Summary Of Selenidad By Debra Paredez

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In the book Selenidad author Debra Paredez discusses the emergence of an identifactory scheme that originated after the death of popular Tejano performer, Selena Quintanilla. Paredez's description of the characteristics of Selenidad are an accepted description of today's Latina femininity and used to better understand what it is to be Latina. In addition, Paradez describes Selenidad as a reconstructed symbolism that transcends various groups within the Latino/a community as seen in modern popular performances. Rita Moreno, Gloria Estefan, and Jennifer Lopez are women who in the past have shown that it is possible to be Latina and popular among the dominant culture. Yet, "Ritanidad" or "Jenniferdad" is never considered because, as Paredez explains,…show more content…
This iconography, such as the purple sequined jumpsuit Selena wore during her final concert, is the measure used to define the Latina body; in fact, drag and transgender performers use Selena's songs and style of dress to express their own Latina femininity, as Paredez explains with regard to a popular performance by queer performer, Melissa, "Like those embodied by the young women at the Selena auditions, [Melissa's imitation of Selena] operates as identifacatory practice for...Latina subject formation." (Paredez p.156). The popularity of Selenidad among LGBT Latinas is a focus of Paredez's book. In an article written by Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano she states that "...deconstructing binary notions of of lesbian sexuality..." (p.190) or reconstructing of femininity is the subject of most lesbian art and showcases two chapbooks created by Latina poet Marcia Ochoa which exemplify this artistic paradigm. Paradez, however, counters this idea when she shares comments made by gay Latinos/as asserting that Selena's femininity actually conforms to the gay Latina femme ideal; she quotes Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, "Selena's a drag queen...She was an outcast in her family...She was a gay man!" (Paredez p.165). It's this universality that marks the difference between Selenidad and Latinidad. Where Latinidad, as appropriated and defined by the dominant culture, has sparked contention Selenidad, which has remained wholly Latino/a defined, has found a common
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