I like getting compliments just as much as the next girl, but sometimes I get a bit confused about the compliments some people give out here.
Here's an interesting cultural difference (?) I can't get my head around:
You see, the amahs here (who are mostly Filipinos) are very generous with compliments, and very often they use the word 'sexy'. Even though I should be used to them using that specific word (when they probably actually just try to say that I look nice?) by now, I'm not. It still feels odd.
I'm not sure if they say 'sexy' because that's how they would say something nice in their language, or if they say it because they think that's what we say; or maybe they have just misunderstood the whole meaning of the word..?
Also it's one thing for me to get told "Oh Ma'am, you're so sexy!" when I'm dressed up for a night out and they want to compliment me; odd, but still - I'm an adult.
It's a completely other thing though when I hear them tell the kids they are 'sexy' (when they actually mean pretty/handsome/cute), and the kids in their turn start to use that word about each other..! A big no-no for me and I've told my children very clearly that that's a word only for adults to use, about adults.
Ah well, the amahs are just trying to be nice; in a very blunt way I guess. And yes, I do prefer "You look very sexy" to "Ma'am, you look very big" or "Ma'am you look plain"... :)