More than two decades after her passing, Selena remains an icon for Latinas. Young girls throw parties inspired by the Queen of Tejano. She serves as inspiration for beauty and fashion bloggers. Our biggest stars were named after her. And “Si Una Vez” “La Llamada” and “No Debes Jugar” are the karaoke go-to tunes when we’re heartbroken.
While we will all carry our love for Sel till the day our hearts stop going bidi bidi bom bom, some fans have dedicated their lives and careers to maintaining the reina’s legacy. Here, 6 Latinas who are ensuring that every generation and every demographic knows the estrella, Selena Quintanilla.
As her older sis, Suzette Quintanilla has played a pivotal role in keeping the memory of Selena alive. From helping to organize Fiesta de la Flor, being a part of a new ABC drama inspired by Selena and speaking about her at events across the country, Suzette remains her late hermanita’s biggest fan.
In Los Angeles, Nira is the lead singer of The Como la Flor Band, a tribute group for la reina. Whether dressed as Selena while performing one of her tunes at Latinx events across California or talking about how the Tejana inspired her love for music, she keeps Sel’s legacy alive with every note and cumbia step.
When Patty Rodriguez isn’t making fierce golden necklaces for her jewelry brand MALA by Patty Rodriguez or acting as the senior producer for “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” this Mexican-American is pushing for more representation of Selena. Not only did the mujer start the petition that led to MAC creating its Selena Quintanilla makeup line but she is also the co-creator of Lil’ Libros, a line of children’s books, with one dedicated to Selenas herself.
Dr. Deborah Paredez is a Selena expert — literally. The San Antonio native is a scholar whose research centers on the megastar. Her book “Selenidad” looks at how Selena has been commemorated by the Latinx community following her death and how acts of remembering her parallel with Latina identity production.
Perla Campos is the product marketing manager at Google Doodles. A long-time admirer of Selena, she’s the woman behind the Tex-Mex star’s doodle honor last year. “Aside from incredible dance moves and how to belt some serious notes, watching Selena taught me that being Latina was a powerful thing, and that with hard work and focus I could do whatever I set my mind to,” the mexicana said in a letter that accompanied the Google Doodle, which launched an online exhibit of Selena and an interview with Suzette Quintanilla.
Ana Guajardo is the Latina behind Cha Cha Covers, a shop that sells nail wraps featuring Latina pop culture icons and moments. It’s no surprise then that Sel is a major hit. From Selena portraits to concert performances, the artist allows nails to act as icebreakers for people to talk about the legacy of our Latina estrella.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.