It seems to me that if you go by the all the old masterpiece paintings, curly hair was the ideal for beautiful hair for hundreds of years. I'll bet long, straight hair didn't become the standard until the hippie days of the 1960's and 70's. It's all relative. Just like once upon a time we were told that "gentlemen prefer blondes," but now a study showed that they prefer brunettes. It just keeps changing with the generations.
Earlier this evening I saw a commercial for some new line of hair products that featured a very catty man making snide remarks in a voiceover while women walked down the street. This woman with gorgeous loose curls was accused of having "poofy hair," while another with straight hair was mocked for being flat. What the heck do they want? Oh, I know. They want to make everyone on the planet feel inferior so we'll all run to buy their products. I don't care if they've got the best products in the world. I'd never give them a thin dime after that mean-spirited, insulting, offensive commercial.
Back to the topic. For me it wasn't what people said, it was who said it. The most hurtful comments were the ones that came (and still come) from my mother, simply because she is my mother. Never has she considered my hair beautiful, but more like something that needs to be fixed. From childhood it was "rat's nest" and comparisons to some character named "Witchy Poo" who must've been before my time. I spent most of my elementary school years with my hair in a thick, stiff ponytail braid.
I know my mother loves me, but she's got a serious prejudice against tight curls. Hers is even curlier than mine, so every day since she was old enough she's been setting it on hot rollers in order to straighten it into waves that she then combs through...dry. She has also kept it short all her life because that was the standard of beauty for women back in the fifties and early sixties when she was a young woman. It's surprising for her when she now sees celebrities reaching their fifties and still keeping their hair long.