Culture

TV Special “Graduate Together” Gave The Class Of 2020 A Special Send-Off

Events across the world have been canceled because of Covid-19. This includes concerts, music festivals, Pride parades, and major sporting events. Yet, for high school seniors, their high school will end without the same traditions that many have enjoyed like prom and graduation.

LeBron James celebrated the graduating class of 2020 on a special night on television.

“You should’ve had a real graduation, I know. You should’ve had an incredible senior year, I know that as well. But you made a sacrifice, and you did it to keep your community safe and healthy,” James said during the broadcast.

James continued: “Our school are our safety net. Our people build our communities. To the class of 2020, as you celebrate tonight, do not forget your safety net. Every teacher, every coach, every pastor, they along with your friends and family got you to this moment. And now, it’s time to go to a new place.”

The special was filled with celebrities and public figures offering students words of encouragement as they close this chapter of their lives.

“Congratulations to everyone graduating,” Bad Bunny told the class of 2020 in Spanish. “I know that we are going through a very difficult and strong time for use, but we have to stay strong and don’t forget to be thankful and smile, even though I know that sometimes we don’t even want to smile. We have to look for a way to do it and stay positive.”

The musician added: “Work hard on everything that you set out to do, on all your goals, but remember that it doesn’t matter what we achieve. The most important thing is to respect each other. It’s respect and the values that we put into practice day to day that say who you are. They are what define us as people. Success is not measured in money. Success, to me, is the experiences and memories that we carry in our hearts forever.”

Zendaya gave the students, and teachers, a special message for the commencement ceremony.

The actress gave a special shoutout at the beginning of her speech to teachers. Zendaya noted that her mother is a teacher so she has first-hand knowledge of how hard teachers are working during this time. Hosting classes via Zoom with children is not the easiest way to teach in the world.

Zendaya then turned her talk to the graduating seniors. While the viral outbreak has interrupted the lives of billions of people, graduation is not the only defining moment of being a high school senior. Instead, Zendaya tries to remind the graduating class of 2020 that it is a series of life events that define your senior year. There is so much that people go through from the time they start school to the time they finish that truly define them and their experience. One moment, while memorable, is not the only thing that makes senior year the experience it is.

The class of 2020 was treated to a special shoutout from President Barack Obama.

Pres. Obama started by giving the students the same tired and true line. He highlighted how the adults that are making decisions are not all-knowing and are in fact learning as they go. This is something that we have all heard when we were younger but, for some reason, coming from Pres. Obama, it sounds empowering and calming. It really reminded people of what a president should sound like when addressing the American public.

Pres. Obama did call on the students to act differently then they had seen from some people in power. Specifically, Pres. Obama wanted to let students know that there was a right and a wrong way to respond to major events.

“Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy — that’s how little kids think,” Pres. Obama told the seniors. He added. “Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grown-ups, including some with fancy titles and important jobs, still think that way — which is why things are so screwed up.”

The special ended with a performance from the Jonas Brothers and Karol G.

“Taping our performance was amazing to me,” Karol G told Billboard about her performance. “I enjoyed it as if it were my own graduation. To have the opportunity to reach so many people, give them a good time despite all we’re going through, to celebrate with them this special date … It meant a lot to me.”

READ: Here’s To The Latina Graduates of 2020!

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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Someone Asked For Anya Taylor-Joy And Zendaya To Portray A Lesbian Couple And Twitter Said Yes

Entertainment

Someone Asked For Anya Taylor-Joy And Zendaya To Portray A Lesbian Couple And Twitter Said Yes

anyataylorjoy / zendaya / Instagram

Anya Taylor-Joy is definitely having a moment after the incredible success of “The Queen’s Gambit.” The Argentinian actress is on everyone’s mind after seeing her as a chess playing genius. Now, people want to see her and Zendaya as a lesbian couple in a period piece.

One tweet has sparked a fantastical conversation.

Author Tiffany Summer tweeted a fantasy project she would love to see: Zendaya and Anya Taylor Joy as lovers in a period piece. The photos that she uses are of the two at the 2018 Met Gala. That year’s theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” created some of the most iconic looks. The two women happened to come in outfits that could be from the same time period.

Some people are already trying to write this story to get it made.

The world seems to be ready for this story to become a thing. Queer representation is so needed right now. While there have been more queer stories told, people clearly want and need more lesbian stories out there. It is also something we have all seen from these two ladies.

Zendaya plays Rue in “Euphoria” and has even won an Emmy for her role in the HBO show. Rue is a queer teen and we have seen her relationship with Jules in the popular show.

Anya Taylor-Joy is fresh off of the success of Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit.” While her character, Beth Harmon, isn’t explicitly queer, there was a moment in the show. Beth spent a night with a French woman that she found attractive while in Paris for a tournament.

Basically, we have already seen these women play queer women and we want more.

There is a lot of interest in Taylor-Joy and Zendaya on their own. The two actresses are big names and their fan bases continue to grow. A mash-up of these two women would likely be a success.

Some people tweeted their discontent for the pairing of two more thin, femme lesbians in another period piece. The complaints include criticism that the tweet highlights non queer women to play queer roles.

Meanwhile, some people pointed out that this pairing could be the perfect way to do a live-action version of “Utena.”

“Revolutionary Girl Utena” is an anime show that aired in 1997. Utena is a tomboyish girl who demonstrates many masculine qualities, including impressive sword-wielding abilities. The entire time she is participating in a series of duels to win the hand of Anthy Himemiya, a.k.a. Rose Bride. Seems like a real fit, tbh.

READ: People Are Just Learning That Anya Taylor-Joy Is Latina And They Are Living For It

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