Growing up can be incredibly awkward. Our bodies are still developing. We’re covered in spots. And our fashion sense might just match our bad posture. Sometimes, looking awkward doesn’t automatically stop with our teenage years (my collection of baggy sweaters says ‘hi’) and can continue into our twenties and thirties, too.

However, some people have changed incredibly over the years, starting out as ‘ugly ducklings’ and turning into beautiful swans that barely anyone can recognize anymore. One of the places where they share their inspirational before-and-afters is the ‘Ugly Duckling’ subreddit. As you’re checking out these awesome transformations, remember to upvote your favorite ones, dear Pandas. When you’re done, have a look through Bored Panda’s earlier lists about the subreddit right here and here.

We all know that being a good person is more important than having the perfect looks. However, if given the chance, a lot of people would choose both. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look how you feel inside.

#1

From About 11ish(?) To 25. My Skin Cleared Up, I Got Braces, Learned How To Make Up And Fill In My Eyebrows. I Was Made Fun Of/Very Lonely Growing Up, And I Feel The Way That I Looked Had A Big Impact On Why I Am The Way That I Am Now. “Be Kind”

From About 11ish(?) To 25. My Skin Cleared Up, I Got Braces, Learned How To Make Up And Fill In My Eyebrows. I Was Made Fun Of/Very Lonely Growing Up, And I Feel The Way That I Looked Had A Big Impact On Why I Am The Way That I Am Now. “Be Kind”

FayeTealeaf Report

varwenea
Community Member
1 month ago

I completely empathize. I was covered in pimples too, including a giant one on my cheek bone for the graduation photo in my yearbook. Luckily I too cleared up and learned to take care of my skin, my face. Very happy for her.

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#2

16-19 Or: How I Learned To Start Shaving And Escape The Neckbeard

16-19 Or: How I Learned To Start Shaving And Escape The Neckbeard

ampe_sand Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
1 month ago

I would not have realized that this was the same person. He now also has a haircut that suits him.

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#3

Age 14 To 19. Lost Some Weight And Gained Some Confidence Along The Way

Age 14 To 19. Lost Some Weight And Gained Some Confidence Along The Way

BismuthBi Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow! Your current self is hot!

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The ‘Ugly Duckling’ subreddit is a community of over 116k ‘enthusiasts’ who “turned into butterflies” over the years. The subreddit celebrates late bloomers, positive personal changes, and motivational transformations.

Being a late bloomer is nothing to be ashamed of. It can happen at any time. And the process can be drawn out or happen nearly overnight, just like with Neville Longbottom’s actor Matthew Lewis who ‘Longbottomed’ and caught a lot of us unaware of what just happened.

Scott Barry Kaufman writes on Psychology Today that a lot of human traits (including physical attractiveness) are under genetic control and can take “decades” to emerge. 

#4

16-20. Does This Count?

16-20. Does This Count?

DavidEntertains Report

varwenea
Community Member
1 month ago

It counts. Yes, you count. ;)

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#5

12 - 24 Even My Family Doesn't Recognize Me These Days, It's Nice

12 - 24 Even My Family Doesn't Recognize Me These Days, It's Nice

asionahaya Report

Hannah M
Community Member
1 month ago

Staring at the camera like that probably didn't help... 😂

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#6

Life Begins At 40! 25 --> 40

Life Begins At 40! 25 --> 40

Jbcarter77 Report

aussie snowdropper
Community Member
1 month ago

please dont be offended but you look like Claire Dunphy

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“There is one way of becoming an early bloomer, but there are an infinite number of ways of being a late bloomer. Also, the more complex a trait, the more ways that a child can become a late bloomer for that trait. This means that the most appreciated abilities in society, such as creativity and leadership will rarely fully present itself at a young age, all at once,” Kaufman explains.

He adds that even though society tends to celebrate child prodigies, being an early bloomer is no guarantee that you will continue to be successful. Dedication, hard work, and moving towards your goals step by step are just as (if not even more) important as talent.

