From her unforgettable music, to her bubbly personality and incredible sense of fashion, Selena Quintanilla has always been and continues to be a huge icon for many Latinos. And as a way to wish La Reina a happy birthday, here are different birthday cakes people have made of her in the past.
Everyone deserves a birthday cake as fierce and beautiful as this one:
Twenty-two years have passed since Latinas across the globe watched in awe as Jennifer Lopez took on the role of Tejano music icon Selena in the biopic of her life. The 1997 classic lovingly spotlighted the singer’s life and death years ago and, in the years since, has been a sort of cultural Latino touchstone for young girls who didn’t have the chance to grow up watching the singer herself.
Now, young Latinas who didn’t get to see the classic in the theaters during its original release will have a chance to do just that this weekend.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music has announced that it will screen a new digital print of the film in theaters this weekend.
Back in 1997, when the film was originally released, “Selena” spent fifteen weeks at the box office. It’s time in theaters proved that Latinos could not only direct films, but they could star in them as well while also drawing massive audiences to movie theater seats. At the time, the film marked a breakout moment for actress, singer, and dancer Jennifer Lopez.
If you’re in NYC this weekend and plan on attending the screening, here are some fun facts to remember while watching!
Fans of Selena protested when they learned Jennifer Lopez was playing Selena.
Selena’s fans began protesting the film once they learned that Jennifer Lopez was taking on the role of their beloved singer. Many thought that Lopez, a Puerto Rican from New York, was unfit to play the Mexican-American from Texas.
Six other women gave J.Lo a run for her money.
Three women from the open call were selected and three other actresses including Salma Hayek and Bibi Gaytán were considered.
Jackie Guerra lied about her talents.
Jackie Guera who played the role of Suzette, wanted the role so badly that she lied at her audition and said that she was an expert drummer. Suzette later gave her private lessons.
“Selena” almost became a victim of brownface.
The film’s director had to fight to get Lopez the role of Selena. At the time, Warner Bros was considering a non-Latina actress to take on the role which would have been AWFUL.
Jennifer Lopez lip-synched
Creators feared that fans would be upset if they saw Lopez singing the song on her own. So Lopez was coached to lip-synch instead.
Abraham Quintanilla didn’t want to show Selena’s murder.
The film which came out just two years after Selena’s death was likely a very hard project for Abraham to work on. He didn’t want to show his daughter’s death but the film’s director convinced him it was necessary.
Constance Marie could be Jennifer Lopez’s sister.
Lopez and Marie play mother and daughter in the movie. But in real life, Marie is only 4 years older than Jennifer Lopez.
There are tons of perks to getting older. You’re finally allowed to do all the things you couldn’t wait to do when growing up. You have more personal freedoms and — with every year — you get another opportunity to celebrate your birthday. As awesome as these events can be, they never quite live up to the birthday parties of our childhoods.
The piñatas, the presents, the pastel — these celebrations were really one of a kind and have set the standard for all the merry-making of our lives. There’s really nothing like the gatherings of our early years and we have plenty of fond memories that prove that our childhood birthday parties really couldn’t be beat when it came to food, fun and family.
1. Getting to go all out with your birthday outfit.
Instagram / @cant_read_cause_im_blind
Just like our parties nowadays, birthdays are an occasion to show out with our best looks. Back then it might have meant appearing in your prettiest princess dress or whatever outfit you had to grab everyone’s attention. Whatever it was, it needed to let the whole party know that they were there for your big day.
2. Having your party be an excuse for a mini-family reunion.
Twitter / @GeorgeDomimguez
Your birthday party was basically an excuse for your parents to invite every adult they knew. That mostly meant an invite to family members you couldn’t really remember. This wasn’t a problem, though. After all, more guests means more presents.
3. Getting cash slipped to you as you greet all your tias and tios.
Speaking of presents, remember when your older family members would causally slip you the best birthday present there is. We’re talking about cold, hard cash. Your birthday party was the one day of the year where your mom didn’t have to nag you about saying “hi” to everyone. You were already ready to get that green even if it meant letting all the tias pinch your cheeks.
4. Going wild with your primos in the bounce house.
Instagram / @njtoddleradventures
The bounce house is a staple at any birthday party but they really posed an opportunity for us to go wild as kids. This wasn’t meant to be a relaxing jump; most of the time we were honestly trying to tip this thing over.
5. Taking that same energy to the dance floor when your favorite song came on.
Instagram / @aferzystka
Another place that we were able to let loose was the dance floor. Back then, it didn’t matter if we didn’t know the dance moves or didn’t have the rhythm down. All that mattered was that we were tiring ourselves out and working up an appetite.
6. The overwhelming amount of food your family prepared.
Twitter / @carliannvela
Speaking of being hungry, if there’s one thing that our culture appreciates, it’s food. Back in the day, we all had bottomless stomachs and didn’t have to worry about la dieta. Those were the days.
7. Having more beer than kids at the party.
Twitter / @bluestripzjulio
It didn’t seem strange when we were kids, but it definitely makes us laugh now. Growing up, there was always an excess of cerveza at every party we went to. Be it baby shower or christening, beer was always in supply but no time more than during our childhood birthday parties. Now we’re the one’s bring the six-packs into the parties.
8. Whacking that piñata filled with all your favorite candy.
Twitter / @ririgreeena
No party is complete without a piñata. Who among us doesn’t have a picture like this from one of our parties. While most of us are now on piñata duty, back then we got to take out our aggression by whacking the candy out of these party staples.
9. Having all your drunken tios singing “Happy Birthday” to you.
Instagram / @blue_eyez1333
Back during these childhood birthdays, we would have to sit through “Happy Birthday” in both English and Spanish. Sometimes, “Las Mañanitas” was also brought out depending how drunk the tios were. Now, when we suffer through that as adults, it’s usually our friends drunkenly singing to us.
10. That one family member that just had to smash your face into the cake.
Twitter / @celestefayala
Some things you never grow out of and this is one of them. We call this a birthday facial and the sooner you get it over with, the sooner we can eat some cake.
11. Surviving a cascarones battle with all the other kids (and some of the adults).
Instagram / @vankoran
Cascarones are the colorful, confetti-filled eggs that Mexicans have during Easter and at birthday parties. You definitely don’t miss these if you were the kid all the other kids targeted. We’ve still got confetti in our hair from our last cascaron battle.
12. Having tons of pictures taken of you all throughout the party.
Instagram / @callmesabrina
Having a whole group of people yell at you to smile while blinding you with flashes doesn’t seem like it would be a fond memory but it is. Maybe that’s why we love taking selfies so much.
13. Planning next years party before your last guest even leaves the house.
Instagram / @thealarconlife
One year down and, hopefully, many more to go. When we were kids, we never minded growing older. Catch us at the next children’s birthday party, reliving these memories as adults.