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In A World Where Everything Is Catered To White People, Selena Quintanilla Has Long Been The Splash Of Color My Latina Soul Needed

Long before shops the likes of Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 began to bank on her image to sell $54 shirts to non-Latinx hipsters, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an icon and legend for young Latinas living across the globe. Ask a Latina and no doubt she has some sort of connection the Tejano singer whether its coordinating sons to “Baila Esta Cumbia” with her primas or playing her VHS biopic on repeat until the tape ran thin. The queen of Latinx music will always be an influential 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, be sure to serve them with these facts:

1. She brought Tejano music to mainstream America and proved women are capable of anything.

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Before Selena Mexican-American music was considered an eccentricity and was definitely not played in non-Hispanic clubs and radio stations.  Speaking about the experience of being a Latinx signer, Selena once said “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!” No doubt the Texas-born singer changed these harsh attitude during her life and after her untimely death.

2. She valued family

Selena might have gained worldwide notoriety in her own right, but long before she was just Selena she had a career as part of the Quintanilla family group Selena y Los Dinos, where her two older siblings also made pompas shake. Like the rest of us, familia was always important to Selena and she never forgot her origins and the role that her family had in her success. Speaking about the struggles she was grateful for enduring with her family, Selena said “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.”

3. She was proud of her heritage

Singing in Spanish when you’re not fluent can be a pretty challenging act in itself if you want to break into the mainstream, and Selena was unapologetic about her efforts to do so. “I feel very proud to be Mexican,” Selena once said in an interview about her culture. “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.” 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.

4. She knew that not all women are straight-sized and many have curves

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, but it has long been dictated by mass media which has, in so many cases, severely distorted our perceptions of women’s bodies. Selena was proud of her curves. Eso mija, eres una fregona.  “I’m very real, very sincere, and honest, and that’s how I’ll always be,” the star once said in an interview. 

5. She had a unique style

Amidst the customary images and selling points of whitewashed media and the current political turmoils of today, it can be hard for a Latina to feel confident in her identity. Selena did so with aplomb. Her wardrobe choices were interesting and daring in equal measure, which is probably one of the reasons behind her success as a pop culture brand.  She was criticized by more conservative audiences for “revealing too much”. We say al carajo con sus juicios.  Still, the Tejano singer stayed strong her opinions about her self, saying once, “Always believe that the impossible is always possible.”

6. Because she showed that Latinas can be captains of their fate as well as the fiercest activists.

“What I don’t like are arrogant people. We’re all equal. I don’t like it when a person assumes to be better,” Quintanilla once stated in an interview.  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.

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

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. 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. 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.” 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.

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

She was young but life taught her that all you have is yourself. We can’t believe she was just 23 when she died. Truly wise beyond her years.

Read: Mariah Carey Got Real About Being Biracial And Her Words Will Undoubtedly Have Afro-Latinas Feeling So Seen

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TikTok Queen Rosa And Her Creator Adam Ray Okay Get The Magazine Spotlight

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TikTok Queen Rosa And Her Creator Adam Ray Okay Get The Magazine Spotlight

Even if you are living under the rock now called self-quarantine, if you’re online you probably definitely heard about Rosa. Within just a matter of months, the fun-loving jefa with crooked ashes and some shocking cheek contours has won over fans.

The character, created by Instagram and TikTok user AdamRayOkay has shot to fame, even getting invitations from Rihanna to her Fenty Tik Tok house. In a recent interview with Paper Magazine, the newly minted TikTok star spoke about her rise to social stardom and the crazy world we are currently living in.

Speaking about quarantine life, Rosa had a message of fans to remain positive and keep their chin up.

Paper Magazine/ Instagram

“I’m just trying to stay positive [and] I want to make other people feel positive,” 20-year-old Adam Ray Okay told Paper. “So I’m just trying to put as much content on there as possible, on the internet. Just because right now both the internet and the actual real world are in a really dark place. So yeah, I’m just trying to stay positive.

On what inspired them to create Rosa, Okay explained she was easy to come up with because everyone can relate to her.

Paper Magazine / Instagram

“I had downloaded the TikTok app and I was just scrolling, doing my thing. I wasn’t really thinking of making my own content. And then I just got inspired by myself, my childhood growing up and, like you said, everybody knows this Rosa character and I felt that she had been forgotten about… So once I brought her back, everybody was just so familiar with her and that’s why I felt she did really well,” Okay said, going onto explain that just about every Latino knows a girl like Rosa. “She’s everywhere. So, even if you didn’t grow up with somebody like her, you know how she is. She’s predictable in an unpredictable way. She’s just so familiar… she is part of everybody.”