#7

13 - 25

13 - 25

Alex_J_Newman Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, pretty smile!

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#8

Left-13, Right-34

Left-13, Right-34

vrnkafurgis Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

She looks like a teenager in her thirties!

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#9

Age 17-24, Was Bullied A Lot Growing Up

Age 17-24, Was Bullied A Lot Growing Up

Fonzevil Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

I feel you. Gladly it made me a better person. Be kind everybody.

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#10

12 And 29. Still With The Short Hair And Glasses, Some Things Never Change

12 And 29. Still With The Short Hair And Glasses, Some Things Never Change

b_normal_y Report

Sean Montgomery
Community Member
1 month ago

Awkward duckling, but not an ugly one.

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#11

11 vs. 28, Lost That Baby Fat And Learned How To Smile

11 vs. 28, Lost That Baby Fat And Learned How To Smile

reddit.com Report

JD
Community Member
1 month ago

great eyeliner skills too

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#12

Left 12, Right 24

Left 12, Right 24

BlackSharkoon Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

Again, not an ugly duckling to begin with.

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#13

2015 - 2019. Basically, I Cleaned Myself Up And Started Over!

2015 - 2019. Basically, I Cleaned Myself Up And Started Over!

a_midlo Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 month ago

You look younger, did you age backwards. Glad you're doing so well now.

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#14

Then: 320 Lbs, Face Always Red, Angry At Dad, Ready To Die For Punk Rock. Now: 250 Lbs, Skin Healthier, Love My Dad, Punk Rock Is Pretty Ok But Being An Adult Is Pretty Ok Too

Then: 320 Lbs, Face Always Red, Angry At Dad, Ready To Die For Punk Rock. Now: 250 Lbs, Skin Healthier, Love My Dad, Punk Rock Is Pretty Ok But Being An Adult Is Pretty Ok Too

vicebjj Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh the lovely teenage hormone "balance".

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#15

13, 15, 20 And 27 Years Old

13, 15, 20 And 27 Years Old

PUSSYFiED Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks interesting and happy in all pics. It's beautiful to see how style is changing, too.

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#16

(Spoiler Alert) I Didn't Peak In Highschool Lol

(Spoiler Alert) I Didn't Peak In Highschool Lol

BlackDDDynomight Report

🌺🍍🌼🌻🌼🍍🌺
Community Member
1 month ago

wha- but- HOTNESS

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#17

Age 12 To Age 26... Still Feel A Lot Like The Kid On The Left

Age 12 To Age 26... Still Feel A Lot Like The Kid On The Left

tylerjkillion Report

Anna Neemus
Community Member
1 month ago

This doesn't count as an ugly duckling. Dude was fine before.

Nikolay zharov
Community Member
1 month ago

Lol you are literally saying that on every ouch in real life most if these ppl looked awkward it's not insulting to say they improved lol. I don't why ppl lie over the internet

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Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
1 month ago

he looked fine as a kid. just kid-like, not ugly at all.

Lousha
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like Alan Cummings' hotter brother :)

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 month ago

YES!!

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Sean Montgomery
Community Member
1 month ago

This isn't an ugly duckling at all. You always looked good, just maybe a change in confidence.

Jessica
Community Member
1 month ago

I think we all still fell like the little kids we used to be and thats ok!

Suzi Leeman
Community Member
1 month ago

I love these photos! Mainly because your smile, in both photos, is sooo GENUINE appearing! I see a good, genuine person behind your facial expressions. I see a thoughtful, good, caring person, who seems generous & giving, and also a happy guy, etc.. BUT....i do also see, behind your gorgeous eyes, a thoughtful, interesting person, but perhaps someone who has some deeper hurt (just maybe). The hurt may not be recent, but i'm betting i am definitely seeing hurt, and i think it is quite heartfelt.... But, meanwhile....Thnx soo much, for being brave enough to share your personal photos! You are INDEED a handsome young guy!! No doubt! (It makes me wish i were a couple of decades younger!!!) Haha! Take care of yourself, and i wish you ALL the VERY BEST in your life!!!!

googlygoogly
Community Member
1 month ago

You wrote this like you’re trying to get a date lol

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Eve
Community Member
1 month ago

He looks cute on both pictures.

