June 29, 2022

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Nine-year-old Houston girl avenges Selena with Yolanda Saldivar piñata

4 min read

Decades after her death, Tejano queen Selena Quintanilla has transcended time, gathering a new generation of fans who have discovered and fallen in love with her and her music. Such is the case of Emily, a young girl from Houston who celebrated her ninth birthday earlier this month with a party themed after the Mexican-American star.  

While Emily’s outfit—a sparkly, purple jumpsuit just like one the singer wore at her legendary Houston Astrodome concert—was iconic in its own right, it was her party piñata of Quintanilla’s killer Yolanda Saldivar that really has people talking this week. A video of Emily aggressively swinging at a Saldivar piñata has gone viral on TikTok, garnering nearly 15 million views since her mother Edith Gomez shared the clip on the platform three days ago. 

In the short video, Gomez is heard behind the camera asking “Selena, what you about to do girl?”

“Can I say it?” Emily asks, getting permission to curse. “F— this b— up!” After getting the green light, Emily swings a purple bat at the piñata as Quintanilla’s “El Chico Del Apartamento 512” blares in the background. “That’s not hard enough,” a different voice yells. 

WARNING: Video contains NSFW language

@edithjgomez38 ♬ original sound – Edith

A follow-up clip shows Emily punching the piñata with her fists before finally breaking it. And it’s not just on TikTok. The video has also gone viral on Twitter. “My phone just started blowing up and I was like, who is sending me all these messages,” Gomez said. “I looked and I was like, ‘wow.’ I didn’t think it would blow up like that at all.”

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@edithjgomez38 Reply to @itsluiiss ♬ original sound – Edith

Gomez had initially proposed getting a piñata of a white rose in honor of Quintanilla’s favorite flower. But Emily, who decided on the party theme, had other plans. “She goes, ‘you’re gonna laugh but I want a Yolanda face,'” Gomez said. “I go ‘okay, well it’s going to be hard to find it but we can do it.'” After finding a custom piñata maker, they opted for a photo of Saldivar during her criminal trial in Houston for Quintanilla’s murder. 

Emily specifically requested a piñata of Selena Quintanilla's killer Yolanda Saldivar for ninth birthday party. 

Emily specifically requested a piñata of Selena Quintanilla’s killer Yolanda Saldivar for ninth birthday party. 

Edith Gomez

“I said I don’t want a flower I just want Yolanda so that everybody could get their lick back,” Emily said. Asked how it felt to get revenge for Quintanilla, Emily says, “I felt really relieved.”

Gomez, a longtime Selena fan, said she raised her children to love and appreciate her music as well. “I went to her last concert when I was nine,” Gomez said. “So when I had my two little girls I would always tell them ‘this is Selena. She was a baddie. Y’all call these other girls baddies but she was a real baddie.’ I would always show them her music videos. When the movie came out, we went to go see it. When the Netflix show came out, we all watched it together. We cried every time that part came on when Selena got shot.”

Quintanilla’s death has always resonated with Emily. “She’s like ‘mom, it wasn’t fair. She was already a superstar but she was going to be bigger,'” Gomez said. “She even thought about doing a petition for her (Saldivar) not to get out on parole. She was like ‘she doesn’t deserve to be free.'”

Emily wants her viral video to inspire new fans to learn about Selena, one of her biggest role models. “I love her beauty and her sound and her voice and her music and I love her creativity and her clothes and her outfits,” Emily said. “She never really doubted anybody for being who they wanted to be because when she wanted to be a singer, she went for it and she never stopped going.”


Gomez and Emily also hope the video also inspires a new trend. “It was fun but I feel like they need to see it so that they could get their own piñata and they could hit it really bad,” Emily said. “We’re hoping it becomes a tradition that if you’re going to have a Selena party, you gotta have the piñata,” Gomez said. “We can stick with Selena. We may not be able to do it in person but we can do it in spirit — with a piñata.”



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