Speaking about going viral, Okay explained that they were shocked when heavy appreciation for Rosa began to come in.

Paper Magazine / Instagram

“I was honestly shocked. Like I said, putting my first video up there, I didn’t expect any of this to happen. So it made me feel good because I’m able to put my community out there like that, in a positive way. And I don’t know, I just… Even today I get the same exact feelings that when I first went viral because I just feel it’s so crazy that I can give Rosa this platform and express who she is and where she came from and stuff that.”

Okay also said that Rosa has given them a chance to fully embrace their interests in beauty and fashion.

“As Adam, I enjoy beauty. Makeup is something that I enjoy doing. So it definitely was a huge welcome and there was so much that I got to experience from the other beauty creators. I definitely enjoyed it, especially because everybody just does their makeup in a different way. So being able to see how everybody else does it differently. It’s so dope to see other creators discuss that.”

All Of The Latina Beauty Brands To Support During The Coronavirus Crisis

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All Of The Latina Beauty Brands To Support During The Coronavirus Crisis

Reina Rebelde / Instagram

There’s no denying that we love beauty. Some of us learned early on to take good care of our skin, and to have fun with our makeup. So it’s not surprising that so many beauty brands are Latinx-owned.

From natural skincare brands to bold and edgy makeup lines, there’s a variety of Latinx-owned beauty brands to support. There’s a mix between indie, under-the-radar brands to celeb-approved ones. So whether you love wearing a bold red lip, or would rather focus on skincare, then there’s a little something for everyone.

1. Reina Rebelde

Credit: Instagram / @reinarebelde

Created by Texas native, Regina Merson, Reina Rebelde was made for unapologetic babes. With playful shade names like La Doña and Coqueta, this bold brand speaks to Latinx’s who are not only fearless but fierce AF.

2. Sigma Beauty

Credit: Instagram / @sigmabeauty

Aside from its dazzling makeup products, Sigma Beauty creates the best beauty tools on the market. All of their tools are genius, too. For example, its Dry’n Shape brush cleaner deep cleans, dries, and reshapes your brushes, while the Titanium brush set is literally indestructible; its made so your brushes will NEVER fall apart. But when you learn about Sigma’s founders, Simone Xavier and Rene Xavier Filho, it’s easy to see why their products are made with a purpose. Brazil natives, Rene has a background in civil engineering and business administration, while Simone has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and a Masters in veterinary science. Talk about a power couple.

3. Lunar Beauty

Credit: Instagram / @lunarbeauty

Founded by one of the biggest YouTube and Instagram beauty influencers, Manny Gutierrez (aka Manny MUA), this brand is all about celebrating your most authentic self. The San Diego native made sure to create a line that’s not only fun but one that’s inclusive.

4. Gaby Espino

Credit: Instagram / @gabyespinostore

Venezuelan telenovela star, Gaby Espino, launched a line of super pigmented lipsticks. From bright pinks to sultry purples to deep reds, there’s a little something for everyone. The best part? There’s not one type of lipsticks. There’s a range of mattes, extreme mattes, glosses, creams, velvets, and more.

5. Tata Harper Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @tataharperskincare

Founded by Colombiana, Tata Harper, this 100% natural skincare line has become a cult-fave among celebs and beauty lovers alike. The brand was created after Tata couldn’t find high-quality, natural products in the beauty market. Thanks to her, that void has now been filled. People don’t have to risk their health in order to get great skincare results.

6. Besame Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @besamecosmetics

Cosmetics historian, artist, and designer, Gabriela Hernandez, created Besame Cosmetics after a life-long love for vintage makeup. Aside from its retro packaging and products (the lipsticks are replicas of shades from the past and the cake mascara is a product stars from the Golden Age of cinema used), Besame will make you feel special and glamorous.

7. Melt Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @meltcosmetics

Latina makeup artist Lora Arellano co-founded Melt Cosmetics with her bestie Dana Bomer. Together, they’ve built a beauty empire with their vibrant eyeshadows, bold lipstick shades, pigmented blushes, and dazzling highlighters. Lora’s background in beauty is just as amazing as the products she helps create. She started working the makeup counter at Nordstrom to doing Rihanna’s makeup on tour to creating a successful makeup empire.

