People Who Used To Be “Ugly Ducklings” Share Their Transformations, And We Can Barely Recognize Them (82 New Pics)

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.

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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 4 Years Later (16-20)

Image credits: IntrepidCommission

#2 16-19 Or: How I Learned To Start Shaving And Escape The Neckbeard

Image credits: ampe_sand

#3 12 – 24 Even My Family Doesn’t Recognize Me These Days, It’s Nice

Image credits: asionahaya

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 Left-13, Right-34

Image credits: vrnkafurgis

#5 11—>30 Braces Were Good To Me

Image credits: u_bit

#6 Life Begins At 40! 25 –> 40

Image credits: Jbcarter77

“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.

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#7 16-20. Does This Count?

Image credits: DavidEntertains

#8 Left 12, Right 24

Image credits: BlackSharkoon

#9 Age 15 To 21. Lost Some Weight, It Sucks My Eyes Didn’t Get Bigger

Image credits: AcuteYellowFever

#10 Age 12 To Age 26… Still Feel A Lot Like The Kid On The Left

Image credits: tylerjkillion

#11 11 vs. 28, Lost That Baby Fat And Learned How To Smile

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#12 Age ~11 To 20 – I Owe A Lot To Contacts, Braces, Filling In My Eyebrows, And My Hairline Somehow Growing Forward

Image credits: MissBrightside13

#13 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”

Image credits: FayeTealeaf

#14 12-23 Puberty And Private Dentistry.. And Let’s Not Forget Fake Tan And Makeup Get A Lot Of Credit Here!

Image credits: selinaf910

#15 10 Year Different. Ages 13 & 23

Image credits: caffeinequeenxo

#16 19 To 20. I Would Like To Thank My Dermatologist

Image credits: ezmi

#17 From 17 To 18, I Don’t Even Know

Image credits: chrono28

#18 14 To 20, Lost Weight, Took Care Of Myself And Stopped Cutting My Hair

Image credits: illutree

#19 13, 15, 20 And 27 Years Old

Image credits: PUSSYFiED

#20 A Slight Change

Image credits: jeckbirry

#21 25 To 33: Anorexic (95 Lbs), Tmj Disorders, Heavy Smoking And Drinking To Normal Weight (140 Lbs), Double Jaw Surgery, Ex-Smoker, Ex-Drinker

Image credits: GadnukBreakerOfWrlds

#22 12-27. Lost A Chin, But Gained A Smile

Image credits: emergencyx0x

#23 Age 14 To 19. Lost Some Weight And Gained Some Confidence Along The Way

Image credits: BismuthBi

#24 One Year Transformation. 23 To 23 (Almost 24 Hahaha). What A Gym Membership, Self Love And A Skincare Routine Can Do For You

Image credits: heyhaydae

#25 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

Image credits: vicebjj

#26 Found An Old School Photo (14/29)

Image credits: kitakel

#27 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

Image credits: trebor88

#28 17-24, Went Through Horrible Cystic Acne, Lost 50 Lbs, Got Braces, And Dropped An Emotionally Abusive Boyfriend

Image credits: meganam38

#29 7 Years Can Make A Crazy Difference

Image credits: redditsucksdiscs

#30 You Don’t Have To Be Young To Glow Up. I’m 36 On The Left And 25 On The Right

Image credits: arsenicookie

#31 7 Years Apart

Image credits: sputniksweeetheart

#32 21 vs. 29.. Losing 100lbs Has Definitely Helped!

Image credits: TinyNugggins

#33 2010-2020. Never Really Took Care Of My Health Nor My Looks Until Well After High School. Thankful For The Gym, Healthy Eating, And Some Good Ol’ Makeup!

Image credits: goldengiraffe999

#34 From Being The Weird Kid To Owning My Weirdness

Image credits: toolongforyoutoread

#35 15 To 22, Traded In The Braces And Acne In Exchange For A Healthy Dose Of Self Confidence And The Ability To Smile

Image credits: unic0rnism

#36 2015 – 2019. Basically, I Cleaned Myself Up And Started Over!

Image credits: a_midlo

#37 13 vs. 21. Lost The Glasses And Stupid Fringe

Image credits: Gemjar21

#38 Age 17 On The Left, Age 34 On The Right

Image credits: ChippyLipton

#39 From 18 To 23. A Completely Different Person Now

Image credits: Miss_Keys

#40 13 vs. 24, I Looked Like A Brown Peter Griffin

Image credits: brownie_waffle

#41 Age 17-24, Was Bullied A Lot Growing Up

Image credits: Fonzevil

#42 13 – 25

Image credits: Alex_J_Newman

#43 My One Regret Is Losing The Hat

Image credits: FuturisticUterus

#44 11 To 21. Wear Your Sunblock, Folks

Image credits: borednangsty

#45 18 vs. 23 Just A Late Bloomer I Guess

Image credits: JohnnyWarlord

#46 13 To 19 Y/O…5heads Where Y’all At?

