho ‘nuff fire in her belly.”

This book is electric in many ways. Welteroth peppers her text with inspiring quotes from famous people. She also describes things with such clear-headed forthrightness that it’s hard not to come away from it feeling energised. Perhaps I happened to read this book at the right time, but it really reached out and spoke to me in ways that other titles haven’t done for some time.

Our lives are a series of dreams realized. We don’t say that enough to young people….
The truth is, job titles are temporary. But purpose is infinite.
There are no destinations, no happily ever afters in real life. No glossy pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.
There are only new beginnings.
Just as you reach your first summit, you’ll find a different horizon awaits, one with new mountains to climb, new peaks and valleys to wander across. Truth that life will continue molding (sic) you, challenging you, and readying you for your next adventure. But only you can choose to walk away from what no longer serves you, to leave what you’ve already conquered and to step boldly into what’s still to come….
Remember: you have done enough. You are enough. You were born enough. The world is waiting for you.

Elaine Welteroth is an inspiring woman who has achieved so much in her 32 years. Her memoir lives up to her long list of extraordinary accomplishments and offers us some soul food for thought. Brimming with a warmth that speaks from the heart and fire in her belly, it is one that encourages readers to stand tall, long after her last paragraph.

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

Natalie Salvo is a foodie and writer from Sydney. You can find her digging around in second hand book shops or submerged in vinyl crates at good record stores. Her website is at:

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad