15. Latinas and Music (Part 1)

November 6
READ: Negrón-Muntaner, Frances. “Celia’s Shoes.” From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture. Ed. Myra Mendible. Austin: U of Texas P, 2007.

DISCUSSION: Kelvin Li, Shantae Shaw & Michael Pavia

Please make sure to refer specifically to the Frances Negrón-Muntaner’s article and/or respond to Shantae, Kelvin & Michael’s discussion of the topic. If you want to bring any additional resources, please cite accordingly.

39 Responses to 15. Latinas and Music (Part 1)

  1. Lucia Parisi says:

    Celia is one of the most influential women in the Salsa world. I remember her when I was growing up and how sad everyone was when she passed away. The article mentions that she considered herself as an ugly woman and that is why she wore very colorful over the top outfits that fit her fun personality. She’s a very strong woman for not letting the critics bring her down, and use that negativity to make a mark for herself.

    Celia’s music video “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” represents the power that women have. The star of the video walks through the streets with confidence, grabbing people’s attention. She is wearing very little clothing and changes it throughout the video. Women want to be her and men want to be with her. The lyrics reinforce this by saying that la negrita walks straights and can stand on her own.

    On the other hand, this music video also represents Latino women as hypersexual. The “negrita” walks around with minimal clothing and that is why she gets so much attention. If this woman wasn’t so attractive and wore a skimpy outfit, people would be grossed out. Or if an attractive woman wore a normal outfit, she wouldn’t get as much attention.

    • Ernie Abreu says:

      I remember the sorrow everyone was experiencing when she passed away too Lucia. I remember witnessing heavy traffic in New York the day of her funeral and all the sad and crying faces. Celia has definitely made her impact in the world with her music and her charisma. She was idolized by many successful women artists like Olga Tañón and Gloria Estephan. She revoluntionized the cuban music, Salsa, and made it known and heard worldwide. Rest in Peace Celia Cruz.

      • It is true that Lucia impact so many people by her music and her charisma. Even though her music of “La Negrita” was a little too much but it is true that the only way people will like the music is by seen a younger woman in the streets, especially when she’s naked. She wants her music to reach to alot of people, so they could remember her by her music and the things she has done for been Cuban. Everyone respected her music and it shows when she died and a lot of people came for her funeral.

      • carolynluby says:

        I agree, Celia left a permanent mark on the music industry in a very unique way. She brought a latina voice into the limelight and brought salsa into the lives of many people who may not have otherwise been exposed to it. She spread her latina culture, and even beyond that, her cuban culture, into the united states and worldwide which is a feat that is definitely worthy of praise and admiration. Cuba and the United States have has a complicated history, and for Celia to overcome the bias and oppression she faced not only as a latina but as a cuban latina making it in the American and worldwide music industry she is owed an extreme amount of respect.

      • I would definitely have to agree with you. I remember what a big deal it was when she passed away. It was all over the news and the spanish network television stations all had live coverage of everything that was happening in New York City. I remember watching it all on television with my grandmother. It was a really sad day. I grew up listening to all of her music and she was such a significant figure in the music industry. I do believe that she left her mark in the music industry and will always be remembered. I also agree with you that she did revolutionize the salsa music genre. She made it so well known world wide and she had people of all different nationalities listening to her music. Celia will never be forgotten.

    • Kiara Morales says:

      Celia Cruz has always been such a respected musical figure in my eyes growing up. Our discussion as we compared her two music videos was very interesting to me because I had never before thought of Celia being represented as anything other than just a salsa singer. However, clearly we see that other elements in the videos are meant to contrasts physical aspects, such as the ones that you mentioned in the aspect of sexuality in the video, “La Ne Tiene Tumbao”, clearly there is a distinction made between Celia and the girl featured in the video. I think it was very tasteful for Celia to have made sure to not have been included in any of the same frame of the other girl, just so that her talent remained about her, and not about the distraction of sex appeal.

    • Is it possible that Celia made the music video in this way for a reason? Or could it have been because she lacks the sex appeal and needs to make up for it by incorporating other sexy women in her videos? Either way, Celia found a way to be successful without the idea of sex appeal.