Image credits: chromasphere

#47 (Spoiler Alert) I Didn’t Peak In Highschool Lol

Image credits: BlackDDDynomight

#48 15 To 23. No Makeup For A Better Comparison

Image credits: curriespice

#49 12-20. Losing Weight And Learning How To Do My Hair Helped A Bit

Image credits: feistaspongebob

#50 Thank God For The Orthodontist, Me At 10 & 18

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#51 13 -> 22, Got Myself Bigger Glasses

Image credits: Uesugi_Kenshin

#52 23-33. Went From Eating Pizza Everyday To Just Every Other Day.

Image credits: hammers145678

#53 I Was Told That This Might Be Appreciated Here. The First Picture Is Me In My Duct Tape Dress At 16. The Second Picture Is Me Now, At 21 After Losing 100 Pounds, Cutting Off My Frizzy Hair, And Actually Putting Effort Into My Appearance

Image credits: Astyyria

#54 Age 10 – 18! Thank God For Braces (My Teeth R Straight Now, I Swear)

Image credits: dampsock137

#55 Nearly Two Years Of Hard Work And Dedication. I Won’t Ever Stop!

Image credits: rryanchow

#56 15 → 26, From Strange Genderbender To Recognizable As A Woman

Image credits: amewsings

#57 13-21 Puberty Really Hit Me Hard And Shot Me Up To 6ft8

Image credits: mrphenylalanine

#58 Puberty Was My Best Friend

Image credits: blueschuys

#59 16—>22

Image credits: 817627

#60 14 – 21 R.I.P Bushy Eyebrows, Big Nose, Greasy Hair And… Coontails?

Image credits: XtremeBreen

#61 12 And 29. Still With The Short Hair And Glasses, Some Things Never Change

Image credits: b_normal_y

#62 3 Years With A Lot Of Time In The Gym And Taking Care Of My Skin

Image credits: gorbakim27

#63 Sometimes Wish I Still Had That Hat. (11-24)

Image credits: boddah666

#64 12->25. Took Some Time, But Im No Longer A Cabbage Patch Kid. Cheers To Glowing Up, Everyone!

Image credits: graezgames

#65 13 To 20 (My Mom Gave Me That Haircut)

Image credits: Tapioca-Cat

#66 12>22 First One Is Cringe Pure, I Know. I Was Bullied A Lot Back Then Haha, Felt Like I Needed To Change

Image credits: ognirenca

#67 October 2012 (Age 20) vs. October 2018 (Age 25). Freshman Year Of College Was…not My Best :-/

Image credits: cinnamon_pita_chips

#68 16 vs. 25. It’s Always Crazy To Look Back Every Once And A While

Image credits: anamaltic

#69 18 To 24

Image credits: ISkateboard

#70 Me, Early 20’s Looking Troll Man To More Normal Looking Dude In His 30’s

Image credits: 7fingersphil

#71 Think I Was About 14 Or 15 Referred Too As The Ginger Owl. Highschool Was Bitter Sweet

Image credits: travcan21

#72 12 vs. 20. Had To Stop Riding The Bus+change My Classes In Middle School Because I Was Bullied So Bad For “Being Ugly”

Image credits: himechans

#73 11 vs. 26: I Suspect That I Might Be Benjamin Button

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#74 Mother’s Day With My Momma 2014-2018

Image credits: MavrickOcean

#75 16 vs. 46. Took Awhile To Get Here, Lol.

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#76 12-18. Most People Can Tell I’m A Girl Now.

Image credits: imxhyl

#77 15 > 21. A Lot Has Changed (For The Better).

Image credits: PapaPigtails

#78 I Guess You Could Say I’ve Changed A Bit Since I Was A Good Charlottle Loving 12 Year Old. I’m Now 25 And Can Still Laugh At My Tiny Brass Knuckles Necklace.

Image credits: logicalnifty

#79 Brace Yourself For A Couples Edition (11-23)

Image credits: intensetoucan

#80 I’m Thankful Braces Exist (12 Yrs To 20 Yrs)

Image credits: concernedstudentLOL

#81 18 To 23. Puberty Hit Me Like A God Damn Freight Train.

Image credits: limthekid

#82 Grew Into My Face A Little(19 vs. 26)

Image credits: newacctwhodiss


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