Culture

11 Reasons Why: What Makes Selena Special For Us Latinos

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez will always be an important 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, lecture them with these facts: 

1. She brought Tejano music to mainstream America… and showed girls can do anything

“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!”

Credit: Paving-Your-Way. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

Before Selena Mexican-American music was considered an eccentricity and was definitely not played in non-Hispanic clubs and radio stations. Selena changed all that during her life and after her untimely death. 

Credit: images. Digital image. NBC4

We are sure “Amor prohibido” is played at Latino and non-Latino weddings alike! 

2. She valued family

“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.”

Credit: 150327112631-02-selena-restricted-super-169 CNN. Digital image. CNN.

Familia is important for us Latinos and Selena never forgot her origins and the role that her family had in her success. This is a rare trait and certainly something that most mainstream celebrities lack. 

Credit: 636107575027683977-Selena-life-06. Digital image.  Corpus Christi Caller Times.

She started her career as part of the Quintanilla family group Selena y Los Dinos, where her two older siblings also made pompas shake. 

3. She was proud of her heritage

“I feel very proud to be Mexican. 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.”

Credit: Always-Remembering-Your-Roots. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

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. 

Credit: Selena-Quintanilla-Family-Talks-About-Movie-Selena-e1508233876918. Digital image. The Guardian Nigeria.

Singing in Spanish is a daring act in itself if you want to break into the mainstream, and she was unapologetic. 

4. Because real women have curves
“I’m very real, very sincere, and honest, and that’s how I’ll always be”

Credit: selena-quintanilla_vix. Digital image. VIX.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, but it is also defined by mass media. Which is unhealthy: there are hundreds of healthy body types and not all women are skinny like teenage models. Selena was proud of her curves. Eso mija, eres una fregona. 

Credit: Selena-selena-quintanilla-perez-28912004-500-336 . Digital image. Fanpop

She was the precursor of proud curvy Latinas today, reinas like America Ferrara and Gina Rodriguez. 

5. She had a unique style

“Always believe that the impossible is always possible”

Credit: EVFPWLKGDRH53M4YORIV5ZNFEU_Digital image. Los Angeles Times

It is hard for a Latino girl to reaffirm her identity. Selena did so with aplomb. Her wardrobe choices were interesting and daring in equal measure, which is probably one of the reasons of her success as a pop culture brand. 

Credit: Selena-Quintanilla-Net-Worth. Digital image. The Wealth Report

She was criticized by more conservative audiences for “revealing too much”. We say al carajo con sus juicios

6. Because she showed that Latinas can be kickass celeb sponsors
“What I don’t like are arrogant people. We’re all equal. I don’t like it when a person assumes to be better”

Credit: SELENA_BEAUTY_RGB_72.0.jpg . Digital image. tacked


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. 

Credit: s-l300.coke_111.Digital image. Selena Forever.

She also did work with Coca-Cola, one of the epitomes of American culture worldwide. 

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

Credit: selena306. Digital image. Selena Forever

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. 

Credit: Selena85. Digital image. Selena Forever.

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. Because even George W. Bush recognized her legacy and A-listers loved her (not that a proud Latina needs validation, but this proves she was a positive ambassador for multiculturalism)
“You shouldn’t care for somebody just because of the materialistic things that they have, and I’m a firm believer in that”

Credit: Working-Hard-So-You-Can-Play-Harder. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

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 is celebrated. 

Credit: Selena_Marlon. Digital image. Selena Forever.


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

Credit: Selena. Warner Bros.


Selena keeps giving 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.

READ: 25 Facts About The “Selena” 1997 Movie You Probably Completely Missed

Credit: Selena. Warner Bros.

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”

Credit: fans5. Digital image. Selena Forever.

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. 

Credit: Being-Grateful. Digital image. Pop Sugar.

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

Credit: Never-Underestimating-Yourself. Digital image. PopSugar.

She was young but life taught her that all you have is yourself! 

Credit: selena-y-chris-perez-abraza. Digital image. Telem. undo

We can’t believe she was just 23 when she died. Truly wise beyond her years. She even eloped with hubby Chris Perez as a sign of independence. 

This Indiana Artist Is Getting Praise For His Aztec Style Drawings That Include Selena And Prince

Entertainment

This Indiana Artist Is Getting Praise For His Aztec Style Drawings That Include Selena And Prince

qetzaart / Instagram

For the last few years, Jorge Garza has been making a name for himself in the world of art with his Aztec-inspired drawings infused with pop culture figures. Garza’s Instagram page is a showcase of his unique work that includes illustrations of Latin figures like the Chapulín and luchador fighters. He goes by the artist name Quetza as a nod to his Aztec work that he’s heavily influenced by. 

Whether its the graphics, colors, and finishes in his work, Garza’s work is a testament to his knowledge and passion for Aztec art. His work showcases many sharp details and takes a classic process, from pencil sketches to digitization. While his style is varied in some ways from original Aztec style work he still includes details like the use of skulls, snakes, and details of Mexican culture. Garza also has his own online store where he showcases and sells many of his own original designs. Currently, he is working on an art book that will be focusing on his passion of Aztec/Pop Culture. 

While the Northwest Indiana artist has been around for quite some time, he might have gotten his biggest moment yet as his drawing of the “Queen of Tejano” got quite the attention online. Within hours of posting his “Aztec Selena” illustration on Facebook, the image was met with overwhelming attention from fans and strangers alike.  

Anytime you can pay tribute to the queen Selena you’re going to get love on social media.

Credit: qetzaart / Instagram

His Selena artwork was quickly shared and spread across social media with many in return getting to look at Garza’s overall portfolio of work. Upon first posting the sketch on Facebook Wednesday, Garza had no clue that it would receive more than 5,000 shares and well over 3,000 likes.

