Everyone had their fair share of blunder years and whether we like it or not, there are still pieces of evidence hiding deep in the dusty shelves at your parents’ house. No one dares to touch it, and you’re not allowed to reclaim those photos.

But while people change, some change beyond recognition, pushing their genes, spirits and good looks up to the very max. Known as ‘ugly duckling’ transformations, these before and after photos serve as a testament to the beauty of change. And although it takes persistence and hard work, demands sacrifices and invites you into a battle with your inner demons, the final result seems worth it when you see people smile in their eyes.

So no, it’s not quite like growing out of your blunder years, it’s figuring out how to unite your inner and outer worlds and become the person who you really are. Psst! More inspiring posts on ugly ducklings-turned swans are waiting here, here and here.

#1

32 vs. 37. 75 Lbs Lost, Picked Up A Skincare Routine, Brushed Up My Makeup Skills, Cut My Hair, Got Some Bangs, Still Working On Getting Some More Confidence You Can Glow Up At Any Age!

32 vs. 37. 75 Lbs Lost, Picked Up A Skincare Routine, Brushed Up My Makeup Skills, Cut My Hair, Got Some Bangs, Still Working On Getting Some More Confidence You Can Glow Up At Any Age!

Brokenpun4one Report

James016
Community Member
5 months ago

You went from 37 to 32.

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#2

18 - 23 Went Through A Weightloss Journey And Learnt How To Look After And Groom Myself

18 - 23 Went Through A Weightloss Journey And Learnt How To Look After And Groom Myself

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Laura Zaini
Community Member
5 months ago

very good job

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#3

Me At 13 vs. Me At 27 Do I Belong Here?

Me At 13 vs. Me At 27 Do I Belong Here?

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That Bored Panda
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes you do! Great work!

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Being an ugly duckling, which takes its name from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, refers to glowing up and developing into an attractive and successful person as opposed to what one has been before in their early days. But many people grew up with the idea of being an “ugly duckling” when they were kids and for some, it still follows them into their adult life.

#4

Depressed, Lost, Demotivated Because Of Chronic Tinnitus And Hearing Loss, But I've Decided To Take Things In Hand And Make It Better, Here I Am After 4 Months Of Transformation Journey.. Still Got Miles To Go

Depressed, Lost, Demotivated Because Of Chronic Tinnitus And Hearing Loss, But I've Decided To Take Things In Hand And Make It Better, Here I Am After 4 Months Of Transformation Journey.. Still Got Miles To Go

saan555 Report

Jennifer lackey
Community Member
5 months ago

DAAAAMMNNNN. ..... YOU ARE LOOKING GREAT. I love how u said u were taking matters into ur hands, I wish I wouldve so many years ago.. I'm 62, & not to happy with my life. Pat ur self on the back my friend, GOOD U YOU ..

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#5

Me At 25, College Dropout, Living In My Car vs. Me At 33, About To Finish My Phd!

Me At 25, College Dropout, Living In My Car vs. Me At 33, About To Finish My Phd!

SnooDonuts7954 Report

Charlotte
Community Member
5 months ago

Wow, even your skin color changed and your hair magically grew back.

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#6

Maybe Not As Drastic As Others Here, But I Feel Like I’ve Had A Bit Of A Glow Up (2012-Present)

Maybe Not As Drastic As Others Here, But I Feel Like I’ve Had A Bit Of A Glow Up (2012-Present)

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Lilly Rose Poppy
Community Member
5 months ago

A bit?!? That's a glow up to me! Looking great pal!

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As a result, even if this is a positive and celebrated transformation, many people can suffer lasting emotional effects. For example, ugly duckling syndrome can be a reason why so many of us can’t take compliments and see stares from people of the opposite sex as insults.

Moreover, those who have ever seen themselves as ugly ducklings can struggle to realize the power of their natural beauty. Most importantly, people who glowed up later in their lives are now much more likely to judge a book by what’s inside rather than its cover. Appreciation of inner beauty is a beautiful thing that enriches humans in profound ways.

#7

First Picture 19f, Second One 22f, Third One 23f. Farewell To 4~ Years Of Depression And Excess Weight!

First Picture 19f, Second One 22f, Third One 23f. Farewell To 4~ Years Of Depression And Excess Weight!

Novosibirskchennai Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful, good for you

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#8

15 vs. 21

15 vs. 21

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anarkzie
Community Member
5 months ago

It's like a Hollywood move from the 80's, they take the glasses off and everything changes.

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#9

13 vs. 26 I Just Don't Know What To Say

13 vs. 26 I Just Don't Know What To Say

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Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

You were a cute child back then! Now you´re a woman -that is completely different story.