  2. Ernie Abreu says:

    I believed that the song “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” by Celia Cruz is a statement that she is made to the world about herself. As the article and Lucia stated, Celia was a very strong and confident woman, that stood up against the critisms she got for being dark skinned and ugly, and made her impact in the music industry. I interpreted this song as a testimony of her confidence. The verse, “La negra tiene tumbao, y no camina de lao” is explaining how she is a black woman with confidence that will not let nothing take her or put her down, and she doesn’t need nobody by her side to achieve this. In my eyes, Celia is “la negra” that has “tumbao”, and does not walk in the path of critism. How do you guys interpreted this verse?

    • rserreti says:

      I strongly agree with this comment. I also felt that Celia was a very confident woman even though she got many criticisms about her appearance. This shows that she was able to rise about the criticisims and embrace herself. This shows what a strong and confident woman she is and how she will not let anyone bring her down. This is represented very much in her song “La Negra Tiene Tumbao”.

      • I also agree with this comment because in the article a lot of people critize her by her looks and probably that’s why in the song, La Negra Tiene Tumbao means that no matter what people say about her, she won’t let it bother her and continue on her work as a singer. Even though people from the past insulted her appearance, she was rememberd by a lot of people like her fans, family and famous singers that went to her funeral. In my opinion, she was a strong person who didn’t want to give up just because other people told her she couldn’t be famous.

    • Shantae Shaw says:

      I felt it was a statement about herself as well. Although at times she would say these negative comments about herself, I don’t feel it was in a self-degrading way, or a device to bring herself down. She achieved so much DESPITE these sayings. She had a sense of self that kept her on a successful path, keeping her grace and composure and made everyone around her love her. And these things, to me, signify this woman she speaks about in “La Negra Tiene Tumbo”.

      • carolynluby says:

        I see quite a few parallels between Celia and Frida as women. Both women were considered unconventional and were regarded as “ugly” in the popular eye. However, both women fought against this label and point of view and showed that they are so much more than just their physical appearance. They created true beauty that transcends materialistic appearances- Frida with her artistic abilities and Celia with her melodious voice. These women who were not considered beautiful came to create some of the most beautiful art/ music in the world today. This just goes to show that beauty is not what is on the outside, but it is so much deeper than that. True beauty is the ability to express ones-self and to make others redefine what they consider to be beautiful, Celia Cruz is beautiful in her own profound way, and she radiates that beauty through her sound and her music.

    • sorlyz says:

      I agree with your comment, Ernie. Celia was a very confident woman who grew up with issues of self-esteem. Because she did not see herself as society’s definition of beauty, she felt that her crazy outfits would help her. I agree that Celia is “la negra” because she was a strong woman that had a very long and strong career. Not only was her career for a long period of time but she was also one of very few women in the Salsa industry. In order for her to have succeeded she had to be very strong willed and independent, as the song says, “y no camina de lao”.

  3. rserreti says:

    When reading the article it said, “Celia’s shoes literally lifted Celia from the ground, away from lowly social origins and onto a stage where reality appeared to be free and self-fashioned. In this regard, Celia’s “wildly stylish” shoes “dressed up” her struggle of upward mobility while insisting that a black woman born in poverty on a small Caribbean island could reach the heights of a transnational singing star” (Negron-Muntaner 99). I found it very interesting how Celia used her shoes to show her rise away from the poverty she once lived in. Celia wears these shoes to signify how she finally got away from the poverty. Although some people find this to be flashy, I believe that it is a way for Celia to show how thankful and happy she is that she has risen above poverty. Her shoes signify her uniqueness with everyone else. Instead of doing the same basic things that every other person does, Celia decided to use shoes to distinguish herself from everyone else.

    Also, during the discussion in class today I was very suprised by her appearance. I felt that she used the bright and loud colors to distinguish herself and make herself known. Since no one liked her when she began, she used her uniqueness to gain her popularity. I felt that she wore these bright, vibrant clothes to show her strong feminism and to show that she is a confident women, She does not care what people think of her and I think that that is a very great trait to have when being a Latina woman.

