Selena, arguably the most influential Hispanic-American woman of our generation (It’s a tie between her and Jennifer Lopez who ironically plays Selena), had her life cut short much too soon. But we are still able to learn through the wisdom of the hit movie Selena, basically a how-to guide on being Mexican.
Here’s a powerhouse quote from Abraham Quintanilla Jr. that perfectly describes the difficulties of the balancing act Mexican-Americans face. It’s so true because often times as a halvsie (Urban Dictionary slang for someone of a mixed race, usually one-half Caucasian) people expect you to be both equal shares of your parents. But as a halvsie who grew up complete immersed in “White” American culture when you don’t live up to the stereotype of what you’re supposed to be you will get flack from both sides and end up not really fitting into either.
“Being Mexican American is tough … We got to be twice as perfect as everybody else! … Our family has been here for centuries, and yet they treat us as if we just swam across the Rio Grande. I mean we got to know about John Wayne and Pedro Infante. We got to know about Frank Sinatra and Agustín Lara. We got to know about Oprah and Cristina! … Japanese Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans: their homeland is on the other side of the ocean. Ours is right next door…and we have to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are, we got to prove to the Americans how American we are. We got to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans. Both at the same time! It’s exhausting! Damn, nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexican American!”
If you would like to view it in all the Latin passion it deserves, which I obviously suggest, do so here.