5 Selena Fans Share How La Reina De Tejano Influenced Them

This year marked the 25th anniversary of Selena Quintanilla's untimely death. In her 23 years, the late Tejano superstar left a permanent mark on the music industry, with her songs still played around the world today. Quintanilla, who designed her own stage costumes, also remains a major source of fashion inspiration, thanks to her statement accessories and embellished bustiers. But the music and fashion worlds weren't the only ones touched by the icon's tragically short life: Quintanilla has undoubtedly impacted the way that fans spanning generations and cultures look at beauty.

At a time in the early 1990s when Latinas were few and far between in media, Quintanilla stood as much-needed representation for women in that underserved community. "Even though there were Latinas on TV, they had blonde hair and blue eyes," her sister, Suzette Quintanilla, told Refinery29 for the launch of MAC's second collection inspired by Selena. "There was never that representation of who we were, with darker hair and being fuller on the hips. Selena has made an impact in the beauty space by representing Latinas." Both collections from MAC sold out within hours, a quarter of a century after Quintanilla's tragic passing — further proof that her influence on beauty, as with music and fashion, transcends time.

From her voluminous bangs to signature red lips, Selena's signature look shaped how many of her Latinx fans saw hair and makeup — and themselves. Ahead, we asked five of those fans, from around the country and from different backgrounds, to share how the legendary artist helped form their outlook on beauty, and what she still means to them today.

Maritza Medina, Mexican-Guatemalan American from Los Angeles, California

"Growing up, Selena Quintanilla felt like family. She danced like my mom, looked like my sister, but most importantly, she spoke both English and Spanish. I might not have realized it in the moment, but the effect that she had on me and so many other young Latinas was monumental. Representation truly matters, and it made me feel like it was ok to be me.

Selena made me proud to have long dark hair and rock an updo for my quinceañera and prom. Today, she inspires me to wear my favorite red lipstick in any setting from the beach to the workplace. The confidence she exuded in being herself was passed on to all of us."
Chantel Rodriguez, Puerto Rican from Orlando, Florida

"I remember being 5 or 6 and falling in love with Selena. I knew all of her songs and would choreograph dances with my friends to perform for our parents. We would set up chairs in the driveway and our parents would sit and watch our show. She meant everything to me. She radiated so much beauty and was inspiring to me as a little Latina girl. It was incredible to have a role model who exemplified beauty inside and out and looked like my family.

Her iconic red lipstick is something I always think of when wearing the color. But Selena’s beauty is beyond her staple makeup looks. It’s also an energy that inspires us Latinas (or anyone really) to embrace who we are. She taught me to unapologetically be myself."
Evelyn Sanchez, Mexican in Indianapolis, Indiana

"I live in a state where there wasn’t much brown representation for me growing up. Selena Quintanilla was one of the first times that I saw Latinas represented in media. She looked like me and my family. Seeing a brown celebrity helped me never question my beauty, and it helped me accept that my brown skin and dark hair is ok to have. She challenged the Eurocentric beauty norms of her time.

When I saw that she had cut her hair short, I thought it was revolutionary because a lot of people connected long hair with femininity — especially within our culture. She's also the reason why I tried red lipstick for the first time."
Alejandro Garcia, Salvadorian-Puerto Rican in Brooklyn, New York

"Being male-presenting, my journey with makeup has been a long one. I always remember Selena's red lips and being so jealous that girls got to wear lipstick but it wasn't socially acceptable for boys to at the time. Now, I wear what I want, even lipstick, and always a little bit of eyeliner. Looking back now, she was the first person to show me that being sparkly was ok — and the way to always go.

She wasn't trying to pull makeup tricks or hide or contour anything. There is a comfort that she had in her own skin, and her makeup reflected that."
Danielle Alvarez, Peruvian-American in Brooklyn, New York

"I owned the Amor Prohibido album and would host little performances in my living room singing her songs. As a young Latina child, I was grasping being bi-cultural, and Selena helped me grasp what being Latina meant. The fact that she sang in both English and Spanish struck a weird chord in me.

Also, when I was 7 years old, I had my mom take me to the salon to get the bangs she had on her album cover. I didn’t get the full Selena look but those bangs will forever remain a sweet (and embarrassing) memory."

from refinery29
5 Selena Fans Share How La Reina De Tejano Influenced Them 5 Selena Fans Share How La Reina De Tejano Influenced Them Reviewed by streakoggi on May 13, 2020 Rating: 5
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