Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Selena QuintanillaPerez Hero concept?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
Selena QuintanillaPerez Hero concept?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Neula Ha / Her Campus Media Design Team
Life > Experiences

Selena: The Tejano Icon

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.
Selena QuintanillaPerez Hero concept?width=1024&height=1024&fit=cover&auto=webp
Neula Ha / Her Campus Media Design Team

Who is my cultural role model? As a Hispanic/Tejano woman from Corpus Christi, it’s without a doubt, Selena! Selena was one of many female trailblazers in the then-male-dominated Tejano music scene. She gifted the world with her songs and represented my culture in a truly admirable way. To this day her legacy remains in the hearts of young women such as myself.

Growing up Mexican-American there’s a distinct cultural divide, even in South Texas, where most of the population is Hispanic and/or Latino. As someone who’s not fluent in Spanish, I often feel shame for not knowing my cultural mother tongue, and when I feel disheartened about this reality, I turn to Selena’s music. It’s the music that I practice my Spanish with and makes me “feel” Hispanic, as my body moves naturally to the rhythmic cumbias. In other words, it validates my experience as a Hispanic woman, as I grew up listening to her songs and did so while learning how to fit in both of my worlds.

Since moving to Austin for college, I turn to her music when I’m missing home. I close my eyes, turn on “La Carcacha,” and envision myself walking along the seawall, singing along to my favorite song of hers proudly in Spanish.

Justice Morris (she/her) is a second-year history and Mexican American Latino Studies double major at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also pursuing a Core Texts and Ideas certificate. Justice is a passionate writer; she enjoys sharing her thoughts on the arts, life as a college student, and her cultural experiences as a Chicana woman. You can find more of her work in The Liberator, the official publication of the College of Liberal Arts.