    • Hailey Rosa says:

      Like you, I found Celia’s choice of dress visually shocking and a bit assaulting. With her large wigs, brightly colored clothing, and extravagant heels, Celia is certainly not one to blend in with the crowd. I couldn’t help but relate her unique style to that of Lady Gaga. I feel like both entertainers strategically use fashion to grab an audience’s attention. In discussion another shock-value driven artist was brought up, Nicki Minaj. Recently I heard the song “Bitch Bad” by Lupe Fiasco (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3m3t_PxiUI) and then watched the music video after hearing the lyrics. Lupe Fiasco makes a parallel between artists like Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj to the racist entertainment of black face. The performance these artists put on is nothing but that, a performance, which is effecting the youth of today. I pose a question, do you feel like these extravagant actions are beneficial to our society? Are they simply the artist’s desire to express themselves, or is it a more sinister influence re-creating stereotypes?

    • sorlyz says:

      I did know about her reasons of wearing the shoes and the meaning they had for Celia. Growing up watching and listening to Celia, I always thought she dressed funny and I realize now that I was completely captivated by the wigs and crazy dresses. It makes me think that Celia must have been a very humble person because every time she slipped on a pair of heels, she would think of how she has gotten the fame she had. Being the “Queen of Salsa” would certainly give any other person a huge-Kanye West- ego but maybe these unconventional heels kept Celia grounded.

  4. Hailey Rosa says:

    Witnessing Celia’s music videos in class was extremely interesting. Much of the article about Celia surrounded around her appearance and herself as an icon of a “respectable” woman in the media’s eyes. In music today there is not a single video on MTV in which someone, something, or some action is sexualized. Although the importance of physical attraction is a pervasive problem in America’s youth today, it was still felt by Celia back then.

    She was a self-described “ugly woman” (96), who fought the era dependent on bodily image as opposed to vocal ability (97). I believe that not only her physical beauty (or lack thereof) and age, but family in addition had an impact on her public persona. In the article, her father was cited as an influence on her fear of being seen as “an easy woman” (103-4). And though Celia is not in skimpy clothing or provocative poses, the first video we watched was overwhelmingly focused on scantily clad women being ogled at. There is no doubt that sex sells, and the use of models in music videos is still a common practice today for those artists who do not belong to the westernized notion of beauty. The normative expectation of thinness trains society to not tolerate the bodies of Adele, Missy Elliot, or Queen Latifah in a swim suit. Why then is it ok for Steven Tyler, Rick Ross, or Fat Joe to expose their older or larger bodies? In conclusion, age, physical appearance, family values, AND sex is a major factor in the media’s acceptance of your figure/fashion/facial beauty.

    • violettaorlowski says:

      I agree with your statement about how almost every video now is overly sexualized. What really struck me from the discussion in class was how our Professor mentioned that Celia did not agree with the overly sexualized video, but that it was the directors choice to do it in that manner. I wish Celia had more of a say in how she wanted the direction of her video to go, but it would be interesting to find out how much power she really had with her career.

      • Stephanie Giannoutsos says:

        Yes, it is crazy how many artist’s don’t have a say in their own music videos! If Celia didn’t feel comfortable with the overly sexualized video, she should have had more of a say in what was going on. I see many similarities with other artists such as our discussion on Shakira today. I’m sure Shakira didn’t want to put herself with no clothes on her first American album, but she was probably coerced into it. Her label knew that this image of her is what would bring the most success so that’s why she agreed to it. It’s sad but true that the music and entertainment businesses work in this manner.

  5. stephaniegiannoutsos says:

    One thing I was thinking about during class was the huge contrast between the two video clips we saw of the two Celia Cruz songs. In the first one, Celia was dressed so extravagantly and flashy and in the second one, she blended in with the crowd. It was discussed in the reading that Celia believed she was an ‘ugly’ woman and used her style/fashion to make up for that. I realized though that she only portrayed these ideas in the first video. I wonder if this was because in the first video, there was a beautiful/sexy girl as the main focus. Maybe Celia felt the pressures of beauty, and because of this, she felt the need to dress in her extreme manner to compensate for her lesser looks. The second video didn’t focus on any beautiful girl so Celia felt she could dress like her more normal self.

