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In A World Where Everything Is Catered To White People, Selena Quintanilla Has Long Been The Splash Of Color My Latina Soul Needed

Long before shops the likes of Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 began to bank on her image to sell $54 shirts to non-Latinx hipsters, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an icon and legend for young Latinas living across the globe. Ask a Latina and no doubt she has some sort of connection the Tejano singer whether its coordinating sons to “Baila Esta Cumbia” with her primas or playing her VHS biopic on repeat until the tape ran thin. The queen of Latinx music will always be an influential personality in Latino culture in the United States. Her music and the tragic circumstances of her death made her a pop culture phenomenon that escaped the niche Hispanic market. After her death, Hollywood studios furiously vied for the rights to adapt her incredible rags-to-riches story to the big screen. Selena is a fundamental Latino icon even 23 years after her death in 1995, at the tender age of 23.

Next time someone asks you at a party why you tear up listening to the late great Selena, be sure to serve them with these facts:

1. She brought Tejano music to mainstream America and proved women are capable of anything.

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She is amazing ???? #selenaquintanilla#90s#fashion

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Before Selena Mexican-American music was considered an eccentricity and was definitely not played in non-Hispanic clubs and radio stations.  Speaking about the experience of being a Latinx signer, Selena once said “Tejano music was hard for us because I was a girl. My dad had a lot of problems while trying to set up shows for us or presentations because there are a lot of men who don’t think that women can get the attention of the public. But . . . wrong!” No doubt the Texas-born singer changed these harsh attitude during her life and after her untimely death.

2. She valued family

Selena might have gained worldwide notoriety in her own right, but long before she was just Selena she had a career as part of the Quintanilla family group Selena y Los Dinos, where her two older siblings also made pompas shake. Like the rest of us, familia was always important to Selena and she never forgot her origins and the role that her family had in her success. Speaking about the struggles she was grateful for enduring with her family, Selena said “We went through a hard time, and we had to turn to music as a means to putting food on the table. And we’ve been doing it ever since. No regrets either.”

3. She was proud of her heritage

Singing in Spanish when you’re not fluent can be a pretty challenging act in itself if you want to break into the mainstream, and Selena was unapologetic about her efforts to do so. “I feel very proud to be Mexican,” Selena once said in an interview about her culture. “I didn’t have the opportunity to learn Spanish when I was a girl, but . . . it’s never too late to get in touch with your roots.” Many singers and actors of Latino origin change their names for a more English-sounding or a more neutral one. But not our Selena. She didn’t look for a fancy name and good on her: Selena is such a powerful, defining name that shines on any billboard.

4. She knew that not all women are straight-sized and many have curves

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, but it has long been dictated by mass media which has, in so many cases, severely distorted our perceptions of women’s bodies. Selena was proud of her curves. Eso mija, eres una fregona.  “I’m very real, very sincere, and honest, and that’s how I’ll always be,” the star once said in an interview. 

5. She had a unique style

Amidst the customary images and selling points of whitewashed media and the current political turmoils of today, it can be hard for a Latina to feel confident in her identity. Selena did so with aplomb. Her wardrobe choices were interesting and daring in equal measure, which is probably one of the reasons behind her success as a pop culture brand.  She was criticized by more conservative audiences for “revealing too much”. We say al carajo con sus juicios.  Still, the Tejano singer stayed strong her opinions about her self, saying once, “Always believe that the impossible is always possible.”

6. Because she showed that Latinas can be captains of their fate as well as the fiercest activists.

“What I don’t like are arrogant people. We’re all equal. I don’t like it when a person assumes to be better,” Quintanilla once stated in an interview.  Her posthumous campaign with cosmetics giant MAC demonstrated that Latino women in particular and women of color, in general, could and should carry campaigns. She was beautiful and the world needed to see that.

7. She was active in her community “All I need to do is try and do the best that I can do”

As a minority, solidarity is key for the Latino community in the United States, particularly today. Selena embodied community values and never forgot her fellow Mexican-Americans. Certainly an example we should all follow. She grew up in Texas, where migratory patterns and backwards thinking about race make various segments of the Hispanic population feel vulnerable. Power to the people!

8. Her power was undeniable.

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Not that a proud Latina needs validation, but even conservative former president George W. Bush couldn’t help but deny the impact of her legacy. Before he was President G.W.B was governor of Texas. He declared Selena’s birthday National Selena Day, a day in which Latino identity and cultural legacy are celebrated. She was bigger than Tejano music itself, and her death was a day for mourning all throughout her home state. In the picture, we can see the Texan queen with legendary actor Marlon Brando.

9. Because she gave us another Latina star: J-Lo

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Selena continued to give even beyond the grave. In 1997 Warner Bros. released a much-hyped biopic in which the boricua diva Jennifer Lopez shined and became a star in her own right. The circumstances are sad but fate gave us two proud Latina queens. And yes, we will never have enough Latina stars will we? Donde cabe una caben mil. 

