When I was really young my hair was super long so only my baby hairs in the front curled, then for some crazy reason I cut my own hair in about 3rd grade which as anyone might guess that turned out horrible, then I started getting it permed to make it more uniform, that's when the rats nest and mop comments came. Finally by seventh grade I had learned to make it straight and did that everyday until a few months ago. I'm trying to get comfortable with my hair but I usually resort to straightening it or putting it back. But I am getting better. If I had those tight ringlets many African-American women have I would the happiest girl in the world, and would never be worried about my curls.
It's crazy though how those things stick with you and make you so self conscious.