| Quote #4
And then his girlfriend came. Lois I heard him call her. She is tiny and pretty and smells like baby's skin. […] She's got big girl hands, and her bones are long like ladies' bones, and she wears makeup too. But she doesn't know how to tie her shoes. I do. (28.2)
Esperanza is comparing herself to Lois in this passage. She perceives Lois to be more feminine, and thus more attractive, than she is – but Esperanza takes comfort in the fact that she possesses more practical knowledge than Lois does.
| Quote #5
All at once she bloomed. Huge, enormous, beautiful to look at, from the salmon-pink feather on the tip of her hat down to the little rosebuds of her toes. I couldn't take my eyes off her tiny shoes. (30.4)
Mamacita is a vision of femininity. Here, she's a vision – a spectacle to be looked at.
| Quote #6
Sally is the girl with eyes like Egypt and nylons the color of smoke. The boys at school think she's beautiful because her hair is shiny black like raven feathers and when she laughs, she flicks her hair back like a satin shawl over her shoulders and laughs. (32.1)
Beauty is an important quality of femininity in this novel. Esperanza seems to admire beauty in women, though she feels she doesn't possess it herself.