10. She urged children to stay en la escuela (don’t drop out, escuincles!)

“Music is not a very stable business. You know it comes and it goes, and so does money. But your education stays with you for the rest of your life.” Selena knew how important education is for minorities in the United States, and that hard work and academic development are the only way for the community to strive. She constantly visited schools and urged young chamacos not to drop out. Respect.

11. Because she was an independent self-made woman “If you have a dream, don’t let anybody take it away”

She was young but life taught her that all you have is yourself. We can’t believe she was just 23 when she died. Truly wise beyond her years.


Read: Mariah Carey Got Real About Being Biracial And Her Words Will Undoubtedly Have Afro-Latinas Feeling So Seen

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Forever 21 Debuts New Line Of Selena Merch ‘The White Rose’

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Forever 21 Debuts New Line Of Selena Merch ‘The White Rose’

A brand new line of Selena Quintanilla merch has arrived at Forever 21, and we’re all feeling muy excited.

The popular clothing retail store debuted “The White Rose” collection Thursday, with T-shirts, pants, hoodies and accessories celebrating La Reina de Tejano available in its stores and online. Prices range from $3.90 to $78.

On Friday, the late icon’s sister Suzette gave a sneak peak of the collection when she shared a video of herself sporting a hoodie with the “Como La Flor’s” singer’s face on it.

“Trying super hard to look cooollll in this new Forever 21 X SELENA hoodie,” she said.

Suzette, who famously played the drums in the Quintanilla family band Selena y Los Dinos, also attended a F21 meet-and-greet event at a Cerritos, Calif. location, where fans swarmed the shop in their Selena tops excited to take pictures.

“So much love and fun meeting everyone today,” Suzette wrote on Instagram after the event. “Saying thank you just doesn’t seem to really sum up how grateful I felt to receive all this love I felt today.”

But while most people are celebrating the new Selena-inspired gear and accessories, others have expressed disappointment, both in the brand and the Quintanilla family.

As for Forever 21, most of the items in the collection aren’t available in plus-size. According to the Revelist, of the 94 pieces, just six have curvy offerings, including graphic tees, one that’s not available yet, and plus-size jeans that are web-exclusive, and anyone with meat on their hips and legs knows how difficult it is to find a pair that fits, making in-store fittings necessary. Even more, while straight-size items include several crop tops, all the plus-size tops are full-coverage.

Several women of size expressed their disappointment in the collection’s lack of plus-size offerings, and Suzette, who also identifies as plus-size, weighed in.

“Hi, I totally understand but there is a couple shirts that are come in our sizes,” Suzette responded. “I really hope I can have the opportunity again to create a collection with a [lot] more for us plus size girls.”


Neither she nor her family, however, has responded to the second critique of the collaborative collection: That the Quintanilla family decided to work with a fast-fashion brand that is famous for sweatshop-like factories and animal abuse.

On Instagram, owner of the Etsy shop Barbarawarbara, called out the Quintanilla family’s ethics and double standards. The designer, who has created pins, pouches and shirts celebrating the singer, common among Etsy shops, revealed that the Quintanilla family threatened to sue her for inexpensive merch while teaming up with a big brand that has a troubling history, particularly for exploiting workers of color.

The debut comes almost two weeks before the 24th anniversary of the Tejana icon’s death.

Read: The Best Tributes To Selena Devoted Fans Of The Reina Made This Year

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The Best Tributes To Selena Devoted Fans Of The Reina Made This Year

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The Best Tributes To Selena Devoted Fans Of The Reina Made This Year

At the height of her fame, Selena was a Tejano star whose concert attendance shattered records both abroad and at home while also gaining her certain type of love and adoration that can only be attributed to her fans.

Here’s a look at the best tributes to Selena’s legacy.

Country music star Kacey Musgraves paid homage to the late Tejano reina at Rodeo Houston where Selena gave her final performance.

@KaceyMusgraves / Twitter

The six-time Grammy Award winner’s reverent rendition of the beloved Selena song couldn’t have been performed on a more appropriate day. In keeping with Selena’s performance at the Houston Astrodome, which was song 24 years to the day, Musgraves entered the dome on a horse while wearing a white jumpsuit.

Musgraves’ decision to sing in Spanish lends a thread of unity to her audience.

@laflorhes / Twitter

In recent years, Musgraves has proved herself to be a far cry from the traditional image of a country music star. Country music has long been part of a history of anti-gay, racist, and conservative sentiment. The imageries most associated with the genre, ones related to empty bottles of whiskey, pick up trucks and blondes in cowboy beats aren’t ones that many liberals of colors are either eager to hitch their wagons to.

It’s why, when the LGBTQ+ affirming singer sang to a crowd of country music lovers in Spanish so many outside of the country music community felt particularly touched and optimistic.

Fans of Selena have been quick to comment on posts about the country singer’s cover with one fan writing “Kacey musgraves Spanish accent is pretty good and why? because she’s Different she’s that new type of country.”

