I recently came across this stunning photo of Celia Cruz and felt compelled to write about it. As a child growing up in Puerto Rico, I was very familiar with Celia’s music. But I didn’t just love her for her music; I completely admired her confidence and energy too. She was so electric and magnetic, and in a male dominated industry, Cruz quickly launched herself to the top, becoming known as the “Queen of Latin Music”.
What was fascinating to me was that she didn’t achieve her fame through her looks, but rather through her talent. As a child I remember my Grandma saying that Celia Cruz wasn’t necessarily very pretty, but her confidence and incredible talent made her so extremely attractive.
I love that even in a perfectly still photograph, Celia basically jumps off the page. I wondered how difficult that must be, to transfer such energy and movement into a photograph, and I think a big part of that has to do with color. Look at that incredible orange backdrop! It shot me straight back to my Puerto Rican childhood, where the vibrancy of orange is seen everywhere.
I never really understood why American culture has neglected orange for so long, only really associating it with Halloween and traffic cones — until recently, that is. Today, orange is the new black. We see its increasing use in marketing and branding, become the new vibrant logo color (think Nike, SoundCloud, MasterChef and BurnCycle). People are embracing orange as the perfect modern wall or accent color, taking advantage of its playful vibrancy. Isn’t it funny how the more culturally diverse we become, the more popular orange becomes?
Orange may be the latest trend, but to me, it will always be trend-proof.