Her physical traits are provided directly by the mother. She describes herself as being built for labor. She is a larger African American woman, who admittedly is more built like a man than a woman. She has done physical labor her whole life, and it has had clear physical effects. She also describes herself as not being very educated. She chews tobacco as well.
As for personality traits, she is clearly old-fashioned and traditional. She takes great pride in Dee and tends to overlook Maggie, though Maggie is the one she is closest to. She dreams for success and riches, but knows that it is not she that will be able to achieve them (which is why she dreams of Dee being on a talk show). She is skeptical and new and different things, and can quickly spot the superficial. Overall she is caring and hard-working, and unlikely to change.