“I love Aztec artwork and its been a big influence in my work,” Garza told My San Antonio. “I respect Selena and the influence she has had on Mexican-American culture so I uploaded it … and I did not expect the feedback I had. It’s overwhelming.”

He says his viral drawing is a testament to the love and adoration that Selena fans still have even after all these years after her passing. Garza had planned to draw this specific piece for years and felt like now was the perfect time to put together this tribute to the “Como la Flor” singer. 

His collection of Aztec-inspired illustrations come from a special place in Garza’s heart. He grew up with a love for Mexican pre-Hispanic art that he learned about at a young age.

Credit: qetzaart / Instagram

As a young boy living in Indiana, Garza learned about Aztec culture and the complexity of the civilizations during that time period. But it was the artwork during that time that truly inspired him to become an artist. Since then, Garza has devoted himself to learning more about Aztec graphics and culture. 

While he gets inspiration from Aztec history, Garza has also thrown in a bit of his personal for pop culture into his artwork. Whether that’s including characters from X-Men, Batman, Marvel or Transformers, it’s his way of staying true to himself all while paying tribute to the past. 

Besides just illustrations, Garza has shown his versatility as an artist when he previously released a horror comic called Wrath of the Giver. He’s also put out a compilation book of Aztec art and pop culture with some of his best work so far. 

Fans of his work took to social media to share their appreciation for Garza’s latest illustration. 

Credit: @nate_sdsu / Twitter

Garza has proven to be an artistic inspiration to some on social media who are praising him for his work and his tribute to Latin art. There is a growing market for pop culture-inspired work like Garza’s all over the internet and with his latest piece blowing up we’re sure this isn’t the last time we see one of his pieces circulating on social media. 

For fans of Garza’s work, he’ll be at the Big Texas Comicon at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center from Sept. 20-22. 

READ: 5 Years After They Went Missing, The Case Of The 43 Missing Ayotzinapa Students Is Nowhere Near Answered

The Netflix Production Of Selena Finally Cast Abraham And Abraham Jr.

Entertainment

The Netflix Production Of Selena Finally Cast Abraham And Abraham Jr.

We’ve been there every step of the way. From the announcement late last year that Netflix and the Quintanilla’s would be teaming up to bring us the official coming-of-age story of Selena to the audition process of the series, to the casting of Selena herself. It’s been thrilling just to experience the process because that means we’re that much closer to filming the actual show. Now we have two more additions to the series. 

Actors Ricardo Chavira and Gabriel Chavarria will be playing the roles of Abraham senior and Abraham Jr. — Selena’s father and brother. 

Credit: @DEADLINE / Twitter

Deadline is reporting that actors Ricardo Chavira and Gabriel Chavarria have been cast in the “Selena: The Series” — which is also been referred to as “the official story of Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla.” If you’re wondering why Netflix isn’t announcing any of the actors that are being cast in the project, it’s because they are keeping hush about it entirely, which we find a little strange.

Why won’t Netflix officially announce this news, considering it is their project? We’re going to assume that they don’t want to commit to any of these actors. For example, what if the actors don’t reflect what the Quintanillas want? They can change them at any point, but the thing is, that could happen regardless if Netflix made it official or not. It’s all a little bizarre. It’s also quite noticeable that the actors aren’t saying a thing about it on social media either. 

You may remember Ricardo Chavira as Carlos Solis in “Desperate Housewives.”

Credit: ricardoachavira / Instagram

Yes, he played Eva Longoria’s husband! He’s also had a slew of roles since including on “Burn Notice,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” and “Jane the Virgen.” 

Chavira, who tweets regularly, has yet to comment on his new role. There’s also no information about the series on Imdb.com, at least not about the actors. 

Gabriel Chavarria will play Selena’s brother. Most recently he starred in the USA Network/Syfy series “The Purge.”

Credit: gabeiswitit / Instagram

Chavarria could also be seen in “East Los High” as Jacob Aguilar, the film “War for the Planet of the Apes,” and as Danny in the movie “Lowriders.” He’s also staying mum on the topic as well. 

Last month, it was also announced that Christian Serratos from “The Walking Dead” was cast in the title role of Selena.

Credit: christianserratos / Instagram

Netflix, the Quintanillas, and Serratos, of course, is you guessed it, remaining tight-lipped about the topic. So all of this information is based on unnamed sources. 

The only “official” word about this project came last year from Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla.

Credit: suzettesyld / Instagram

Suzette released the following statement last year: “Selena will always have a lasting place in music history and we feel a great responsibility to do justice to her memory. With this series, viewers will finally get the full history of Selena, our family, and the impact she has had on all of our lives. We are excited to partner with Campanario and Netflix to give fans a never-before-seen glimpse at our story and highlight why Selena will remain a legend for generations to come.” 

As far as Netflix is concerned, all we have is this trailer. *Sigh*.

There’s no information as to when the series will be released but it probably won’t be anytime soon if we’re getting information released this late in the game. However, we’re going to throw out another theory, so bear with us. According to E! News, the series is set to begin shooting next month in Mexico. We’re thinking this marketing strategy is building up in this manner because of Telemundo’s release of “El Secreto de Selena.” 

The family is very much against that series, so what a better way to distract from that show — which continues to air on Sundays — than to release more information at a slow pace and keep the conversation going on this Netflix series. Remember, we still haven’t heard who will be cast in the role of Selena’s mom or Selena’s sister. We’re certain as that information is known the big reveal or some huge announcement will happen thereafter. Maybe around the holidays. And, yes, we’ve been thinking about this a lot. But mark our words: this is all a big marketing ploy and we’re loving every second of it. 

READ: Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled