Selena Gomez is gracing the cover of Allure this month with a shiny new title to her name: brand founder. The singer and actress, whose makeup company, Rare Beauty, dropped this week, is already taking the industry by storm — starting with an appearance on the magazine’s beloved Best of Beauty issue.
But while it might just look like another gorgeous photoshoot from SelGo, Latinx fans were quick to notice the deeper meaning behind the images, which appear to draw direct inspiration from the late artist Frida Kahlo and late Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla.
From the modern take on Kahlo’s classic floral updo to the red lip styled with a bustier and beaded jacket á la Quintanilla, there were touches of these Latina icons sprinkled throughout the shoot — and it spoke volumes to fans. “Selena on Allure wearing Laquan Smith and photographed by a Black photographer w remnants of Mexican culture and references to Frida and Selena Quintanilla is the kinda shit i love to see,” wrote one Twitter user. Another tweeted, “Selena Quintanilla and Frida Kahlo realness.”
Selena on Allure wearing Laquan Smith and photographed by a Black photographer w remnants of Mexican culture and references to Frida and Selena Quintanilla is the kinda shit i love to see!!!!
— New York AOL Chat Room: A/S/L (@reallyrai) September 9, 2020
Selena Quintanilla and Frida Kahlo realness. https://t.co/6FhAyk1SfX
— fresadeneza; (@fresadeneza) September 9, 2020
Este look da Selena Quintanilla vibes y amo pic.twitter.com/EJOVlV2Btd
— gabi 🦋 (@mgxrare) September 9, 2020
While the stylist, Arianne Phillips, hasn’t directly confirmed the inspiration, it wouldn’t come as a surprise given the connection Gomez feels to both Kahlo and Quintanilla. The Rare Beauty founder was actually named after Quintanilla and born and raised in Texas, similar to the La Reina de Tejano. “They actually loved [Selena’s] music, so they just named me after her,” Gomez previously shared in a radio interview. Additionally, both Kahlo and Quintanilla are of Mexican descent, as is Gomez.
There’s also the red lip, which Gomez created herself with the help of her longtime makeup artist, Hung Vanngo, over Zoom. Crimson lips, which bear a strong significance for Latinas, have been worn by women like Kahlo, Quintanilla, Celia Cruz, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez throughout history. Over time, it has become a symbol of power and an embodiment of confidence and femininity that transcends generations.
The author of the cover story, Allure contributing editor Jessica Chia, spoke to the significance of the shoot in a post to her Instagram. “Interviewing a fellow Latina (we’re both part Mexican) for the #bestofbeauty issue, which happens to drop during #hispanicheritagemonth, is a dream come true.” Longtime Gomez fans would say the same.
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