Why Selena Quintanilla's Legacy Lives On

Why Selena Quintanilla's Legacy Lives On

Years after her death, Selena is still talked about by her thousands of dedicated fans.

MAC Cosmetics

In honor of the Selena Quintanilla MAC Collection (which has been sold out), I have decided to write a bit about why I still love and support the Queen of Tejano music.

Selena was born on April 16, 1971 in Texas with her brother and sister. As a child, she spoke primarily English until her father taught her to sing in Spanish, which made it easier for her to use Spanish to communicate with others later on. Selena had a very successful Spanish music career before deciding to cross over to the English market. While Selena was working on recording her all English album, she sadly passed away. The tragic death of Selena happened when she went to confront a close friend, Yolanda Saldivar, who was under suspicion of taking money from her fan club. One thing led to another and Yolanda shot Selena multiple times in the back with her gun. Medical assistance was quickly called to the scene, but the 23-year-old was pronounced dead on March 31, 1995. She was only a few weeks away from her 24th birthday. Selena was a young woman who was taken away from her family, friends, and fans too soon, but her legacy lives on.

In the nineties, not many music artists were doing what Selena was doing. She was a Latina who embraced the fact that she was born in the United States, yet she was still able to stay true to her Spanish roots. Her Spanish skills were not always perfect, but that is what made me love her. I felt like I was able to relate to her since I am Mexican-American just like Selena. We are expected to always have perfect Spanish while having perfect English too since we identify ourselves as Mexican-American. This term was quite controversial at the time because a lot of Mexican people did not like the fact that those who were born in the United States claimed to be a part of the Mexican culture especially if they did not speak Spanish. Selena became a relatable figure to all the Latinos who faced that same struggle of keeping the balance between two diverse cultures.

Selena was a woman who had the beautiful singing voice, but a lot of people do not know that she designed a lot of her stage outfits throughout the years. She always rocked the iconic bedazzled bustier with high waisted pants which always hugged her curves perfectly. Her dark hair matched with a bold red lip was another iconic look that her fans loved. If you have seen the biographical film on Selena, you would know that her father was not the biggest fan of this look, but it made her stand out from every other artist out there. Fans of all ages dressed up in popular Selena looks because she was their inspiration and style icon. I remember begging my mom to buy me the outfit that Selena wore to her last concert which was in the Houston Astrodome. It was a purple, sparkly one-piece outfit that had a small cut out on her stomach. The lights of the venue made her glow even more like the star that she was. Later on in her career, Selena successfully opened up two boutiques of her own with clothes designed by her. Selena was a business woman who had bright plans ahead.

Just to give you an idea as to how much of an impact Selena Quintanilla had after her passing, people like me who were born after her death are some of her biggest fans to date. I did not get the privilege to see her in concert or buy her albums as soon as they hit the shelves, but I do still support Selena. My mom was the one who played her music to me for as long as I can remember. I am 20 years old now and I still know every single word to all her songs. Some of my friends who are not even Latino know who Selena was and her music. A lot of artists are eventually forgotten, but Selena is constantly being brought up in the media. Recently, she had a wax figure made for the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Fans made a petition to have MAC Cosmetics release an exclusive collection in Selena’s honor. Without the support of fans, this collaboration would have never happened. This shows just how loyal and loving Selena fans from around the world still show their support for the Queen of Tejano music.
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