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

Eduardo Pereira
Community Member
5 months ago

Gorgeous!

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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
5 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
5 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

notyourgirl
Community Member
5 months ago

yeah ig

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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
5 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
5 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
5 months ago

Wow, pretty smile!

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#8

Left-13, Right-34

Left-13, Right-34

vrnkafurgis Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
5 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
5 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

Anna Neemus
Community Member
5 months ago

Gorg!

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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
5 months ago

great eyeliner skills too

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#12

Left 12, Right 24

Left 12, Right 24

BlackSharkoon Report

922Terry
Community Member
5 months ago

Whoa! Gorgeous

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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
5 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
5 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
5 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

Boopie Dew
Community Member
5 months ago

Maybe you still haven't peaked. Who knows? Looking great though!

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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

Lousha
Community Member
5 months ago

Looks like Alan Cummings' hotter brother :)

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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
5 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
5 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
5 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

Miss Cris
Community Member
5 months ago

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So she feels ugly or beautiful depending on her boyfriend.

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#22

4 Years Later (16-20)

4 Years Later (16-20)

IntrepidCommission Report

Vivi
Community Member
5 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
5 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

Bunny Wood
Community Member
5 months ago

wow

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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
5 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

Alyssa Fry
Community Member
5 months ago

I can’t be the only one who thinks you look like Harry Styles now.( that is a COMPLIMENT well done

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#27

10 Year Different. Ages 13 & 23

10 Year Different. Ages 13 & 23

caffeinequeenxo Report

Sabse
Community Member
5 months ago

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Huh? 😳

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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
5 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
5 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

Miss Cris
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Always following hair fashion.

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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

Peter Kelly
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm still pig-ugly, but I was 4'1" at 16 and got to 6'0" by 18. Hell on earth and, bizarrely, I still have a self image that I'm short. I only appreciate my height when I see pictures of me standing next to others.

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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

Bunny Wood
Community Member
5 months ago

Stunner

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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
5 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
5 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

Janine B.
Community Member
5 months ago

Poor girl. There's absolutely nothing wrong with her. Kids can be assholes.

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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

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
5 months ago

Pure self love. How do any of us survive our teens?

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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

Ann Rii
Community Member
5 months ago

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Your style is better now, but your face was cuter before.

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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
5 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
5 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
5 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

Miss Cris
Community Member
5 months ago

Oh, I love so much the first one! Where's any ugly ducky?

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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

Janine B.
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't think she was strange. Always liked kids like her, they made great friends. And still are.

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#43

18 vs. 23 Just A Late Bloomer I Guess

18 vs. 23 Just A Late Bloomer I Guess

JohnnyWarlord Report

Janine B.
Community Member
5 months ago

Suerb smile!

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#44

18 To 24

18 To 24

ISkateboard Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
5 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

EA
Community Member
5 months ago

Congrats!

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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

Janine B.
Community Member
5 months ago

Wow, you look good and happy! 😀

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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
5 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

Boopie Dew
Community Member
5 months ago

Good for you!😁

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#49

11 To 21. Wear Your Sunblock, Folks

11 To 21. Wear Your Sunblock, Folks

borednangsty Report

notyourgirl
Community Member
5 months ago

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you are beautiful in both I mean better than me. And that's not saying much cause I'm, just plane garbage and yeah any way ur beautiful!

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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

Boopie Dew
Community Member
5 months ago

pretty

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