    • carolynluby says:

      I think the difference in these two videos is what is being “put on display” in La Negrita Tiene Timbao, the young woman dancing is being put on display for viewers in the video and of the video as well. Celia is also being put on display in this video, she is wearing bright colors and an extravagant wig and putting herself on display for viewers. This video is much less true to Celia’s real character than the other video we watched, contrapunto musical, where the culture is the central focus not a single player in the video or even Celia herself. She is not putting herself on display, and it is not as sexually/ visually voyeristic (although cultural voyerism is present that is a much different sort of dynamic). She is bringing more attention to her culture/ music than herself or La Negrita in the Timbao video for example, and that conveys a much different sentiment in her music for her audience to pick up on.

  6. carolynluby says:

    Celia Cruz and Ivy queen shatter ideals of beauty and shatter gender binaries in a similar fashion that Frida did. Celia Cruz redefines what is beautiful by showing that beauty is something more than just someones physical appearance and looks. Celia is unconventional looking, but that does not make her ugly. She is a beautiful person who shows her beauty through her music and voice. Similarly, Frida strove to shatter the ideal definition of beauty as well. Frida created art that is renowned worldwide as being beautiful, but the irony of this is many of her paintings were self portraits. So she as a person was regarded as ugly, but the “retratos” she painted of herself were considered some of the most beautiful piece of art of the century, just as Celia’s music and voice are regarded as being timelessly beautiful. Frida and Celia show the world that beauty is beyond skin deep, it is who you are as a person and what you do with your gifts that makes you beautiful.

    Frida also shattered the false binary of feminine and masculine, and showed the world that there is more than just the rigid gender roles of male/female and feminine/masculine. She showed a personality and identity that embodied both feminine and masculine traits and behaviors, and showed that there is a grey area between feminine and masculine that many people in the world inhabit. Ivy Queen does the same thing in her music and in both videos we watched in class. In the first video she is a younger rapper, showing very masculine traits in her rap style as well as her dress. In the second video, however, Ivy Queen shows her feminine side as far as her appearance but still maintains masculine aspects of her appearance as well. She is playing the typical male role of a relationship- being the initiator and showing herself in control- while maintaining feminine dress and a feminine vocal sound. Just like Frida, she is showing that feminine and masculine are personality traits that can inhabit both males and females, they are not gender exclusive. She indulges both aspects of her personality, and chooses which (or both) to highlight when she wants to. This concept of embracing hybridity, or embracing that personality and identity is more complicated than false binary systems such as beautiful/ ugly and feminine/masculine is one way that equality can become a little bit closer for everyone. It is also a way of thinking that can lead to a much more profound discovery of self and who you really are.

  7. It is interestin to see the transformations that Latinas in music go trough wether they are on Spanish or English networks. As for Celia, other then image I feel as if she was able to maintain her style of music. It didnt change much through out the years. Granted she problaby did not keep tru to herself in terms of the imagery in her music videos. In the song “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” you can notably see the difference the difference. Celia no longer appeared in the fore front along with the naked lady that depicted “la Negra.” It is almost as if for Celia it was, “out of sight, out of mind.” It was as if she ha no say in how she wanted interpret her song.

    However there was a change in Celia’s clothing style. Her wigs were still her signature and more prominent accessory, but the color became louder and bolder. In class it was said to be a little “Gaga-esce”, as in larger then life. So is this evolution of style or assimilation into popular culture? I guess the true question is, what is most important for musicians…to maintain your integrity or maintain your style? In other words. Should one keep their music, but have their image depend on executive decisions or change ones music to fit the popular demand, but maintain the physical appearance in accordance to comfortability?

    • morgan radin says:

      Your connection to Lady Gaga’s style is very interesting to me. When I first saw the “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” I had never heard of Celia and legitimately thought that she was a drag queened man! Her over the top costuming and appearance are what contributed to this thought most. When you added in the comment about Lady Gaga I once again thought of this drag idea; when Lady Gaga first rose to fame many thought that her appearance was manly and it was not until she started showing off her female anatomy in costumes that people began to think otherwise. I question whether others felt that Celia were a drag queen and how this affected her as a Latina.

