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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year ago

Wow, pretty smile!

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#8

Left-13, Right-34

Left-13, Right-34

vrnkafurgis Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 year ago

She looks like a teenager in her thirties!

Shauna
Community Member
1 year ago

I agree she looks like a teenager now.

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Francisco Scaramanga
Community Member
1 year ago

Are these real prescription glasses or just an accessory? I've never seen one like this ...

JessG
Community Member
1 year ago

No, they're costume coke bottle glasses, not real

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Louloubelle
Community Member
1 year ago

I can't figure out if she's wearing glasses or swim goggles in the first picture. My kids picked out the absolute worst looking glasses at that age. But they like what they like. Gotta let them find their own style. She certainly did.

Sean Montgomery
Community Member
1 year ago

The first one is just an awful picture. I am sure you could still recreate that look.

Jonathan Armstrong
Community Member
1 year ago

No look at the neck. She has lost some weight.

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Marta Dyrgała
Community Member
1 year ago

Damn, life must have been hard for her as a kid. Children can be very cruel. 😔 You look awesome now, take care! ❤️

gedwards1
Community Member
1 year ago

From Pugsley to Wednesday.

Jovonne Bolar
Community Member
1 year ago

It was the coke bottles lenses.

Anna Neemus
Community Member
1 year ago

Holy ish. Those glasses.

Chez
Community Member
1 year ago

Whether or not these are the same people, all of you telling the chick on the right to lose the dark lipstick and nose ring, and wear pink lipstick, and THEN she'll be pretty? Get a life.

Terry Gasca
Community Member
1 year ago

Freckles? Nose job? Eye shape? Hairline? Gotta downvote, as I need more proof this is the same person

June Dominguez
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

You sure it is the same person? Even the nose is different! Looks like a young Lindsey Lohan in second picture!

Tala Koala
Community Member
1 year ago

You’re right. I think it’s the same person, but she definitely got the tip of her nose thinned out a lot. Maybe the doctor gave her a discount to do the nose and fix the double chin at the same time, lol.

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Hayasahibaa
Community Member
1 year ago

You gotta be kidding me!

Mike Proco
Community Member
1 year ago

Not the same person!!

Lydia Coy
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

You look my age (13) even tho u 30

Ania Barrett
Community Member
1 year ago

Lovely freckles!

Monika Piekarz
Community Member
1 year ago

So unique and beautiful

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
1 year ago

Obviously the glasses are a prop. But I don't think the teeth could possibly be.

Fred and George Weasley
Community Member
1 year ago

hecc you dont look 34

Anthony N
Community Member
5 months ago

OMG she used to look like boiled pancake head

Deborah Plapp
Community Member
8 months ago

Beautiful!

Marilyn Ransberry
Community Member
10 months ago

Awful glasses! Where were her parents? Very Pretty but would be better with lighter lipstick.

Hadesdaughter
Community Member
10 months ago

I have a question to anyone who k owe the answer and I really am not trying to sound rude or judgey and if it sounds like I’m coming off that way I’m so sorry but what type of glasses or this those because it looks like she wearing two pairs at the same time

Viv Hart
Community Member
1 year ago

How could they give the teen such dreadful specs?

Another loser
Community Member
1 year ago

gorgeous transformation, happy for u!

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
1 year ago

Fantastic, good for you, your determination, paid well !!!

Monday Fuss
Community Member
1 year ago

Her freckles are so pretty.

Carolyn Legg
Community Member
1 year ago

Great eyes!!

Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
1 year ago

Younger self looks like a Penn Jillette impersonator.

Donald Holder
Community Member
1 year ago

Love the freckles! 🌹

Rainclouds Radio
Community Member
1 year ago

Is that jen luvs reviews?

Ninja Nonna
Community Member
1 year ago

Blooming indeed.

Rachel Hamrick
Community Member
1 year ago

Lose the dark lipstick and the fake freckles, and just truly be yourself!

Johanne Trudeau
Community Member
1 year ago

Great transformation...

Mumof1
Community Member
1 year ago

Wow!

Josey Griffin
Community Member
1 year ago

So so so much better. You actually look younger than the other picture of when you were 13

Tori Bishop
Community Member
1 year ago

You look so beautiful and young.

Patty Leaton
Community Member
1 year ago

nice hair both pics

Melody Lanzatella
Community Member
1 year ago

You DO look like a teen!

Donna Reynolds
Community Member
1 year ago

Cutie.

Claire Armstrong
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh Holy Funk! That is one extraordinary transformation! Wow!

Lori T Wisconsin
Community Member
1 year ago

Lose the nose ring & dark lipstick. Without those, she is lovely.

Kim Bush
Community Member
1 year ago

That's what I was thinking, softer makeup and she would look even younger and prettier

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Jude Bennett
Community Member
1 year ago

WOW

Leslie Burleson
Community Member
1 year ago

What kind of glasses are those ?

m. b
Community Member
1 year ago

Hah I loved you already when you were 13!

Eduardo Pereira
Community Member
1 year ago

Gorgeous!

GrumpyCat7
Community Member
1 year ago

Different people.

Ashley Wright
Community Member
1 year ago

Only thing to change is the ultra dark lipstick. (sorry)

humdrum
Community Member
1 year ago

Nose job?

Baron Simone Von Bianco
Community Member
1 year ago

This entry is quite confusing in fact. Left picture, "before" comes certainly from here: https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-blunder-years-photo/ (number 39). I'm not a forensic facial reconstructor but surely the right picture isn't the same person on the left. There is no actual resemblance. The person on the right could have been also maybe an "ugly duckling" but freckles doesn't appear suddenly at a certain age. You can lose weight, had plastic surgery (nose job, chin chiseling, whatever) but to me, isn't the same person at all. Don't want to sound offensive, but "left" is clearly a dude in a very grotesque carnival outfit, on the "right" instead we have indeed a pretty girl, with maybe a wiccan/goth side. No matter how many changes, transitions, surgeries,etc...you can't obtain "right" from the source material on the "left".

Tala Koala
Community Member
1 year ago

You didn’t improve in any way, you got kybella on your chin but didn’t lose any weight all over. You drew on some freckles, took your glasses off, and learned to close your mouth when you smile. You didn’t even style your frizzy hair differently in the ensuing 2 decades.

WildBerry
Community Member
1 year ago

Looks goofy in both pics.

Brenda Johnson
Community Member
1 year ago

Wow!!!! Maybe because I am old, please lose the nose ring and black lipstick, and go with something a little mauve . The black is too harsh and you are beautiful.

Jane W.
Community Member
1 year ago

Try pink lipstick and you are a beauty.

Alex Mont
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

woof

Shawna Rachelle
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

get rid of the black lipstick you're 34!

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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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year ago

cute in both

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#44

18 To 24

18 To 24

ISkateboard Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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.