8. Joanna Vargas Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @jvskincare

Similar to Tata Harper, Joanna Vargas’ eponymous skincare brand is dedicated to plant-based ingredients that work. Not only is Joanna one of the most sought-after facialists in Hollywood—celebs flock to her before major events—but her luxury products are worth every penny. The New York-based Latina has been in the skincare business for over a decade, so she knows a thing or two about beauty.

9. KL Polish

Credit: Instagram / @klpolish

KL Polish was created by one of YouTube’s most popular beauty gurus, Kathleen Fuentes (aka Kathleen Lights). After having successful beauty collaborations with ColourPop and Morphe, the Cubana branched out to launch her own nail polishes. The shades in each collection are bright, bold, and vibrant just like Kathleen herself.

10. Dominique Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @dominiquecosmetics

Another successful beauty YouTuber, Christen Dominique, launched an eponymous makeup brand called Dominique Cosmetics. From her first coffee-themed palette to her latest lemonade-inspired one, all of her products will make you want to have fun with your looks.

11. Chaos Makeup

Credit: Instagram / @chaosmakeup

The brand’s founder, Megan Martinez, has created one of the most exciting makeup brands on the market. Their color-changing shadows are truly one-of-a-kind. And once beauty lovers discovered the mesmerizing rainbow highlighter, they pretty much broke the internet. While Martinez’s unique brand is quickly becoming a cult-fave among pros, her story is what really makes us admire her. She went from being homeless at the age of 14 to building a beauty empire.

12. Orlando Pita Play

Credit: Instagram / @orlandopita

Cuban hairstylist Orlando Pita has worked with the biggest stars, including Beyoncé, Anne Hathway, Kate Moss, and Bella and Gigi Hadid. So it’s not surprising that after years of working as a celeb hairstylist that he wouldn’t create his own eponymous hair care line. And luckily for us, we can achieve that same celebrity-approved hair with his line of amazing products.

13. Vive Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @vivecosmetics

Vive is a makeup brand created by Latinxs for Latinxs — and its two founders, Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia, stand by that. With vibrant lipstick shades to choose from, like hot pinks, oranges, and reds, these are the colors you’ll want to wear all summer long. Each lipstick has a cheeky name, too, like Pan Dulce, Luchadora, and Cumbia. There’s even a sultry purple liquid lip inspired by Selena Quintanilla.

14. Loquita Bath and Body

Credit: Instagram / @loquitabathandbody

Known for making novelty products like the always sold out mangoneada, elote, and bidi bidi bath bombs, Mira Perez’s beauty brand is unlike any other. Aside from its playful bath bombs, the brand makes the most heavenly face masks, scrubs, and lip balms.

15. Rizos Curls

Credit: Instagram / @rizoscurls

Julissa Prado created Rizos Curls after struggling to find products that worked for her curly hair. She not only perfected her products to work for all curl types, but she set out to make formulas that were made with high-quality ingredients. Now, curly-haired babes can enjoy and celebrate their hair in all its glory.

16. Brujita Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @brujitaskincare

Founded by Leah Guerrero, Brujita Skincare literally brings the magia to your beauty routine. The holistic beauty brand is enriched with mineral earth powders and clays sourced from the mercados of Mexico. Not only will these products heal your skin naturally, but you’ll feel Mother Nature’s enchanting powers.

17. No B.S. Skincare

Credit: Instagram / @livenobs

Like the cheeky name suggests, this skincare brand doesn’t mess around. Its skincare is made with effective plant-based, natural ingredients. Basically, they stripped away all of the bullshit. The products don’t have anything on their “shit list” like sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, etc. Even better? They even got rid of b.s. marketing. The brand’s Instagram feed and website are filled with daily affirmations that will make you want to live your best life. For example, they have a postcard that reads: “severely allergic to the b.s.” Agreed.

18. Mia Del Mar

Credit: Instagram / @miadelmarbeauty

While Mia Del Mar hasn’t debuted all of its products just yet, this Latinx-owned brand is all about celebrating your roots. And with ingredients that have been passed down through generations, this line will mainly focus on skin care that’s both trendy and traditional.

19. Gabriel Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @gabrielcosmetics

Gabriel Cosmetics, founded by Gabriel De Santino, has been around since 1992. Inspired by his own personal experience with botanical skincare, the cosmetics line creates some of the best natural products.

20. Alamar Cosmetics

Credit: Instagram / @alamarcosmetics

Gabriella Trujillo went from Boxycharm’s in-house makeup artist to launching her own brand, Alamar Cosmetics. The makeup line is a celebration of the Cubana’s heritage, and its first product, the Reina del Caribe Vol. 1 eyeshadow palette, is proof.