  8. Caroline/a Nieto says:

    During this class discussion I thought it was interesting when it came to Celia’s videos and how the women were represented in the videos. In both of the videos, especially the first one it seemed that all the latina could be seen for was for her body and sex appeal. She flirts, dances and skips around, teasing men and seducing them while Celia, the real singer, is in a different frame- far away from the world of this sex driven woman. In the other video, which was much more mild- Celia is more present in the video and although there are women in tight red clothing dancing, they are not the main focus on the video as the other woman was. The second video seems more mild and more acceptable when it comes to a woman’s song and I think this is because it was made way before the first one we saw in class. It just struck me as odd because in the reading, Celia’s shoes- it is says that Celia wanted to be represented as a Cuban, as a Latina and as an Afro-Caribbean woman, but also decent woman. It also says later that Celia used her music as her gift to share with the world. In that hand- why would she let the stereotypes of Latina’s of being a sexual being continue to be used?

    It just seems weird to me that in her videos, women are so objectified. They are seen for their bodies, their youth, their sex appeal- but not for being decent women. Their defined by their exterior and their sex appeal. Why wouldn’t she take a stand against this? I get that sex sells and that sex makes money, but for a woman so strong who had such a beautiful, wouldn’t it make more sense for her to have made less of a scandales video to help fight against stereotypes that are forever growing? Women continue to be objectified, especially latina women. If we want this to stop, strong women like her, should be a big part of it- not continuing it.

    • I strongly agree with you when you say that it is strange to objectify women in these music videos. Especially because Celia does not fit this “sex appeal” stereotype, it is a little odd that she has so many half naked women in her music videos. You also hit it right on the head when you say that Celia should stand against this because she is someone that unlike others, prides herself on singing ability.

  9. sorlyz says:

    Ivy Queen first came into the Spanish Rap and Reggaeton industry dressed more manly than she dresses today. In my opinion, she had to fit this certain look because she was jumping into a very masculine genre of music. Men dominated these genres and in order to be taken seriously, Ivy could not be just a feminine women in dresses singing Reggaeton. Also, Reggaeton, like many music genres, is not only music but a type of style. Rappers tend to wear the gold chains, grills, and baggy clothing whereas, country singers will wear hats, boots, and jeans. When an artist is trying to make it big, they have to compromise their beliefs in order to try and fit.

    In Ivy Queen’s case, I feel that her change to look more feminine in her second video has to do with her already established fame and the type music she is singing. Her name has already been established as the “Queen of Reggaeton” and in order to expand and continue her fame she has to evolve and try different genres. I like that she is growing and changing her style. I think that if she hadn’t she would become stale and just “old news”.

    • I would have to agree with you. In order for Ivy queen to become as successful as she has become, she had to first establish her name in the industry. Since Spanish rap is such a male dominate genre she had to dress a certain way in order to fit into what everyone else in the genre looked like. And since like you said in your past that this genre is all about the style and look you portray they strive to look like that in order to fit in. After ivy queen established herself as a famous and well known rapper, she was able to go of and do her own thing which is what we see in her second video. She is not rapping as much, she is now showing her true talent and singing voice. Known as the “Queen of Reggaeton” she has been able to do alot in the spanish rap genre of music.

    • Yamile Hernandez says:

      I agree, we also have to remember that the whole industry of reggaeton is changing and evolving. Look at the artists who started back in the beggining—Wisin Y Yandel’s first –album compared to their latest one Los Lideres.It has completely changed–Reggaeton has evolved to include caribbean beats from all of latin america, electronic beats, Hip-Hop & Rap Latino—etc. It has evolved and now takes on many forms–artists in order to survive have to evolve with the industry. Ivy Queens new style is just her way of staying new, and broadening her audience

  10. During the class discussion on Celia Cruz, I found it very interesting that when Celia was shown in the videos that we watched she was seen mostly standing in the middle with all the attention on her. The stereotypical Latina women showing off their sex appeal and their bodies with the way that they were dressed very promiscuously. They were shown dancing around and flirting with men and teasing them, while Celia was shown singing the songs and showing of the talent that she was born to do. I found it very interesting that throughout Celia’s entire music career she has always stuck to the same clothing style. She is always over the top with her clothing and wigs. Celia was always a very strong and confident women. She never wanted to be like everyone else in the music industry and I believe that is what made her stand out from the rest.