Cynthia Marrs
Community Member
1 month ago

Both are very nice shots

Debbie Hyppa
Community Member
1 month ago

And some of that will never go away…

Cathy Carey
Community Member
1 month ago

I see nothing wrong with the kid on the left.

Johanne Trudeau
Community Member
1 month ago

Kid on the left really cute as well!!! Those dimples...

NAS
Community Member
1 month ago

Nice tat sleeve.

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't as now you look like a grown up confident man!

Tala Koala
Community Member
1 month ago

You went from looking normal to looking like a carney, lol

Amber Phillips
Community Member
1 month ago

the tattoos too much

Jane W.
Community Member
1 month ago

Exchanged the tie for the tats?

Claire Armstrong
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, all I can say is that you are DEFINITELY all man now lol

Jeannie Carle
Community Member
1 month ago

Beauty is on the inside, as is ugly - this was not "ugly" at any time, according to appearances :-)

Vytas Navickas
Community Member
1 month ago

looks like a buff Loki now,,,

Catherine Stiteler
Community Member
1 month ago

Actually very cute in both pictures , just in different ways !

Jus
Community Member
1 month ago

I like the duckling better, what a nice boy.

Billy the kid
Community Member
1 month ago

get rid of the toggle and glasses and you get....

Bunny
Community Member
1 month ago

Doofus on the left, adorable on the right.

rachel carter
Community Member
1 month ago

Guy was more awkward on the left picture but looks like got a but of confidence and as long as he loves himself and those that count good on him.

Mshauri Mazuri
Community Member
1 month ago

You're not ugly, you're just a kid. But on the right, you are hot af.

Jackson Allinder
Community Member
1 month ago

looks like a Timmy or Jimmy

Ninja Nonna
Community Member
1 month ago

Never lose the kid :)

Cheryl Fontaine
Community Member
1 month ago

Great smile at either age and that's what counts the most in my book!

Ashley Wright
Community Member
1 month ago

You look great!

WildBerry
Community Member
1 month ago

Went from cute kid to ugly tattoo sleeve

Patty Leaton
Community Member
1 month ago

with or with out glasses nice

Jennifer Courtemanche
Community Member
1 month ago

I wonder if he made it to Eagle Scout!

Katie YoureOnKatieCam
Community Member
1 month ago

DUDE.

Sasy
Community Member
1 month ago

He got his tattoo badge.

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
1 month ago

A big smile framed by dimples is a killer at any age!!

Vincent Philippart
Community Member
1 month ago

Not really. The kid picture has "bully me" printed all over it.

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Victoria Pitt
Community Member
1 month ago

the tattoos are sexy tho <3

notyourgirl
Community Member
1 month ago

ya suure??

Monika Piekarz
Community Member
1 month ago

Omg

Leslie Burleson
Community Member
1 month ago

Most guys who look like you do now are all about themselves . They love no one like they love themselves . You're early awkwardness has shaped you into a more caring person . So hot and caring lol

True Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

That cannot be him!

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#18

11—>30 Braces Were Good To Me

11—>30 Braces Were Good To Me

u_bit Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

Pretty face in a 80's hair.

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#19

19 To 20. I Would Like To Thank My Dermatologist

19 To 20. I Would Like To Thank My Dermatologist

ezmi Report

Jumilicious
Community Member
1 month ago

Never an ugly duckling, but you sure are glowing now. Happy for you!

