Lately, it seems like nearly every day there’s a new headline about celebrities and cultural appropriation. In fact, it’s basically become the disappointing norm at this point.
What isn’t as common, however, is a celebrity giving homage to their own heritage — which is why Selena Gomez deserves a little praise.
Recently, Selena sat down with Allure to promote her new makeup line, Rare Beauty. In the interview, she also discussed her music career, becoming a Black Lives Matter ally, and her Lupus diagnosis.
The piece was engaging and had some great quotes, but it was the photos that really stood out as they were a beautiful tribute to iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Frida created hundreds of artistic masterpieces but is most well known for her unique self-portraits. In many of them, she’s seen wearing her hair in a simple updo with a middle part and a flower crown. It’s an image that Selena recreated in several photos throughout the spread and even on the magazine’s cover.
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Selena isn’t the first celebrity to wear a flower crown, of course, but she is one of the few to actually be of Mexican descent — which can’t be said about the majority of other celebs whose flower-crowned heads have been featured on the cover of magazines.
The editorial spread is a nod to who she is, and is, for once, culturally appropriate.
While Selena has always been proud of her background, there was a time when Selena felt like she had to hide who she was for the sake of her career. In a 2018 interview with Harpers Bazaar, she explained,
“I try to separate my career from my culture because I don’t want people to judge me based on my looks when they have no idea who I am.”
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That’s obviously gone out the window in the last few years as Selena has become a loud advocate against the immigration detention centers, produced the Netflix documentary Living Undocumented, and has proudly discussed her family’s immigration history.
In a 2019 essay for Time magazine, Selena wrote,
“In the 1970s, my aunt crossed the border from Mexico to the United States hidden in the back of a truck. My grandparents followed, and my father was born in Texas soon after. In 1992, I was born a U.S. citizen thanks to their bravery and sacrifice.”
In her interview for Allure, she reiterated her love for her family’s history, saying,
“A lot of my family were immigrants and created lives for themselves here. I’m just once removed from being an [immigrant]. I’m proud of that side of who I am.”
And that pride is on full display in her Frida Kahlo-inspired editorial photoshoot.
It’s refreshing to see a celebrity dig into their roots to find beauty inspiration, rather than ignoring their own culture and snatching from someone else’s instead.
Not to mention, Selena looked downright incredible in the photos. Frida certainly would have approved!
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