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#10

10 To 20 To 30. Thank Goodness I Found Some Better Glasses & Stopped With The Rawr Hand

10 To 20 To 30. Thank Goodness I Found Some Better Glasses & Stopped With The Rawr Hand

melon_can Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
5 months ago

Just save the rawrr hand for special occasions

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#11

19 To 23. Therapy And Excersice Certainly Made A Change Mentally And Physically. Still Struggling With Confidence And Selflove But All Good Things Take Time. Slow And Steady

19 To 23. Therapy And Excersice Certainly Made A Change Mentally And Physically. Still Struggling With Confidence And Selflove But All Good Things Take Time. Slow And Steady

bliblablub0 Report

Elvira Kreft
Community Member
5 months ago

You are beautiful then and now

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#12

13 To 29 - Puberty Helped Me Out

13 To 29 - Puberty Helped Me Out

Blankcarbon Report

Xottel
Community Member
5 months ago

Disagree. Your handsomeness was quite predictable (judging from that photo).

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#13

Dropped 73lbs And Picked Up 65

Dropped 73lbs And Picked Up 65

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Auntriarch
Community Member
5 months ago

Good title!

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#14

10,18, 29~ A Lot Has Changed Every Eight Years

10,18, 29~ A Lot Has Changed Every Eight Years

agisshi Report

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
5 months ago

But 18-29 is 11 years.

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#15

16-20 Been Battling With Self Hate And Depression For Years, 2020 Was The Year I Wanted To Look After Myself

16-20 Been Battling With Self Hate And Depression For Years, 2020 Was The Year I Wanted To Look After Myself

cuzzy_rob Report

Jennifer lackey
Community Member
5 months ago

Such a big change, you look great !!

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#16

When Puberty Hits You Like A Bus…

When Puberty Hits You Like A Bus…

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PjandBolt
Community Member
5 months ago

Omg she looks like she belongs in a Jane Austen movie

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#17

18-28. It’s Been A Long Road

18-28. It’s Been A Long Road

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A B C
Community Member
5 months ago

IMO bottom left looks best. The chin is sharper/more pointed (dunno how to say properly in English, any suggestions?), I like that more. I guess that's just personal opinion, but he certainly had a jump in attractiveness due to puberty doing its thing.

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#18

12 To 20, A Lot Changed Along The Way, I’m Glad To Be Where I’m At Now

12 To 20, A Lot Changed Along The Way, I’m Glad To Be Where I’m At Now

LittleUglyBruh Report

K. Anderson
Community Member
5 months ago

Wow!!

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#19

18/19 vs. 21! One Of My Proudest Achievements

18/19 vs. 21! One Of My Proudest Achievements

Nitrasy Report

Natalia A
Community Member
5 months ago

You are/were beautiful, irrespective of weight.

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#20

(12, 19, 20) I Was Always Self Conscious About How I Looked

(12, 19, 20) I Was Always Self Conscious About How I Looked

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Jennifer lackey
Community Member
5 months ago

Love the haircut u have now, it looks great on you.

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#21

13 To 30. Middle School Sucked

13 To 30. Middle School Sucked

i_should_b3_working Report

Neil Bidle
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

He looked like Zuckerberg still does.

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#22

18 To 25

18 To 25

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Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Left - Oscar Wilde, love it. Right - James Potter - definitely love it.

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#23

17//20 I'm Happier And Healthier Now. Can't Believe That Was Me Tho

17//20 I'm Happier And Healthier Now. Can't Believe That Was Me Tho

Lauraandser Report

Incitatus
Community Member
5 months ago

Darling!

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#24

Finally Let The Hair Curl. Did A Lot

Finally Let The Hair Curl. Did A Lot

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Niki Norway
Community Member
5 months ago

Okay, it's been about ten minutes now, I think it's time to stop staring at this picture.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#25

12 And 26 - I Was Pretty Cool Back Then Tho

12 And 26 - I Was Pretty Cool Back Then Tho

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Danieletc
Community Member
5 months ago

A bit like Olivia WIlde.

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#26

Last Week vs. Today

Last Week vs. Today

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Karin Gibson
Community Member
5 months ago

That beard is awful.

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#27

14 To 22.... I'll Never Forget How Much I Thought I Rocked That Bow

14 To 22.... I'll Never Forget How Much I Thought I Rocked That Bow

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Jackie Fraser-Easton
Community Member
5 months ago

You totally did rock it!!

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#28

12 - 23 Years - What A Wild Ride!

12 - 23 Years - What A Wild Ride!

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Shine Caramia
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm pretty sure I know this person in real life

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#29

Me At 12 vs. 30

Me At 12 vs. 30

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Michael Rubery
Community Member
5 months ago

What I love is that this young lady grew into her beauty...her face barely changed, but just blossomed!

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#30

12 And 15 vs. 32 Years Old. We All Have Potential, Don't Give Up!

12 And 15 vs. 32 Years Old. We All Have Potential, Don't Give Up!

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Ashley Wright
Community Member
4 months ago

Bet the now-grown up kids from middle school are thinking, “Wow!” #swan

Note: this post originally had 39 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.