Others were quick to share how immediate Kacey’s gesture to include Spanish speakers in her lineup affected her fans. “The crowd surrounding me were chatting and I heard comments such as, “Who is this?” and “Is she speaking Spanish?” They were younger non-kids of color so she may have unknowingly introduced Selena to a new crowd!” another Twitter user wrote.

Cardi B Paid Also Tribute to Selena Before Her Record-Breaking Performance at the Houston Rodeo

Cardi B has always repped her Latinx heritage loudly and proudly, including supporting and collaborating with fellow Latinx artists like Bad Bunny and Bruno Mars. She took the Latinx love even further by taking to social media to pay tribute to the Queen of Tejano music herself: Selena Quintanilla.

As we previously reported, Cardi B was chosen to perform at the famous Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show–otherwise known as the biggest rodeo in the world. In line with her heretofore history-making career, Cardi B broke further boundaries by smashing the rodeo’s previous attendance record and playing to a massive audience of 75,580 people.

Before hitting the stage, Cardi took to social media to share with fans how nervous she was to perform in front of such a large audience.

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Wearing a very fitting sparkly pink cowgirl outfit, Cardi stood in front of a picture of Selena, also dressed in a western-style outfit, and addressed her 41 millions followers.

“I was so nervous to perform in front of 70,000-plus people, but when I saw this picture,” Cardi said, pointing to the photo of Selena wearing her signature bustier and an off-the-shoulder leather jacket, “…I knew I was gonna be alright.”

According to Cardi, the outfit Selena was wearing in the photo was the style inspiration for her recent “Please Me” music video.

In her “Please Me” music video, Cardi B wears a very similar purple bedazzled Western-style leather jacket and matching bustier along with corn-rowed hair stacked with gold beads, effectively repping both sides of her Afro-Latina heritage.

Cardi continued to stan for Selena by singing along with a recording of “Como La Flor” that was playing in the background, including turning and serenading the picture of Selena on the wall.

Twenty-four years after her death, Traveling Selena made sure the singer’s influence is still being felt across the world.

Today, nearly 30 years after her death, the American singer’s legacy has continued its stretch across the globe, partially in thanks to a devoted Instagram profile called Traveling Selena which features the late singer in Barbie doll form at some of the most recognizable sights around the world.

In the style of a traveling gnome, the Instagram account is taking n the Tejano singer to some of the most recognizable sights in the world. Even more exciting the page’s creator features Selena wearing some of her more memorable outfits. The page’s account describes itself as taking pics in front of some of the most beautiful places! Outfits and pics are all my own.”

So far Selena has gone to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

During her career, Selena expanded her fan following by touring New York City, Argentina, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central America. At the time of her death, despite her broad international fan base which included countries such as Japan and Australia, she had not traveled much outside of the Americas. Now ya girl is getting to do the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom wherever the account goes. Including.

To Phuket.

Where even ancient dragons aren’t as fire as her replicated outfits.

They’ve even taken her to San Fran…

Where Selena’s most basic fan base will adore the Instagrammable pics taken by the bridge and the house from “Full House.”

And to see one of the world’s most iconic figures of all: Selena herself in wax form.

How meta.

And to San Diego

I love that they have Selena being a true millenial taking pciks in front of mural art.

As well as the zoo

And heading off to bless the animals at the zoo with her presence.

Even to her own mural

The best part of these pics is that we now get to add locations to our bucket list.

And Khao San Road

Literall watching Selena head off to all of these places is giving me so much wanderlust.

The Phi Phi Islands

Her trip to Thailand looks like the best ever and now I want to go take a vacay at a tropical get away.

On a Tuk Tuk

This is the best look above all and now I want to hop on a tuk tuk and take a ride!

All of the way to Sunset Station

Nothing more divine than Selena in her Dreaming of You outfit.

Aruba

Selena visiting the Caribbean?! Hope the account takes her back to Puerto Rico.

And Multnoham Falls

Selena literally living our best lives beyond the grave is everything.

And of course Avatar Land!

James Cameron would be so lucky to include the Latina icon in his wonderfully made up land.

BB even got to Palace of Fine Arts

Selena being her most real Barbie self outside of the palace of fine arts is everything .

And to the Cola factory!

And look at her chilling next to her favorite beverage of choice.

Girl got herself to Vegas!

Seeing the diva showing off a totally classic outfit on the strip will give you major going out vibes. Bidi bidi bom bom.

And The Full House house

Selena rocking her fullest self at the Full House house will give you all kinds of nostalgia for forever.

Of course Her favorite place in all of the land!

Selena went to visit her favorite state in the country: Texas for Halloween and got dressed up as the true reina that she is.

And last but not least the gum wall

Wearing one of her iconic outfits, Selena suited up to go to the gum wall.


Read: Netflix Posted Beautiful Throwbacks Of Yalitza Aparicio, Now #YalitzaChallenge Is A Thing

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