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#20

A Slight Change

A Slight Change

jeckbirry Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

OMG, that's cute! 😂

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#21

17-24, Went Through Horrible Cystic Acne, Lost 50 Lbs, Got Braces, And Dropped An Emotionally Abusive Boyfriend

17-24, Went Through Horrible Cystic Acne, Lost 50 Lbs, Got Braces, And Dropped An Emotionally Abusive Boyfriend

meganam38 Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 month ago

No, she says she was with someone who made her feel badly about her self worth. And she believed him. Sometimes it happens slowly and you don't know you're being abused until its too late. She got self confidence once she was out of the relationship and then worked on herself. Total respect.

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#22

4 Years Later (16-20)

4 Years Later (16-20)

IntrepidCommission Report

Vivi
Community Member
1 month ago

Not the same person.

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#23

Age 15 To 21. Lost Some Weight, It Sucks My Eyes Didn't Get Bigger

Age 15 To 21. Lost Some Weight, It Sucks My Eyes Didn't Get Bigger

AcuteYellowFever Report

spirit wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

Your eyes are great the way they are.

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#24

12-27. Lost A Chin, But Gained A Smile

12-27. Lost A Chin, But Gained A Smile

emergencyx0x Report

True Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

I liked her old hair colour but still pretty in both

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#25

Age ~11 To 20 - I Owe A Lot To Contacts, Braces, Filling In My Eyebrows, And My Hairline Somehow Growing Forward

Age ~11 To 20 - I Owe A Lot To Contacts, Braces, Filling In My Eyebrows, And My Hairline Somehow Growing Forward

MissBrightside13 Report

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't you wish when you were younger that you had a clue how you'd turn out? Beautiful.

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#26

Mother’s Day With My Momma 2014-2018

Mother’s Day With My Momma 2014-2018

MavrickOcean Report

Toea Muresan Iulia
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Momma is cool

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#27

10 Year Different. Ages 13 & 23

10 Year Different. Ages 13 & 23

caffeinequeenxo Report

Sean Montgomery
Community Member
1 month ago

Not really an ugly duckling transformation as you were never ugly.

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#28

From 17 To 18, I Don't Even Know

From 17 To 18, I Don't Even Know

chrono28 Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
1 month ago

Dude lost the guyliner.

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#29

Always Felt So Geeky In High School. I Even Went Through A Period Where I Wanted To End My Life In Middle School Because Of My Weight And Look. Now I’m In My 30’s And Feeling The Most Confident I’ve Been In My Life. Big Thanks For Braces And Lasik

Always Felt So Geeky In High School. I Even Went Through A Period Where I Wanted To End My Life In Middle School Because Of My Weight And Look. Now I’m In My 30’s And Feeling The Most Confident I’ve Been In My Life. Big Thanks For Braces And Lasik

trebor88 Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
1 month ago

It's so nice to have you with us today.

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#30

16 vs. 46. Took Awhile To Get Here, Lol.

16 vs. 46. Took Awhile To Get Here, Lol.

reddit.com Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

That pic actually made me giggle.

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#31

13-21 Puberty Really Hit Me Hard And Shot Me Up To 6ft8

13-21 Puberty Really Hit Me Hard And Shot Me Up To 6ft8

mrphenylalanine Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 month ago

thats a pretty tall shoot up!! Awesome

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#32

From 18 To 23. A Completely Different Person Now

From 18 To 23. A Completely Different Person Now

Miss_Keys Report

B
Community Member
1 month ago

Hope you still like Rammstein tho...

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See Also on Bored Panda
#33

7 Years Can Make A Crazy Difference

7 Years Can Make A Crazy Difference

redditsucksdiscs Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

He had to grow into his body. Nothing wrong with his teenage self.

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#34

Found An Old School Photo (14/29)

Found An Old School Photo (14/29)

kitakel Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Beautiful in the old photo! And very nice natural hair colour, if I had it, I'd keep it forever.

