6 Lessons Learned from Selena Quintanilla

By: Sabrina Tirachen

Selena Quintanilla, A.K.A. the Queen of Cumbia, forever changed the face of Tejano music. In a male-driven career, she paved a path for women to succeed, to grow, and to dominate the industry. 23 years ago, her kind and passionate spirit was abruptly taken from the world, but her entire life motivates me to enjoy my life’s journey, to smell the roses, and to dance (even if it is not my strong suit). Here are six Selena quotes to inspire your spring season.

1. Be unapologetically you. 

If you google Selena, you will see thousands of pictures of her smiling, laughing, and enjoying life. Selena remains beloved because she always was authentic to herself, through her fashion, music, and actions.

"I'm very real, very sincere, and honest, and that's how I'll always be." Being honest with yourself and embracing the quirks of your personality will help you live happily. Haters will hate, but smile in the face of those negative nellies and stick to being unapologetically you.

2. Embrace your roots. 

Selena reigned from Corpus Christi, Texas, but her blood was Mexican. She loved both parts of who she was and embraced them.

"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." Americans face a tricky situation with our roots since we are pushed to accept being American as our sole nationality. But you can be a proud American while learning and loving the parts of your heritage that comprise you. Embrace your roots and your history; they are a lovely part of you.

3. Chase your dreams. 

Selena dreamed to perform in the largest of stages ever since she was a little girl staring up at the moon. The music industry is an especially tricky beast to handle, but she was able to chase that dream with love and positivity until it became a reality. The true reason why Selena succeeded pertained to her work ethic. She had true grit and a passionate soul to match. So be like Selena and chase your dreams, but remember to put in the work, too.

4. Love knows no boundaries. 

Originally, Selena had to hide her relationship to Chris Perez, who became her husband. This “amor prohibido” A.K.A. “forbidden love” emphasizes how love knows no boundaries. Despite her father’s attempts to split her from Chris, their guitarist, their love was pure and true so it stayed strong, in spite of the opposition, and they married. Love knows no boundaries. Love is love and love always wins.

5. Family is #1. 

Selena’s entire band consisted of family. They spent hours and hours together on tour buses and atop stages. Her family was a huge facet of her life. Everyone has a different family situation, but it is important to remember where we come from and to appreciate our families for all that they do to push us toward our dreams.

6. Always dance.

Many people spend their lives standing alongside the dancefloor while the so-called “good dancers” dominate. Everyone can be self-conscious about dancing, yes, but always dance and do not let the thoughts flooding your mind stop you from enjoying the music. Selena always danced as an expression of joy and really being in tune with the music. Dancing is empowering because you let go of your predispositions and for a brief moment, you can just enjoy losing yourself in a song.

Selena will always be remembered for her music, but her beautiful attitudes about life and dreaming will continue to live on.

Quotes from Cosmopolitan


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