In my opinion, being called hot or sexy means a guy is more interested in your body than anything else.
I know a lot of girls don't like being called cute because that's what you would say about a puppy, but I don't mind it. I think guys mean it more in an endearing way, they're not comparing you to a dog. I'm 5'3" too, and it seems like guys just think it's adorable when a girl is short.
all my bestfriends are guys and I know men very well. when they call a girl cute, its like another way of saying, she's alright. not hot, not sexy, not ugly. you'll know when your sexy when a guy says damn girl, then that's how you know. lol sorry.