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. 

Watch: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress Ditches Zombies For Red Lipstick In New Selena Series Trailer

Entertainment

Watch: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress Ditches Zombies For Red Lipstick In New Selena Series Trailer

Netflix

Hold on to your heart, chica. Netflix is coming for it and your tears.

Fans of Tejano music singer Selena Quintanilla are used to talk of production studios wanting to tell her story. Since the “Baila Esta Cumbia” singer’s death in 1995, fans have seen her story retold as a movie starring Jennifer Lopez and a 2018 series by Telemundo. Recently Netflix announced that they were going for the grab on her story, this time with a biographical drama web television series. While fans were treated to updates for “Selena: The Series” throughout the summer and earlier fall, Netflix officially dropped its biggest news yet with a teaser.

And there’s no doubt the nostalgia and passion of it all will make you tear up and ready for some cumbia.

Released on Tuesday, the Netflix series’ trailer teased a first look of actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano Queen in all of her jumpsuit glory.

This past August, Netflix announced that they had cast Serratos, best known for her roles in “The Walking Dead,” “Twilight,” and the Nickelodeon show “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” as the beloved Mexican-American singer. In the newly released one-minute trailer, Serratos can be seen channeling Selena’s classic looks as she looks over a script and practices some of the singer’s most recognizable dance moves. Donned in red lipstick, feathered bangs and later Selena’s iconic purple jumpsuit,  Serratos can also be seen greeting the two stars, Ricardo Chavira and Seidy Lopez, playing her parents Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla.

The Netflix teaser trailer ends with someone out of frame calling, “Alright, Christian, We’re ready to shoot” before Serratos gives a smirk to the camera and stepping on stage to sing “Como La Flor.”

The series, which was created with the participation of the Quintanilla family and announced by Netflix last December, has already garnered quite a bit of anticipation online.

 Back in 1997, the casting process for the singer had the Latino community astir for months until it was finally revealed that then-dancer, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (still known as a triple threat for her moves, voice and acting chops) had earned the role. The Boricua’s casting caused quite the controversy primarily because she was not Mexican. This time around, Netflix kept the controversy in mind while conducting casting. In a recent interview with NBC News, Moisés Zamora– who is the head writer and one of the executive producers for the show– explained how crucial it was for him to ensure Mexican- identity was strongly included in the show.

“I associated her with my family and being Mexican in America,” he told the outlet at the time while highlighting how the younger singer was shaped by her identity of being a woman of Mexican heritage who also grew up in Corpus Christi while speaking English.

For the latest portrayal of Selena, the executive producer was involved in the casting of Serratos, a Latina of both Mexican and Italian descent.

Serratos knows all about breathing life into deceased characters.

AMC

For four seasons she has raged against the undead in “The Walk Dead” and in her earlier career played Angela Webber, friend to Bella Swan lover of vampires, in Twilight.

According to outlets, it’s unclear how the series will tackle Quintanilla’s vocals.

Back when Lopez took her turn as the singer, she was made to lip-sync to Quintanilla’s vocals. We’re pretty sure that if Netflix doesn’t decide to do the same, they’ll be in good hands because Serratos voice is banging. She even sings “Baila Esta Cumbia” in this compilation!

So far fans of Selena are on board with the news.

Of course, while most of the reactions to Serratos casting have been positive the TWD club is a bit worried.

Okay TBH it feels like a worthy sacrifice.

If fans of “The Walking Dead” are this bummed over possibly losing Serratos, that means she must be pretty damn good at taking on great roles. So here’s to Serratos and her new role! Hopefully, for TWD fans she’ll be able to juggle both… if not bidi bidi bom bom.

Family Members Of A Selena Tribute Artist Say That She Has Been Detained By ICE Despite Her DACA Status

Things That Matter

Family Members Of A Selena Tribute Artist Say That She Has Been Detained By ICE Despite Her DACA Status

In a sad turn of events this past Saturday, a vital supporter of a Latino community on the west coast of the United States has been detained by ICE.

