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Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen published The Ugly Duckling in 1843, and a huge reason why the fairy tale is famous to this day is that of how relatable it is. It's a heartwarming story about personal transformation for the better, revolving around inner beauty just as much as it does around its outer counterpart when the duckling turns into a beautiful swan.

Now, no matter how pretty you might've been since the day you were born, we all go through that awkward stage in early puberty. The puberty stage when your body proportions might sadly relate to ones of a manatee. Pair it with a haircut enhancing none of your good features, add braces and some questionable fashion choices, and voila - you've got yourself something to be ashamed of years later. Luckily, when the body transformation is completed, a beautiful swan, just like from the Ugly Duckling, emerges.

To prove that the Longbottoming Syndrome (named after an actor from the Harry Potter series, Matthew Lewis) is an intrinsic part of life, people are sharing their personal before and after pics. Viewing these amazing photos, it's clear that you never know what time has prepared for you. Even though these late bloomers had to wait a little longer than others to grow into their looks fully, the results seem totally worth it. Scroll down to check out their stunning before-and-after images!

#1

I Must Say, Being An Ugly Duckling (Both Self-described And By The Perception Of Others) Made Me A Much Better Person Than I Might Have Been Had I Always Been "Pretty"

I Must Say, Being An Ugly Duckling (Both Self-described And By The Perception Of Others) Made Me A Much Better Person Than I Might Have Been Had I Always Been "Pretty"

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#3

Taking The Cake On This One

Taking The Cake On This One

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Anne Bustyvel
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I dont think the kid is ugly just because he is a bit chubby. He looks like a creative boy. Cute kid! Handsome man!

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#6

Here's Freshman Year Of College (17) Vs. Now (25)

Here's Freshman Year Of College (17) Vs. Now (25)

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#7

Puberty Hits

Puberty Hits

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Ronja Rövardotter
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This guy reminds me of the famous Neville Longbottom transformation :-) I don't know but they kind of look alike. :-) Both handsome now o:-)

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#8

So This Is Me In 8th Grade And This Is Me Now As A Senior

So This Is Me In 8th Grade And This Is Me Now As A Senior

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#10

Freshman 20 And 3 Years Later

Freshman 20 And 3 Years Later

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#12

The Before Vs. The After. I Feel Like I've Improved A Bit

The Before Vs. The After. I Feel Like I've Improved A Bit

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#13

Me Age 15 And Me Age 21

Me Age 15 And Me Age 21

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Bridgette David
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congratulations on beating your acne. I know how painful and hard to control it is.

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#14

People From High School Usually Recognize Me Just Enough To Ask If I Have A Younger Brother

People From High School Usually Recognize Me Just Enough To Ask If I Have A Younger Brother

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#15

Still Don't Think I'm Quite Over The Syndrome, But I Do Know I'm Heaps Better

Still Don't Think I'm Quite Over The Syndrome, But I Do Know I'm Heaps Better

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#16

My Prepubescent Grandma-esque Appearance Is Still The Butt Of Many Jokes From Friends And Family Today

My Prepubescent Grandma-esque Appearance Is Still The Butt Of Many Jokes From Friends And Family Today

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#20

Bowl Cut + No Eyelashes + Lipstick On A 1st Grader

Bowl Cut + No Eyelashes + Lipstick On A 1st Grader

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#21

Me At 13, And Again At 22

Me At 13, And Again At 22

frogstomp427 Report

#22

Who Would Have Thought That First Guy Would Ever Reproduce

Who Would Have Thought That First Guy Would Ever Reproduce

nair88 Report

#23

Before, Depressed, In The Closet, Overweight And After, Doing My Thing In Chicago

Before, Depressed, In The Closet, Overweight And After, Doing My Thing In Chicago

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#24

Here's Me Then; Shy, Socially Awkward, Big Eared And Unlucky With The Ladies And Here's Me Now; Shy, Socially Awkward, Big Eared And Unlucky With The Ladies

