I can't remember what people said when I was younger. I actually didn't like it back then either, because I didn't knw what to do with it.
I have had two comments in my recent history.
From a bald man, "your hair would look better straight." I said, "well, at least I have hair."
From someone noticing my gray roots. "Your gray roots are showing." My response: "yes, it is."
From my husband aboujt my unkempt hair on a Saturday (actually, I looked in the mirror and it wasn't THAT bad...I had just played with my little boy..."Your hair looks horrible." To which I replied "So! I love playing with our boy!"
That's right, I said it! I wear scrunchies!!

I am a sulfate washing, cone slabbing, curly lovin' s.o.b. The CG police haven't caught me yet.