Karol Posada, 28-year-old tribute artist of Selena Quintanilla captured the artistry and vocals sounds of the Tejano singer, carrying on her legacy by wearing her famed outfits. In an interview with VICE in 2015, Posadas said that she started signing because of Selena. ” Every Latina that was born with a Latina mom — you know, you see the movie and you get inspired. She was like an idol, the person that you always want to be when you grow up if you’re a singer,” she told the site.

According to reports, Posadas was returning from a performance tour in Texas on Nov. 2 when she was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at the airport in Harlingen, Texas.

Posadas– who is a participant of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals– moved from Guatemala as a teen.

She was raised in the San Fernando Valley and lived there at the time of her arrest. A GoFundME page launched in an attempt to raise money for the singer’s release says that she fled from Guatemala “escape the dangers and threats of her home country.” The site also says that Posadas was detained on Saturday while attempting to return home from a tour in Texas. It is unclear as to whether own not Posadas still has DACA protection.

Thus far, the GoFundMe page created in her honor has raised over $4,000. The site does not detail what the funds are for, but they are likely to help cover her legal fees.

Posadas’s GoFundMe page says that she is currently being kept at an overcrowded ICE facility in El Valle, Texas.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the GoFundMePage had alleged that she is being forced by the facility in El Valle to “to sleep on the floor, denied access to basic personal care products, and denied medical attention for her heart condition.”

The GoFundMe page for Posadas reads says that “Posadas is a Selena tribute artist, who has been helping in keeping her image, music, and likeness alive, as well as a singer in her own right. On Saturday 11/2/19 while returning from a tour in Texas,  she was detained by immigration at Harlingen airport. Karol is a DACA recipient, she is an outstanding person, with no criminal record, who was brought to this country by her family at a young age, to escape the dangers and threats of her home country Guatemala. She has been kept at an overcrowded facility in El Valle, and forced to sleep on the floor, denied access to basic personal care products, and denied medical attention for her heart condition, that jeopardizes her health and for which she needs treatment. We are running against time. Please help us cover the legal fees and expenses necessary to have her released. Please help us free Karol Posadas. We are working-class people, with no influence or money, so for society, our voices do not matter, and the human rights violations that she has been subjected to will go unheard. Help us change that!”

Fans of Posadas have been sharing the news of her detainment and using the hashtag #freekarolposadas to demand her release.

In a post to Instagram, a fan of Posadas shared the hashtag and wrote that it was “crazy how we see all this in the news you never think it will hit close to home in this case the #selenaquintanilla community I will be trying to coordinate a raffle/ sale or auction in the next 24-48 hours all proceeds to benefit to #freekarolposadas link in my bio let’s keep @karolposadasofficial in our prayers.”

Another user who goes by the name of @simepreselenass on Instagram wrote that they were “so saddened by this news, and I pray that she is at least well, since I can imagine just how unsafe those detention centers are. I don’t know her personally, but she messaged me a few times and is the most wonderful woman.”

“My heart is in pieces from this situation, especially because the people that support her including her husband are working class folks with no real influence who can only do so much to overcome these tragic circumstances. She needs our help. Please click on the link on my bio and help me free Karol. Time is ticking and especially because of her medical condition we must all come together and help this beautiful soul gain a chance at standing up for herself against the injustices of this current administration and the steps it has taken to marginalize and disenfranchise OUR people. Thank you everyone in advance,” wrote @rainbisour in a post to her Instagram page that also used the #freekarolposadas hashtag which has so far only been used 28 times.

An article by the Houston Chronicle reported that the manager of Posadas band: Roberto Cadilha, claimed that she was in fact a DACA recipient.

 According to the report, Posadas DACA documentation was in the process of renewal at the time of her arrest, but she had not yet received her physical document. Cadilha also told the Chronicle that she was holding up alright, but because of her heart condition she is currently experiencing “pain in her chest, constantly.” He also added that she had been sleeping on the floor but was eventually given a bed.