Last week I was teaching my students vocabulary for physical descriptions of people. Lesson learned: Spaniards are not shy and do not sugar coat, especially when it comes to the human body.
Example 2: With their new vocabulary students had to write a description of a celebrity and the class had to guess who it was. I don't remember all the details nor the exact words, but want to take a guess who the red-headed, overweight singer was?
this, but really? Look up at the drawing they had as an example for "overweight" and compare (contrast!) to Adele. Maybe it's my fault for not giving my students vocabulary for body types between slim and overweight (read: normal, average, beautiful), but I had no desire to argue with the student and draw any more attention to the debate.
Spain definitely doesn't take any shame in describing people, on both ends of the spectrum. Men can freely call other men handsome without accusations of being gay. When someone thinks you are good-looking, they generally tell you. This can be in the form of a coworker telling you you're especially guapa today, or random men on the street shouting at you as you walk by (aka piropos, but that's for another post). Here, it's just a part of life.