Widely celebrated among Latinos, the quinceañera marks an important milestone in a girl’s life. Part birthday party, part rite of passage, it symbolizes a girl’s entrance into womanhood when turning 15, traditionally showcasing her purity and readiness for marriage.
But the quinceañera has also been Americanized. And the increasingly elaborate celebrations reflect the changing landscape of Latinos in the United States. In fact, Lucero’s quinceañera was not, strictly speaking, a quinceañera at all.