    I also found it very interesting how in Ivy Queens case she went from having very masculine music videos to a very feminine music videos later on in her career. In the first music video that we watched in class, she was seen very masculine wearing baggy clothing and rapping very masculine like. In the second video that we watched, Ivy queen is seen more feminine like singing songs instead of rapping them. Ivy Queen is known as the queen of regeaton, which is the genre of music she sings. She was able to use this name to get the fame that she was looking for.

  11. briannamartone12 says:

    Comparing Ivy Queen from the beginning of her career to present day, it is evident how much her image has evolved. However, this is something that is often very common by many artists, regardless of the genre they fall in. I think that this doesn’t just support this issue being one of Latinas, but it shows how this is a problem for women in general. While most women artists may begin their career with not being as sexualized, eventually in order to stay relevant in the industry, they rely on their sexuality. I think it’s interesting to note how men do not have to necessarily do this by any extent. However, men reinforce within their own music videos how women must be sexy at all times and pleasing to men. Therefore, when this is implemented in both genders music videos then then the hyper-sexualized image that women are expected to portray, continues to perpetuate.

    We see that in Ivy’s video from earlier in her career, she is dressed similarly to men. There is nothing revealing about her appearance and she is not made to stick out as a female. However, as her career continues, we see that she evolves as an artist. She begins to show more of her breasts and wear more gendered clothing. In the earlier video where she wears boy clothes, we see the transition as she fashions a short dress that reveals more of her curves.

    To answer one of the questions in the slideshow, I think Ivy’s video, “Peligro De Extincion”, she has succeeded in showing how women should take initiative with men. Instead of most women who wait for men to make moves, leaves clues around the mansion for her lover to come and find. She even has a tux waiting for him and has more control of this predicament. Due to this, I think that she shows that gender doesn’t matter and the expectations that come with gender should be challenged. As far as an artist she is obviously recognized for her abilities, but I commend her on actually challenging how we think of gendered expectations.

  12. The article “Celia’s Shoes” states “Yet in an era when bodily image, not vocal ability, often sells more CDs, Celia had to creatively solve another matter to ensure long-term success: that of not looking good as a performer.” In my opinion, Celia is proof that you do not need to be beautiful, sexy, or have barely any clothes on in order to succeed in the entertainment or music industry. Known as the “Queen of Salsa,” Celia achieved fame through other methods such as mastering the salsa dance as well as wear extremely sparkly clothing and high heels.

    What I found extremely interesting after our discussion and watching a few of her music videos was how she was not really the center of focus in any of them. Especially in the music video for the song entitled “La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” it starts with a promiscuous girl wearing barely any clothes walk down the street. In addition, Celia was only shown periodically in this music video. She made this song and I found it strange that we didn’t see more of her in the video. It seems that the other girl, not Celia was featured a lot more frequently in Celia’s song than Celia was.

    • sorlyz says:

      During our discussion of La Negra Tiene Tumbao, we did see less of Celia than we would see of any other singers in their music videos. It was interesting that Celia’s video had a naked woman in it even after Celia made her point and stance that she did not approve of the idea. Just another example of “sex sells”.

      • Yamile Hernandez says:

        Its crazy to see how Celia’s videos changed from when she first started to when she crossed over to an american audience. I wish more of her videos were more authentic to her character and really portrayed the messages of her songs. Celia was an amazing artist, who was confident and talented! The naked woman in her Esa Negra Tiene Tumbao video took it a little too far—im surprised as to why her manager allowed the shot to be taken when Celia, the artist was uncomfortable with the scenes. Yes the song is about a women who is sexy, and confident but she does not need to be naked in the song and dancing with a hair dryer to present that. But again agreeing with you Sex Sells

  13. michaelpavia says:

    It is my impression that Celia Cruz was on of the true greats. Known at the Queen of Salsa she took a dance dominated heavily by Puerto Rican males and made it her own. Her ability to express her culture, love of music and unique personality brought her to stardom. She did not have the to use the idea of being self to sell her self but instead used her outgoing personality. Looking at the videos I think this becomes apparent.

