The pioneering Tejano star died 25 years ago.
25 years ago, Mexican-American Tejano sensation Selena Quintanilla was murdered.
In her short 23 years, Selena shook the Latin music scene by storm throughout the late '80s and early '90s, playing an unprecedented role in driving the genre towards the mainstream in the United States. Some of her greatest influences included Donna Summer, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, and the Jackson family, though her father encouraged her to pay homage to her roots by singing in Spanish and implementing Mexican cumbia and mariachi into her music.
With hits like "Dreaming of You," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," and "Como la Flor"—as well as an unmistakable, but often replicated, sense of style—Selena was a phenomenon with a lasting legacy. Reactions to her tragic death by gunshot wound in 1995 were comparable to those following the deaths of John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and President John F. Kennedy. Two weeks after her death, George W. Bush—then governor of Selena's home state of Texas—declared her birthday, April 16, Selena Day in the state. In honor of her, we've rounded up 11 artists who've cited the Queen of Tejano as an influence in their own careers.
Hailing from the same state, it shouldn't be a surprise that the "Lose You to Love Me" singer looked up to her namesake. "I am named after her. She was a big deal to my family and growing up from the get-go, I knew who she was and who I was named after," Gomez told The View in 2012. "I got to visit her grave. I've actually met...some of her family, and it's such an honor to be named after someone so amazing."
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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They have already deleted his Instagram and Tiktok accounts, but it's only a matter of time before he tries again
Social Media is a drug.
Every like and share and follow is a little dose of validation that often leads to some bizarre behavior as people try to chase that first high. Certain personality types are more susceptible to the addiction of posting and refreshing and keeping tallies, but one group is so prone to getting hooked that they should be kept away at all costs—pre-teen kids. Consider the case of Mason Dash Disick.
The son of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, Mason is ten years old and already reality TV royalty—even if his mom seems to have quit Keeping Up with the Kardashians. At that age, a kid will do just about anything to charm or impress a crowd—think of the kids in fourth grade who would eat anything put in front of them on a dare—which is why social media platforms all have a minimum age of 13. But that cutoff doesn't stop a lot of pre-teens from joining anyway, and the allure must be all the more compelling when the family business is getting as much attention as possible. For a kid like Mason, there are millions of strangers eager to hang on his every live-streamed word. It's no wonder his parents have decided to keep him off social media—deleting Mason's Instagram account shortly after he started taking questions from strangers. But even in that brief window Mason had already and managed to amass around 10,000 followers.
As Kourtney noted in her response to people who questioned the decision, "The thing that really worries me with kids is just comments. People can be so mean. It's really easy to get consumed with it." Obviously, she's right. No ten year old is really ready for the kind of abuse that malicious strangers like to dish out in social media comments. It would have been the right move even if Mason hadn't been giving up the kind of family secrets that the Kardashian-Jenner empire prefers to dole out in tabloid rumors and reality TV bombshells. If Mason hadn't spilled the beans on Instagram Live earlier this week, speculation about a Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott reunion could have been milked for so much drama! But all Mason was concerned with was the fact that so many people were excited to hear what he had to say.
He has already been bitten by the social media bug. He's had a taste of the high it can deliver and is already trying to get another. TikTok was the obvious next choice. When he found an audience there, he lamented the death of his previous account with some dubious math that he's clearly been obsessing over, saying of his follower count, "I would have had 2.7 million by now if I kept it up." That kind of extrapolating is a dangerous game and part of the reason why a kid like Mason shouldn't be on Instagram in the first place—imagine if his math told him he would have two million followers, and he woke up to find he only had one: the devastation!
Fortunately, it wasn't long before Mason's parents found out about his TikTok and deleted that too. The family's high profile is a double-edged sword in this case. It keeps drawing Mason back to receive that validation, but it also means that his parents are quickly informed by fans when he makes an appearance. That said, Mason is definitely not done, and there are a dozen other platforms that he can try to sneak around on—from Snapchat to Twitch to YouTube.
Hopefully Kourtney and Scott have found a sufficient threat of punishment to scare him off the idea for at least a little while. Eventually though, Mason will find his way back to social media. As he mentioned on TikTok, he's been cut off from a lot of his family in quarantine. The Internet is his only connection to the outside world, and now he's felt that special rush of strangers' attention. He can't leave his imaginary audience of millions waiting forever.
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