Here's Me Then; Shy, Socially Awkward, Big Eared And Unlucky With The Ladies And Here's Me Now; Shy, Socially Awkward, Big Eared And Unlucky With The Ladies

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#26

I Got This

I Got This

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Daria B
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dash. You either know nothing, or you hang out specifically in those places where you don't really trick them, you just pay them, so it's more like they trick you... Greetings from S. Korea. ♥

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#27

1999, 2005 And Now

1999, 2005 And Now

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#28

I Think I Got Less Creepy Over Time

I Think I Got Less Creepy Over Time

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Skunk Drunk
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"It took you 12 minutes to get home. Google Maps said it would take 8. WHO IS SHE?"

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#29

Took About 8 Years Of Not Being A B*tch But I Think Things Turned Out Okay

Took About 8 Years Of Not Being A B*tch But I Think Things Turned Out Okay

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#30

How I Looked At The Start Of 2006 And That's Me At The End Of 2011

How I Looked At The Start Of 2006 And That's Me At The End Of 2011

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#31

Needless To Say, Middle School Was A Rough Time

Needless To Say, Middle School Was A Rough Time

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Bridgette David
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It was rough for pretty much everbody regardless of how "cool" they looked from other kid's perspectives. Adolescence sucks.

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#32

Three Ugly Ducklings Then And Three Full Fledged Geese Now

Three Ugly Ducklings Then And Three Full Fledged Geese Now

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#34

It Took Me Some Time To Finally Become A Man!

It Took Me Some Time To Finally Become A Man!

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#35

Myself At The Wonderful, And Never Awkward, Age Of 15. And Here's Me 6 Years Later At 21 Years Old. Perhaps It Wasn't "Ugly Duckling," As Much As It Was "Kind Of Overweight Duckling."

Myself At The Wonderful, And Never Awkward, Age Of 15. And Here's Me 6 Years Later At 21 Years Old. Perhaps It Wasn't "Ugly Duckling," As Much As It Was "Kind Of Overweight Duckling."

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#36

I Don't Think I'm Anything Special Now But The Before Picture Cracks Me Up

I Don't Think I'm Anything Special Now But The Before Picture Cracks Me Up

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#37

25 Years Of Transformation...dear Teens, You're Fine Just As You Are!

25 Years Of Transformation...dear Teens, You're Fine Just As You Are!

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jacluckycat
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like his caption. The rest of these people are killing me with the hypercritical negativity towards themselves as children.

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#38

Here's Me At About 14 And Here I Am A Few Months Ago

Here's Me At About 14 And Here I Am A Few Months Ago

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#40

Middle School Vs. Now

Middle School Vs. Now

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#41

First Pic (fat One) Grade 9. Second Is First Year University

First Pic (fat One) Grade 9. Second Is First Year University

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see two photos, not three. Anyway, good work on taking charge of your physique.

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#42

I Really Can't Explain The Quote. I Had A Profound Admiration For Antionio Banderas

I Really Can't Explain The Quote. I Had A Profound Admiration For Antionio Banderas

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#43

I Was Always The "Ugly" Friend And Never Had Guys Like Me Until Years After High School. I Had Cystic Acne Since Age 13 And Was Bullied Immensely In High School

I Was Always The "Ugly" Friend And Never Had Guys Like Me Until Years After High School. I Had Cystic Acne Since Age 13 And Was Bullied Immensely In High School

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#44

5 Years Ago Vs 6 Months Ago...

5 Years Ago Vs 6 Months Ago...

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#45

Before And After

Before And After

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Emily Whittaker
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All this makes me sad. Everyone is awkward looking going through puberty. Each and every one of you are pretty/handsome before and after. You just needed to find your style.

