I’m not in middle school nor a pedophile, so today I had to Google Selena Gomez. Apparently, the 17-year-old Disney Channel star was named after LA MISMÍSIMA Selena Quintanilla, the famous Tex-Mex singer who went on a vacation with Jesus far too early.
Dear Selenita (the chiquita, not the original one) tried to live up to her namesake by singing her own version of Bidi Bidi Bom Bom this weekend at the San Antonio Rodeo. And by “her own version” I mean the music sounded similar, but when it came to the singing, she took the Spanish language and butchered it so hard that even Italian and Portuguese felt the blows.
I’m in hyperbolic mode, I admit, but then again, I’ve always been protective about Spanish — I’m the anal retentive kind who types acentos, full words, interrogation and admiration signs even when using Gmail Chat. And so, when someone attempts to sing one of my childhood anthems by not rolling her R’s properly or saying “emaciona” instead of emociona, I die a little inside. Because Selenita, at least your namesake learned Spanish in order to publicly say she was actually singing in Spanish. There’s little wrong with machacar your español if you’re a first-generation American, but if celebrities want to take advantage of the Hispanic market (don’t kid yourself, Ms. Gomez, that’s exactly what you’re doing), they should at least be respectful about linguistics. You can’t have your empanada and eat it, too. Because dear girl, every time a self-professed Hispanic celebrity rolls an improper R, an angel loses his wings. And Rush Limbaugh wins.