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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

Wow, pretty smile!

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#8

Left-13, Right-34

Left-13, Right-34

vrnkafurgis Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

great eyeliner skills too

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#12

Left 12, Right 24

Left 12, Right 24

BlackSharkoon Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
3 months ago

Again, not an ugly duckling to begin with.

Sean Montgomery
Community Member
3 months ago

Totally agree

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pepper 2015
Community Member
3 months ago

Cute for a 12 year old, not sure why is it considered ugly?

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
3 months ago

I am suspicious of this one. He is no ugly duckling at all and I wonder if he just joined in on this for the attention.

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922Terry
Community Member
3 months ago

Whoa! Gorgeous

Hannah Williams
Community Member
3 months ago

Definitely can agree

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Roxy Eastland
Community Member
3 months ago

Errr, you grew up? Some of these posts are just people wanted to share a photo of themselves to get told how good looking they are.

Thenatural
Community Member
3 months ago

Granted..a handsome dude...but looks like he knows it!

pebs
Community Member
3 months ago

A perfectly normal young boy, why should he named as ugly duckling?

Ivana
Community Member
3 months ago

Damn dude.....That jaw line though.

BIG FOOT
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like he got plastic surgery

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GenXandEarnedItAll
Community Member
3 months ago

You were cutie as little guy too!

Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
3 months ago

Nope, not an ugly duckling...just a kid.

Id row
Community Member
3 months ago

Why do I feel like he spends more time getting ready than me, a female?

WildBerry
Community Member
3 months ago

Cause he's one of those types. You can tell

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🌺🍍🌼🌻🌼🍍🌺
Community Member
3 months ago

wait, but like, where are all these hotties? WHERE ARE THEY??????

WildBerry
Community Member
3 months ago

cruising the gay bars

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Louloubelle
Community Member
3 months ago

Yeah, tweens are just awkward looking. Puberty can make just about anyone look better. But god, that chin. Wow!

Troux
Community Member
3 months ago

Wait, can we go back to puberty and try again?

Johanne Trudeau
Community Member
3 months ago

Cute kid!! But really except for a few in this list not many were ugly ducklings

Ray Martin
Community Member
3 months ago

However... please don't ever pose like that again.

Aahzmandus Pervect
Community Member
3 months ago

24?!?!

Susan Miller
Community Member
3 months ago

A HOT model now!

Miss GigglesAndTears
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow, glowup on a whole new level

Sharon Hyatt
Community Member
3 months ago

He should be a model !

Nan Cresdee
Community Member
3 months ago

Wowza!

kaci
Community Member
3 months ago

holy s**t i just choked he is hotttttt

Karen Morana
Community Member
3 months ago

I hope he is as pleasant in personality as he looks in handsomeness

Linda Matheny
Community Member
3 months ago

Holy s**t!!! You must be a model!!!

June Dominguez
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow! Wow! And wow!

Allison Woodfill
Community Member
3 months ago

Cute kid. Handsome man

Carole Strawn
Community Member
3 months ago

Everyone is a bit awkward looking at that age but you had the good looks even then. You just needed to grow up. Very handsome now.

Ashley Wright
Community Member
3 months ago

Model pose

Laura Deckers
Community Member
3 months ago

What a sweet 12 year old.

Mike Proco
Community Member
3 months ago

GQ model !

Granny
Community Member
3 months ago

You could see the handsome man in the before

Isabella Vega
Community Member
3 months ago

Hot 🔥🔥

Patty Leaton
Community Member
3 months ago

still look good

Laila Hernandez
Community Member
3 months ago

not really an ugly ducky...

Silvia
Community Member
3 months ago

Very, very nice :)

Amy Kosh
Community Member
3 months ago

I think often it's how we see ourselves as well... maybe others might not see an "ugly duckling" in someone but we can't know how they feel when they see themselves.

Jude Bennett
Community Member
3 months ago

Hot now.

Daniel Jagiello
Community Member
3 months ago

Handsome kid

Meme master
Community Member
3 days ago

tom cruz

Heather Reynolds Atwood
Community Member
2 months ago

HELLO HOTTIE

Viv Hart
Community Member
2 months ago

Just a bit overweight at 12, but what a hunk at 24!

Dean Garner
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like he wasn't a wanker when he was 12

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
3 months ago

Growing up, into eye candy, hot !!!

922Terry
Community Member
3 months ago

Because when we grow up we can change with little recognition of what came before. I know I have. No one recognizes the grown up me.

Irene Carlyle
Community Member
3 months ago

woof!

Danielle
Community Member
3 months ago

Hello! 😍

Mary Hurst
Community Member
3 months ago

Wowzer

Jeannie Carle
Community Member
3 months ago

No kinda "ugly",

Carolyn Legg
Community Member
3 months ago

Movie star looks

Shirley-May Josob
Community Member
3 months ago

So hot!!!!

NWB
Community Member
3 months ago

hell!!!!!

Flo
Community Member
3 months ago

O..............K

JENAVIVE RIVERA
Community Member
3 months ago

dang..

rachel carter
Community Member
3 months ago

Looks like a model

Jackson Allinder
Community Member
3 months ago

At 12 you look like a Kyle

Martha Higgins
Community Member
3 months ago

Du bist sehr hübsch, damals und heute.

Lisa Greene
Community Member
3 months ago

Dang!

Ann McNeil
Community Member
3 months ago

Oh .........!!

Hans Bass
Community Member
3 months ago

Night and day! Great!

I'm not a Robot
Community Member
3 months ago

I almost dropped my phone ...

Mandira Basu
Community Member
3 months ago

Wow

Shelby McClain
Community Member
3 months ago

Sooo attractive

Monika Piekarz
Community Member
3 months ago

Always RIGH

Thalia Lovering
Community Member
3 months ago

He wasn't ugly!

ERIN W.
Community Member
3 months ago

DANG!

Shawna Rachelle
Community Member
3 months ago

You can't compare puberty with adulthood!!

AliJanx
Community Member
3 months ago

Day-ummm!

BTS WORLD
Community Member
3 months ago

Wowww hot guy.....

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
3 months ago

Hubba Hubba Honey!!

SBW71
Community Member
3 months ago

wow. Hot!!

Jessica
Community Member
3 months ago

yea man you just grew up

Aria Whitaker
Community Member
3 months ago

Hubba hubba!!

Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
3 months ago

well, damn.

varwenea
Community Member
3 months ago

Holy yumminess. That is quite a masterful transformation.

Boopie Dew
Community Member
3 months ago

DAMN!

Tala Koala
Community Member
3 months ago

To begin with, bad teeth and pale skin with dark hair ... don’t see why people are mystified how the kid was ugly when it’s obvious, lol. He looks good as an adult though. It was worth the money to get the jawline sculpted. He looks fantastic, versus the people above who got plastic surgery and are still dogs, haha. I’d be curious to see what the eyebrows look like now, they didn’t do him any favors as a kid, but maybe on an adult they wouldn’t be so overpowering.

googlygoogly
Community Member
3 months ago

Will you just shut up? Jfc.

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Ninja Nonna
Community Member
3 months ago

Cute kid, handsome man.

Jane W.
Community Member
3 months ago

handsome then, handsome now.

Carole Reid
Community Member
3 months ago

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Nastassja Abercrombie
Community Member
3 months ago

Hot damn!

Toea Muresan Iulia
Community Member
3 months ago

no way

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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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

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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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

cute in both

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#44

18 To 24

18 To 24

ISkateboard Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

aww the classic deep part comb over emo style lol