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#46

A Sad Insecure Girl Into A Happy Less Insecure Woman

A Sad Insecure Girl Into A Happy Less Insecure Woman

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#47

The First Pic Is Me In The Swimsuit, Playing Some Game At Summer Camp, WEARING MY HEADGEAR. Goddamn I Was Devoted To Wearing That Shit 20 Hours A Day. Major Loser. Then, After Some Awkward, Fat, Lesbian, Weird-hair Phases, We Arrive At The Second Picture

The First Pic Is Me In The Swimsuit, Playing Some Game At Summer Camp, WEARING MY HEADGEAR. Goddamn I Was Devoted To Wearing That Shit 20 Hours A Day. Major Loser. Then, After Some Awkward, Fat, Lesbian, Weird-hair Phases, We Arrive At The Second Picture

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Amanda Jayne
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

2nd picture looks pretty, but the self-loathing in the caption is awful. Lesbian shouldn't be a negative word either. Good grief.

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#48

I Cringe At My Before Picture. What A Handful Of Years Can Do

I Cringe At My Before Picture. What A Handful Of Years Can Do

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#49

So This Is Before In High School And This Is Me Now

So This Is Before In High School And This Is Me Now

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#50

3rd Grade Vs. Senior Year

3rd Grade Vs. Senior Year

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E Menendez
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She was cute as a child. I find it sad that a lot of these seem to portray looking "childlike" is ugly.

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#51

I'm Still Really Awkward And Make Idiotic Faces In Most Of My Pictures But At Least I Have Boobs Now

I'm Still Really Awkward And Make Idiotic Faces In Most Of My Pictures But At Least I Have Boobs Now

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well you pretty much admitted to this awkwardness thing being entirely under your control... ;-) As for "I have boobs now", I realize the American ideal is all "curves and big boobs", but it's an arbitrary standard, has no universality (attractiveness is subjective, and there is plenty of variety in tastes), and small breasts are not a bad thing whatsoever.

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#52

My Own Transformation - From Fat Bastard To Marathon Runner In Just 4 Years...

My Own Transformation - From Fat Bastard To Marathon Runner In Just 4 Years...

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congratulations on taking control of your physique. Try not to be so harsh on yourself, though.

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#53

I Had A Rough Childhood

I Had A Rough Childhood

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Ronja Rövardotter
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think she wasn't ugly. I think she is quite cute in her childhood pic. She turned into beautiful young lady. Nice hair :-)

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#55

I Had To Wear Headgear At Night/braces/other Dental Things Because My Teeth Were So Bad, And I'm Pretty Sure I Had A Moustache At The Time The First Picture Was Taken

I Had To Wear Headgear At Night/braces/other Dental Things Because My Teeth Were So Bad, And I'm Pretty Sure I Had A Moustache At The Time The First Picture Was Taken

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#57

Before When I Was 12, Nowadays At 22

Before When I Was 12, Nowadays At 22

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#59

One On The Left Vs. Now

One On The Left Vs. Now

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see ducklings in the photo on the left, but no ugly ones. You looked fine.

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#62

Me 3 Years Ago Vs Now.

Me 3 Years Ago Vs Now.

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congratulations on taking charge of your physique, lifestyle, and habits. You weren't ugly, though.

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#63

Why Do Parents Give Bowl Haircuts On Girls?!

Why Do Parents Give Bowl Haircuts On Girls?!

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't know. I had one too. Hated it. But it does not an ugly duckling make.

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#65

Me About 3 To 23 , My Mom Calls Me The Ugly Duckling That Turned To Swan (not Sure If I'm A Swan Or A Sheep)

Me About 3 To 23 , My Mom Calls Me The Ugly Duckling That Turned To Swan (not Sure If I'm A Swan Or A Sheep)

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#66

12 Vs. 22 Years Old. Still A Proud School Nerd.

12 Vs. 22 Years Old. Still A Proud School Nerd.

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No ugliness in that duckling. Maybe try to find a much worse photo to convince us ;-)

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#68

Here's A Timeline Of My Ugly Duckling-ness

Here's A Timeline Of My Ugly Duckling-ness

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Psychedelic
Community Member
7 years ago

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That looks like a guy on the left. Good transformation she looks beautiful now.

