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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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!

View More Replies...
View more comments

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. ;)

View more comments
#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... 😂

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments

“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!

View more comments
#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!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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".

View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View more comments
#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!

RavenclawQueen
Community Member
1 year ago

Hey can you give me that dermatologist's number?

Sue Knerl
Community Member
1 year ago

When your acne is that bad, you feel ugly, all the time! I know.

lastof4
Community Member
1 year ago

I would like the name of your dermatologist

Jane W.
Community Member
1 year ago

Amazing what clear skin does for confidence. Been there.

Nick McPherran
Community Member
1 year ago

Acne changes a personality, and sometimes it takes years to get over the trauma. So its wonderful that those blue eyes shine, and that beautiful face is glowing. Thanks for sharing.

June Dominguez
Community Member
1 year ago

Very beautiful woman!

I Liquored On
Community Member
1 year ago

Her smile reminds me of Alanis Morrisette

Deborah Plapp
Community Member
8 months ago

Gorgeous!

LeAnn Munson
Community Member
1 year ago

acne is hard for anyone, at any age. But it can be harder on a female. I am so happy for you that you found someone to help you. You are glowing!! You were still pretty, even with the acne.

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
1 year ago

Thankfully you had, a good specialist , looking fabulous, girl !!!

Monday Fuss
Community Member
1 year ago

She wasn't an "ugly" duckling. She just had acne. A lot of people deal with that.

Lamb Taylor
Community Member
1 year ago

Just needed to get rid of the acne.Congrats on doing it.

Corey Brown
Community Member
1 year ago

WOW!!

Donald Holder
Community Member
1 year ago

Smiles are internal huh. Gorgeous hair!

Pavel Dana
Community Member
1 year ago

Congrats

Kanishka Patel
Community Member
1 year ago

I feel like she was not ugly before, but she just had acne.

Cynthia Marrs
Community Member
1 year ago

good job.

Martha Higgins
Community Member
1 year ago

Dermatologists are a teen's best friend.

Ninja Nonna
Community Member
1 year ago

Congratulations.

Pete Ashey
Community Member
1 year ago

stunning

Aitchilm
Community Member
1 year ago

Beautiful eyes.

Ashley Wright
Community Member
1 year ago

You look like Scarlett Johansson.

Alison Welles
Community Member
1 year ago

...and great eyebrows, yo!

Hans Bass
Community Member
1 year ago

Big improvement,very pretty.

Josey Griffin
Community Member
1 year ago

Stunning

Patty Leaton
Community Member
1 year ago

pretty either pic

Sanjeev Sharma
Community Member
1 year ago

Pretty then, pretty now.

Mimi M
Community Member
1 year ago

You look great. That last pic is a great pic.

Monika Piekarz
Community Member
1 year ago

You were always beautiful

Brandi VanSteenwyk
Community Member
1 year ago

The most beautiful lips... eyes... skin... smile...

Louloubelle
Community Member
1 year ago

I never had acne, but of course knew many people that did. I swore if my kids did, I would immediately take them to a dermatologist. They did, and wouldn't go. Luckily, it didn't last that long, and they weren't scarred. But this young lady looks so much happier. I can only imagine.

Hubertus Touché
Community Member
1 year ago

Whoah, good for you!!

Ashley Wright
Community Member
1 year ago

You look like Scarlett Johansson

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

A Slight Change

A Slight Change

jeckbirry Report

Janine B.
Community Member
1 year ago

OMG, that's cute! 😂

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

4 Years Later (16-20)

4 Years Later (16-20)

IntrepidCommission Report

Vivi
Community Member
1 year ago

Not the same person.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View more comments
#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...

View More Replies...
View more comments
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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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 🤣

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#41

7 Years Apart

7 Years Apart

sputniksweeetheart Report

Anna Neemus
Community Member
1 year ago

Did she get a nose job?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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. 👍

View More Replies...
View more comments
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

View more comments
#44

18 To 24

18 To 24

ISkateboard Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
1 year ago

So cute then so handsome.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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!

View more comments
#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!

View more comments
#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?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View more comments

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