Selena Quintanilla is Latina Magazine's November 2016 Cover Star!

SAINT SELENA

Selena Quintanilla, the eternal queen of our collective hearts, is our 20th anniversary cover star because her influence transcends age, ethnicity, and class. And, more important, she was all ours. #anythingforselenas

OUR BELOVED SELENA QUINTANILLA WAS BOLDLY BICULTURAL BEFORE SOCIETY COULD ACCEPT THAT LATINAS COULD BE 100 PERCENT AMERICAN AND 100 PERCENT LATINO.

“We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time. It’s exhausting!” goes an oft-quoted line from the movie Selena. But Selena rose above the identity struggle by not struggling at all. Instead she leaned into her Latina-ness and embraced whom she so gloriously was: an American-born, non-native-Spanish-speaking Latina who was curvy and brown, and loved both pizza and tacos.

In her all-too-short life, the charismatic Tejana proved to be the reigning queen of a male-dominated music genre few believed she could ever conquer. And along with her award-winning music, she owned a clothing store and was creating a beauty line, proving herself to be #theboss before the hashtag existed. Selena stands out as one of the most beloved Latinas of our generation — that’s why she’s the cover image for Latina’s 20th anniversary — transcending age and background to be revered by millennials, old folks, and celebs alike. Selena Gomez is named after her, and Jennifer Lopez is famous because of her. So why the near sainthood status?

Why the adoration of a young Tejana who sang regional Mexican music? Because Selena was unshakably real, unabashedly herself. Unlike other Latino stars who made it big in music or Hollywood by modifying their names and “passing” as white, Selena went the other route. She turned to her culture first, rediscovering her roots to find her voz. And through her powerful voice, we American Latinas found ours.Robyn Moreno, Editorial Director

SEE US NOW

AS LATINA TURNS 20, WE LOOK BACK AT THE MOST INFLUENTIAL COVERS IN OUR HISTORY.

ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS TO SEE OURSELVES. Yet if you were a little Latina girl with immigrant parents or roots in the United States centuries before it was riddled with Starbucks, growing up in the ’80s and ’90s you were invisible to mainstream culture. But everything changed in the summer of 1996, when Latina magazine first hit newsstands with its cover image of the pre-Selena Jennifer Lopez rocking her hair in a moño like so many of us in any barrio. Latina, the thought bomb of Christy Haubegger, was a pioneering force. You see, we weren’t catering to your mami or abuela by peddling the latest telenovela hunks or speaking to you in the mother language. We used English and Spanglish to talk to the celebrities (Rosie Perez, Rosario Dawson, Christina Aguilera) who were just like you. And for a celebrity to land the cover of a magazine for us, by us, meant and still means acceptance and support by our people. With that said, our editorial team deliberated for hours upon hours, over glasses of Chilean wine and a few tequila shots, to present to you the 20 most impactful, influential Latina covers ever. Through our covers we helped J.Lo become a queen, Shakira cross over, and Pitbull gain world domination; we’ve also lamented the losses of our reinas (Selena and Jenni Rivera) and cheered for the brilliant Sonia Sotomayor. Point being, after 20 years, we’re still fighting to tell your stories in this game-changing magazine; across our booming site, latina.com; and crackling through our social media platforms. We’re not invisible anymore. We’re here. We’re proud. And we’re ready for the world to see our influence. —Latina editors

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