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.

A K
Community Member
1 month ago

What cleared up your acne? I'm having problems now at 20 :(

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Ivana
Community Member
1 month ago

Damn acne. S**t sucks and it hurts and everyone just assumes you don't wash your face when it has absolutely nothing to do with that.

Janine B.
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, be kind.

Spikey Bunny
Community Member
1 month ago

Kindness is the most beautiful trait in any human!

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Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
1 month ago

So did you get the classic tv moment where some jerk who made you miserable before asked you out and you got to tell him when pigs fly? You and pupper are both adorable.

spharoe
Community Member
1 month ago

I had this exact experience. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. He didn't ask me out, but he was so flabbergasted when he saw me and realized who I was that he literally lost the ability to speak, flubbed his speech, turned beet red then snort-laughed. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

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True Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

You look very beautiful also I love your hair colour and ear shape (like elf ears!)

juice
Community Member
1 month ago

(those are fake ears, you can see her real ones in another picture) but otherwise i totally agree!

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Eduardo Pereira
Community Member
1 month ago

Gorgeous!

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
1 month ago

Awesome that you see the big picture and the contribution of cruelty benefitting you and others in the end. Many of us are in that same boat: Bullied and teased as children/youth. It's caused me to immediately empathize with those less fortunate or being harassed. In turn, I am a kinder, gentler soul to others. And I have since taught my children and grandchildren (none have struggled in similar fashion) to do the same. We heed THE GOLDEN RULE every day!

themossman
Community Member
1 month ago

oh my gosh you could play tauriel in the hobbit

Jumilicious
Community Member
1 month ago

Love the hair :)

notyourgirl
Community Member
1 month ago

pretty

Tina Bobina
Community Member
1 month ago

I would think this is what Anna from Frozen would look like in real life

b l a n c
Community Member
1 month ago

wow she looks gorgeous in the last photo

Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
1 month ago

Trials teach us, dont they?

andy haines
Community Member
1 month ago

She's frankly beautiful now 👌

Lilith
Community Member
1 month ago

Wait! picture 2 she has an elf ear what's up with that?

June Dominguez
Community Member
1 month ago

Are you serious? It is a costume! Duh!

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Larry Dahle
Community Member
1 month ago

You are lovely. Nobody can take your beauty and stringth from you. You Own it!

John Bell
Community Member
1 month ago

My daughter is also a browless ginger

June Dominguez
Community Member
1 month ago

What is a browless ginger?

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Tom Susala
Community Member
1 month ago

I empathize too, I'm almost 70 and I'm still ugly and quite lonely. I'm happy for you, tho

Eriu
Community Member
1 month ago

Awwww what a cute elf!

suzanne werbiski
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't she? I love red hair and freckles

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jamie1707
Community Member
1 month ago

Another beautiful ginger!

JenJen
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, good for her!

Ania Barrett
Community Member
1 month ago

Are you an elf now? :)

Julie Med
Community Member
1 month ago

Wish you all the happiness in the world, you shine so bright!

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow.

Virginia Anziani
Community Member
1 month ago

You were always beautiful. Now everyone can see that.

szatan667
Community Member
1 month ago

cool

Monika Piekarz
Community Member
1 month ago

Beautiful

Alla
Community Member
1 month ago

She is really pretty

Liza Brubacher
Community Member
1 month ago

Beautiful!

AlexG
Community Member
1 month ago

Gorgeous lady!

The one and only
Community Member
2 weeks ago

hbsbdb pretty-

Another loser
Community Member
1 month ago

gorgeous in both!

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
1 month ago

Sad that too many years, you were unhappy, you look fabulous, perhaps you can help others !!!

Fieke Engelen
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm so happy for you

Carolyn Legg
Community Member
1 month ago

Look at you now!!

Billy the kid
Community Member
1 month ago

How about a school reunion now. Show them what a pretty face you are now.

rachel carter
Community Member
1 month ago

Feel for this girl as I get what it's like to be made fun of for not being the pretty girl when was growing up..due to health complications I was always having issues with my weight and it affected everything so feel for you hun

Donald Holder
Community Member
1 month ago

From natural beauty to gorgeous.

Sue Fletcher
Community Member
1 month ago

Bless her. So glad her skin cleared, her true beauty shows through.

Lolly
Community Member
1 month ago

I’m sorry you had to go through pain growing up and I’m glad it made you “better, not bitter”. You came out on top. You are beautiful.

_ RubyWolfLover9 _
Community Member
1 month ago

Is her ear pointed??

Ninja Nonna
Community Member
1 month ago

Good luck Darling, never let other people define you.

atixc_partner
Community Member
1 month ago

hot

Jane W.
Community Member
1 month ago

You are a natural beauty without over-doing any makeup. Good for you and stay kind.

Polly Culberson
Community Member
1 month ago

Good for you.

Fred Bigox
Community Member
1 month ago

Beautiful. Unfortunately children are cruel

Pete Ashey
Community Member
1 month ago

You are stunning inside and out

Pete Ashey
Community Member
1 month ago

You are beautiful

Iva Kazalova
Community Member
1 month ago

Gorgeous!

Ashley Wright
Community Member
1 month ago

You are beautiful

June Dominguez
Community Member
1 month ago

This lady is a real beauty and I believe she is an actress or looks like one I’ve seen! Wow! I also was bullied throughout partial high school every day until I quit and took a GED test and passed with flying colors ! Gorgeous lady! And ☘️ too!

MadamButterfly
Community Member
1 month ago

Shine bright like a diamond!!

Laura Deckers
Community Member
1 month ago

Who knew a Vulcan could be so pretty? LLAP jk

Emyo Jennifer Nakayama
Community Member
1 month ago

You are beautiful.

Hans Averdung
Community Member
1 month ago

S**t, s**t, s**t. That must have hurt like hell! I had the opposite config (the whole jawline, chin and nose) and it got so bad one of the biggest actually got to the bone. I always had to explain that the worst thing about acne was the pain. ***Hugs***

Johanne Trudeau
Community Member
1 month ago

Amazing!!!

Josey Griffin
Community Member
1 month ago

Amazing

Berlinda Dunbar-Nye
Community Member
1 month ago

Bella!!!! I had thin blond very straight hair, got it cut in an awful close to the head shag (not the lovely gypsy shag they showed in comic book ads) started oiling out. Hair needing washed twice per day, we lived in log cabin with no running water, when we got it, it was only cold. I topped it all off with choosing pink cateye glasses with gold sparkles on the edges. It took me a lot of years to like myself. I ended up not so bad to look at, but also in between discovered my brain, creativity, humor, sparkling wit and charm. It looks like you found it all at a young enough age to enjoy it. You go girl!!!!!

Patty Leaton
Community Member
1 month ago

still beautiful with acne everyone goes through it

WildBerry
Community Member
1 month ago

No, not everyone.

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Jim Ellington
Community Member
1 month ago

Sexy armpit.

Treessimontrees
Community Member
1 month ago

More photos of the dog please.

Treessimontrees
Community Member
1 month ago

Gosh, dogs plural!

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Darwinist
Community Member
1 month ago

The person lloks the same mines pimples and baby fat

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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.

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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.