My sisters and I suffered from a serious case of Selena-mania growing up. Whether we were in the car or the bathtub, we serenaded our parents with hits like “Como la Flor” and “Dreaming of You.” One of our most played VHS tapes was Gregory Nava's 1997 biopic of the Queen of Tejano. The movie made us love J. Lo (almost) as much as we loved Selena and “Anything for Selenasss” became one of our popular refrains.
So what exactly enchanted us so much about Selena? It wasn't just her music, though that was part of the spell. Selena was a woman in charge. To put it in '90s terms, a big part of Selena's appeal was her girl power. But to use today's lingo? Selena was a feminist badass. Here are 10 reasons why:
She didn't let her weaknesses hold her back
Even though she didn't speak Spanish, Selena learned to sing it phonetically.
She had serious stage presence
Confidence isn't just sexy; it's a sign of leadership. She showed both girls and young women alike how powerful standing tall can be.
She made Tejano music mainstream
That took smarts, talent, and determination. It also showed that Selena was proud of her heritage and who she was.
She continued her education
Even though she was pulled out of school in eighth grade, Selena earned her high school diploma through correspondence school. She went on to study business administration in college. This woman was no one-trick pony.
She rocked that bustier
It didn't matter what her father or critics said about her provocative fashion. Selena wore what she wanted. Her body, her choice.
She married the man she loved
Despite what her family thought, Selena eloped with her guitarist Chris Pérez and never looked back.
She took risks as a businesswoman
Selena's achievements didn't end in music. She designed, manufactured, and sold her own clothing line and also opened two boutiques.
She gave back
As a philanthropist, Selena donated time and money to organizations like Toys for Tots and D.A.R.E. She also visited schools to encourage kids to complete their education and performed in multiple benefit concerts.
She made history
“Tejano Madonna” was Billboard's “top Latin artist of the '90s” and her album Selena Live! won a 1994 Grammy for Best Mexican/American Album.
She left a legacy
After her death, Selena was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, the Hard Rock Cafe's Hall of Fame, the South Texas Music Hall of Fame, and the Tejano Music Hall of Fame. We still listen to her music today and, let's face it, our grandkids will probably grow up listening to it, too. We love you, Selena, and always will!