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#35

12 vs. 20. Had To Stop Riding The Bus+change My Classes In Middle School Because I Was Bullied So Bad For "Being Ugly"

12 vs. 20. Had To Stop Riding The Bus+change My Classes In Middle School Because I Was Bullied So Bad For "Being Ugly"

himechans Report

Ann Rii
Community Member
1 month ago

You were never ugly.

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#36

3 Years With A Lot Of Time In The Gym And Taking Care Of My Skin

3 Years With A Lot Of Time In The Gym And Taking Care Of My Skin

gorbakim27 Report

Kim
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Do explain the first photo 🤣

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#37

Me, Early 20’s Looking Troll Man To More Normal Looking Dude In His 30’s

Me, Early 20’s Looking Troll Man To More Normal Looking Dude In His 30’s

7fingersphil Report

Troux
Community Member
1 month ago

Guy on the left looks like a young Andre the Giant. Inconceivable!

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#38

15 To 23. No Makeup For A Better Comparison

15 To 23. No Makeup For A Better Comparison

curriespice Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

Beautiful now, cute then.

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#39

Nearly Two Years Of Hard Work And Dedication. I Won’t Ever Stop!

Nearly Two Years Of Hard Work And Dedication. I Won’t Ever Stop!

rryanchow Report

PericDeric
Community Member
1 month ago

Breh those abs

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#40

My One Regret Is Losing The Hat

My One Regret Is Losing The Hat

FuturisticUterus Report

Sean Montgomery
Community Member
1 month ago

You were never an ugly duckling, but definitely better fashion.

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#41

7 Years Apart

7 Years Apart

sputniksweeetheart Report

Anna Neemus
Community Member
1 month ago

Did she get a nose job?

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#42

15 → 26, From Strange Genderbender To Recognizable As A Woman

15 → 26, From Strange Genderbender To Recognizable As A Woman

amewsings Report

Paper A
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

It's okay to be gender queer, you being more comfortable with your body and style now, that's the win here. 👍

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See Also on Bored Panda
#43

18 vs. 23 Just A Late Bloomer I Guess

18 vs. 23 Just A Late Bloomer I Guess

JohnnyWarlord Report

Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
1 month ago

cute in both

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#44

18 To 24

18 To 24

ISkateboard Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 month ago

So cute then so handsome.

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#45

21 vs. 29.. Losing 100lbs Has Definitely Helped!

21 vs. 29.. Losing 100lbs Has Definitely Helped!

TinyNugggins Report

Ann Rii
Community Member
1 month ago

Such a pretty smile in the before picture

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#46

One Year Transformation. 23 To 23 (Almost 24 Hahaha). What A Gym Membership, Self Love And A Skincare Routine Can Do For You

One Year Transformation. 23 To 23 (Almost 24 Hahaha). What A Gym Membership, Self Love And A Skincare Routine Can Do For You

heyhaydae Report

Jumilicious
Community Member
1 month ago

Before and after morning coffee :D You look great. Awesome smile!

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#47

Grew Into My Face A Little(19 vs. 26)

Grew Into My Face A Little(19 vs. 26)

newacctwhodiss Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 month ago

yes u did!

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#48

18 To 23. Puberty Hit Me Like A God Damn Freight Train.

18 To 23. Puberty Hit Me Like A God Damn Freight Train.

limthekid Report

Hannah M
Community Member
1 month ago

Is it just me or does he look a bit like Elijah Wood in the first one?

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#49

11 To 21. Wear Your Sunblock, Folks

11 To 21. Wear Your Sunblock, Folks

borednangsty Report

Bunny Wood
Community Member
1 month ago

Look at those eyes!!

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#50

14 To 20, Lost Weight, Took Care Of Myself And Stopped Cutting My Hair

14 To 20, Lost Weight, Took Care Of Myself And Stopped Cutting My Hair

illutree Report

Jessica
Community Member
1 month ago

aww the classic deep part comb over emo style lol

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Note: this post originally had 81 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.