  14. Gillianna Mendoza says:

    November 7th, 2012
    I agree that Celia Cruz has been one of the most influential women in Latin American culture and has made her mark on this world, and still continues to do so even without her presence. Additionally, I think she defined and changed the Salsa music world. She, as a woman, broke downs walls since the Salsa domain was a man’s world and added flamboyance, style, while also keeping tradition. As I mentioned in class, while she was a woman to reckon with, I think this video we warched for “La Negra tiene Tumbao” could easily belong to any other salsa singer, but she made herself known in other words. Many latin videos have girls half naked in their videos (or in this case, completely naked) and have the main artists just singing on the side. What is so great is that she kept this idea, but as a woman, it was empowering because she’s recognized for her voice and not for being the naked girl in the video.

  15. Gillianna Mendoza says:

    December 2nd, 2012
    I think it’s interesting this group decided to discuss two female artists with so many differences; we really got quite the spectrum in class and talked about several topics. Celia Cruz redefined salsa and made her mark as a woman, with all of her adoring fans and upbeat music that you could help but dance to. And that voice of hers made it impossible to ever question if it was her music you were talking about. Whether it was her vibrant colors or that voice, she is unforgettable and should definitely serve as more of a role model that I think most people see her as. She made music that she wanted to make, regardless of appearances or what people told her, and I think that’s what it takes to be a true artist. She also played a man’s game, which during that time, was really hard to do. For these reasons, I think a lot more people should look up to her, especially young girls, but I know this is not the case since she doesn’t have that defined “look” that artists like Paulina Rubio, Shakira, or Jennifer Lopez have.
    Contrastingly, I don’t know much about Ivy Queen. I’m familiar with her name, and what pops into my hear when I think about her is hard-core, grunge reggaeton. So when we saw the contrasting videos of her, I couldn’t believe the “new her”. Unlike Celia Cruz, I think she did somewhat “sell herself out”. After looking her up some more, she was similar in that she stepped into a man’s game, raggaeton, which was even riskier because raggaeton was a frowned upon genre when she was first starting out. So I respect and commend her for that, but I don’t think she’s become the artist she wanted to be. Now, she is a lot more girly, but still trying to remain in the raggaeton genre. Unlike, Celia, she didn’t stay true to what or who she wanted to be, and is now trying something completely different in order to gain a new fan base, which I think has actually affected her negatively, making her possibly loose some fans. It is great that she has empowering lyrics and videos for women, but I think she should have stuck with what she wanted, rather than what others wanted her to do.

  16. Gillianna Mendoza says:

    As you and several others have said, I agree that Ivy queen kind of “sold out” her appearance. I can’t officially say I’m aware of her, since I was never really a fan, but I could identify her name and what kind of music she did, which is what allows me to have this opinion. She had a “thug” look with baggy clothing, singing vulgar and hard-core raggaeton lyrics. And now, yes she is still an artists who has a fan base and makes music, but it is completely different than what she entered this music industry with and a lot of it sounds nothing like what she used to be like. However, it is great that she appears to be empowered in a lot of her music videos, and her lyrics, which makes me understand why she has kept some of her fans and is a latina artist to remember.

  17. Skylar Smith says:

    This presentation was very interesting. It involved two very unique artists that made their way. I have never heard of Celia before this presentation but now that i have, I appreciate her uniqueness. Her ability to express the way she really is and the way she feels is an aspect of her that you do not see too much of today. Her personality was enough to gain fans and her music is of her own style which had the ability to gain more fans. Although she used very promiscuous women that danced around her or in the video, the focus was still on her and her unique ability to express her personality.

    Ivy Queen also expressed herself very uniquely. She is avery talented artist which allowed her to switch from reggaeton to more pop sort of music. She dressed with baggy clothes etc. during her reggaeton days because that was the style for reggaeton. Reggaeton is more of a male dominated type of music. Each type of music has their own style. When she switched from reggaeton, she was not trying to sell her body, she was fitting in to that certain type of music. She dressed more femininely because it fits her gender and the style of the music. I do not believe her style changed because she was a Latina. She adapted to the music industry in order to become successful.

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