We live in a world where looks are often seen as a twisted currency. With so much fakery fueled by unrealistic standards on social media, it’s becoming hard to see real beauty. And unlike heavily staged and edited allure, natural appeal is always changing, transforming, enriching itself with experiences, ups and downs. In this sense, it’s more about the journey of feeling good in your skin than the actual result.
And what could better illustrate that than photos from real people who fought hard (or did nothing!) to love themselves fully and are proud about it. Thanks to the subreddit “Ugly Duckling,” which has people sharing how they turned into beautiful swans, we now have a bunch of people to cheer for.
After you’re done, be sure to check out more incredibly wholesome transformations in our previous posts here, here, and here. Just remember that glowing up differs for everyone, and that we are all beautiful in our own perfectly imperfect ways.
Today I Weighed Myself And I've Lost A Total Of 221 Pounds. Sitting At 179. I Don't Have Any Friends So No One To Share It With So I'm Sharing It Here Lol. Have A Wonderful Night
17 To 27 - How Did I Do?
A Slightly Bigger Change Then Your Average Glow Up For Sure, But I'm Still Happy Where I Am Now
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 even though it indeed shows how empowering blossoming can be, the message of being “an ugly duckling” also has some inherent flaws. Because it’s based on the idea that beauty is “malleable,” it focuses on the improvement of looks that can further escalate your self-worth and self-image. The idea of transforming one’s beauty has infiltrated our society with glossy magazine covers, advertising, and social media.
15>18 - I'd Like To Thank My Mother, My Father And Whoever My Mother Had An Affair With 19 Years Ago Cuz I Did Not Get That Jawline From My Dad
22 vs. 27 Appearance May Have Change But Personality Has Always Stayed The Same
13 To 26 I Still Do My Own Hair Cuts But I Think They’re A Little Better Now
Melissa Burkley, a psychology professor and book author, writes on Psychology Today: “This message that less attractive girls can become beautiful is also commonly seen in movies (She’s All That and Never Been Kissed) and celebrity magazine interviews with the likes of Eva Longoria (Allure, 2006), Beyoncé (Glamour, 2009), and Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Harper’s Bazaar UK, 2011).”
10 To 20! My Nickname Used To Be Called ‘Uglie’
13-24. Did I Age Backwards?
14-24. When Puberty Hits You Like A Train
According to Melissa, “The problem here is that in modern society, beauty is an overly idealized and largely unattainable goal for most women. With enough effort and persistence, nearly anyone can earn good grades in school. But no amount of effort or persistence can turn the typical woman into the photoshopped, unrealistically perfect beauty images they see every day in advertisements, movies, and magazines.”
12 vs. 24
I Struggled With Bipolar Disorder II For The Longest Time. The Meds Made Me Gain So Much Weight But As Of February Last Year, I’ve Been Medication-Free, With The Blessings Of My Doctor
13 To 25 - Life Is Weird Man
Melissa and her colleagues conducted several studies to see how the idea that beauty is malleable affects people’s physical and mental well-being: “in one study, we had people read a story that either highlighted (1) how beauty is malleable and changes significantly over the lifespan, (2) how beauty is fixed and doesn’t change much over the lifespan, or (3) a neutral story that had nothing to do with beauty.”
16 To 22 - My Boyfriend Filled Out A Little
15 —> 30 Weight Loss, Better Eyebrows… Same Smirk Tho
Hi!! Me, 14 -> 21
“We found that women who read the 'beauty is malleable' story later reported more anxiety about their appearance, were more likely to base their sense of self-worth on their appearance, and were more interested in getting plastic surgery than women who read the other two stories.” It turned out that the more people thought they can change the way they look, the more obsessed they became over their appearance up to a point that’s generally considered unhealthy.