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#70

14yo Vs 24yo

14yo Vs 24yo

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You weren't an ugly duckling. You just hadn't quite mastered "sophisticated man" expression and "intentionally disheveled" quite yet.

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#71

About 10 Years Apart

About 10 Years Apart

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#72

13 Years Old And Now, 24 Years Old. I Had Horrible Acne And Chubby Cheeks, Glad To See Them Gone. Also, Thumbs Up For Makeup!!!

13 Years Old And Now, 24 Years Old. I Had Horrible Acne And Chubby Cheeks, Glad To See Them Gone. Also, Thumbs Up For Makeup!!!

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Makeup... Meh. The new one is a more dramatic and stylish photo (cool), but you weren't an ugly duckling. Acne notwithstanding, the 13-year old photo is nice. I've seen chubby cheeks. This young photo doesn't showcase any such thing, IMO. So many people have such a harsh feeling about themselves in their old photos, likely because of how they were treated by others. It's really sad.

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#73

Start Of 2009 (15) Vs. End Of 2016 (22)!

Start Of 2009 (15) Vs. End Of 2016 (22)!

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#74

Left: Taken A Few Months Ago, Age 26! Right: When I Was 17...

Left: Taken A Few Months Ago, Age 26! Right: When I Was 17...

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Kien
Community Member
4 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Both are good looking pic 1 is cute and 2 pic still attractive because we guys like thick girls to. just the right amount of thick

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#75

2009 Vs 2015

2009 Vs 2015

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Babs Beach
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You look like the before and after that Captain America went through! You need to jump the cue, you're the #1! GEORGEOUS!

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#76

(left) Me When I Was A Sassy And Pudgey 10 Year Old And (right) Me Now At 24...less Pudgey...sometimes Still Sassy. Haha.

(left) Me When I Was A Sassy And Pudgey 10 Year Old And (right) Me Now At 24...less Pudgey...sometimes Still Sassy. Haha.

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#78

Left:bullied Relentlessly, Single, No Eyelashes, Bad Hair, Aweful Arm Acne, Slightly On The Chubby Side, Flat Chested, Homeschooled. Right: Happy With Life, Independent, And Wearing Some Makeup (amazinhat That'll Do For Ya)

Left:bullied Relentlessly, Single, No Eyelashes, Bad Hair, Aweful Arm Acne, Slightly On The Chubby Side, Flat Chested, Homeschooled. Right: Happy With Life, Independent, And Wearing Some Makeup (amazinhat That'll Do For Ya)

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#79

I'm Still As Nerdy As I Looked In 4th Grade! Just Grew Into My Look 😉

I'm Still As Nerdy As I Looked In 4th Grade! Just Grew Into My Look 😉

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#80

This Is Still An Exercise In Confidence For Me. Proud Of How Far I've Come Already.

This Is Still An Exercise In Confidence For Me. Proud Of How Far I've Come Already.

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Denise Carroll
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Me too! Posting my pics on this thread was both terrifying and cathartic. We spend so much time obsessing over the past instead of embracing the present.

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#82

Not The Best Quality, But I Grew Up In An Age Before These Newfangled Digital Cameras And Don't Have A Scanner Anymore

Not The Best Quality, But I Grew Up In An Age Before These Newfangled Digital Cameras And Don't Have A Scanner Anymore

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Jace
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, it's a bad photo, but that's pretty much it.

#84

Oh God'...

Oh God'...

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Rhon
Community Member
7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Equally pretty in both photos. Glasses don't make you ugly!

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#85

86 And 06

86 And 06

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#86

Me At 10 Vs 41. High School Was Rough. Hang In There

Me At 10 Vs 41. High School Was Rough. Hang In There

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