reality in a movie

It’s strange how things trigger your memory. I was watching the Selena movie, out of some morbid fascination I’m sure. The movie isn’t that good, it’s just that her death was such an impact, every one of my friends from college has a “where were you when Selena died” story. I mean, Tejano music is HUGE in Texas (look at the name). Selena was a big deal here.

Anyway, I was watching the Selena movie and there’s two scenes in there that really hit me every single time I watch it. The first is the rant by her father when she’s getting ready to do a tour in Mexico. The whole “we have to be more American than the Americans and more Mexican than the Mexicans” statement rang so true, so close to home, that it makes me take notice. “We have to be twice as perfect,” he says in the movie. And it’s so true. Mexico is so much a part of my soul that I cannot imagine what it would be like to be monolingual or monocultural (and I’m pretty sure that’s not a real word). But I’m constantly having to prove myself to everyone. Don’t mispronounce anything, don’t be too anything, don’t be this and don’t be that. It’s exhausting and unfair.

The other scene is the shopping scene. You know, the one where the sales clerk looks down at her and tells her that she wouldn’t want that dress (yes, I know that was done in Pretty Woman too). And I think about the time a sales clerk refused to wait on my mother because she just _knew_ that she couldn’t afford Chanel No. 5. Or the time that a clerk called in to the credit card company to make sure my card wasn’t stolen, because, dear Lord, how could _I_ have an American Express card and afford to spend that much money on clothes. Or the many times I’ve had clerks follow me around the store, semi-discretely, making sure I don’t steal anything because I don’t fit their mold of an average customer.

I don’t usually dwell on these things, but the movie pushed some buttons I suppose. Anyway, watch the movie if nothing else to see what I’m talking about.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter ( and (Facebook).

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