Welcome to BYWH

Let’s be blunt. We all go through those awkward years when we feel as ugly as can be. Especially that time when we have weird hair, ugly braces, skinny frame, among others. We feel so ugly that we are even forced to do whatever we can to improve our looks. In fact, some people even go as far as trying to hide in their bedrooms or even inside their steel garage door in Albuquerque.

Our goal is to show you that these awkward, ugly years is simply a phase. This blog will show you stories of people who felt really ugly at some point in their lives and were able to transform from ugly ducklings into amazing, beautiful swans. Here are just some of our stories:

Allie’s Nine Years of Awkwardness

“My awkward phase spanned a nine-year period from second grade to sophomore year of high school. (Ouch!). The before photo is from freshman year of high school. This was, quite possibly, the climax of my awkward streak. The ‘after’ photo was taken a mere two and a half years later at age 16 (2012). Very quick and thankfully dramatic transformation once those awful bangs and short hair were gone!”

Lorelie’s Motley Crue Hair

“Ohio, age 14, 2005. This was a school picture from my competitive spelling days. People would often tell my mother, sister, and brother that they were ‘so beautiful’… then turn to me and ask if I was ‘really smart.’ Obviously, I was not — a smart girl wouldn’t have left the house with Motley Crue hair. Eight years later, my enthusiasm for Star Wars and accounting still earns me the nickname ‘Nerdelei,’ but at least ‘Frizzelei’ is finally in the past!”

Randi’s Sparkly Bat

“I’d have to guess I was eight here or maybe ten, either way it was the late 90s and I was dressed like a bat, a sparkly bat. Don’t worry, this wasn’t how I normally dressed (at least not yet anyway), this was a costume for a dance recital which meant that a dozen or so other girls were wearing the exact same thing, less embarrassing that way right? Wrong. You see, those other girls still had spindly little kid bodies and here I was with “womanly” hips and thighs the size of tree trunks (at least that’s how it felt), wrapped in black spandex for all the world to see (cue self-consciousness/body issues).

“As I see it now, I’m pretty sure this photograph marks the beginning of my descent into adolescent awkwardness, it captures the very moment I stopped being a cute kid and started my transformation into ugly duckling. Okay, perhaps that is bit dramatic, but the next five or six years were pretty terrible. After this photo, things got remarkably worse — acne, frizzy red hair and a stubborn determination to ‘be different’ lead to a lot of teasing which eventually lead to me wearing a lot of black and playing the part of the pariah I felt I had been cast as.”

Rhys – definitely not a lady killer

“This picture marks the era in which all photos of me were eventually discarded, around age 14. In fact it was only a couple of weeks ago when the last TRULY horrifying photo of me was thrown away by my Father. Needless to say I wasn’t quite the lady-killer when I was younger…”

Food festival

The following are a collection of real-life stories from ugly ducklings turned swans…

Molly and Lauren: Hairspray and Braces
“My best friend Lauren and I had just turned 13. We were at a luncheon in Beverly Hills for some type of fundraising charity (we were junior members). I lived down the street from her and I remember her coming over about three hours in advance so we could ‘get ready’ together. Her Dad worked for Jafra at thetime so we had way too much make-up at our disposal.

“A bottle of foundation and a can of hairspray later I don’t think we looked better than when we started. I had not yet realized that my fluorescent blonde hair was actually curly so I had spent a painful amount of additional time trying to blow-dry it straight. You can tell that we both have braces from the discomfort in our facial expressions. My glasses are the ubiquitous Marchon frame that were available in a variety of speckled colors as well as a pearly lavender which I also had.”

Kelli: Circle Glasses
“This is my fourth-grade school picture in Hiawatha, KS, and I am totally rocking that ‘child of the 90s’ look. It is so obvious that my mother dressed me. I’ve got the giant floral shirt, (which I got rid of, just recently, actually) my teeth (pre-braces), my awesome PERM, and my circle glasses. Yep, I was one cool kid.”

Mary: Fuzzy Pageboy
“This one was taken when I was in 7th grade. As a kid I spent years begging my mother to shave my head (she refused). Our compromise was this sort of fuzzy pageboy look that was accomplished with a flowbie. The icing on the cake were those two butterfly clips just sort of holding back the absurdity as best as their little plastic jaws could manage. Tack on my extreme love of The Far Side, as explained by my shirt, and you’ve got one hell of an ugly duckling… quack.”