"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!" -
"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. Eith years later, my enthusiasm for Star Wars and accounting still earns me the nickname 'Nerdelei,' but at least 'Frizzelei' is finally in the past!" -Lorelei
"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."
"Backstory: This was taken during a kids' window-painting contest in the 'downtown' area of Baldwinsville, when I was in 4th grade. 'Twas an incredibly cold and rainy morning--but you'd never know it from that sassy smile, would you? Things that ARE painfully apparent: my weather-flattened frizzy hair, my SUPER! PUFFY! WHITE! marshmallow coat, my sweatshirt proclaiming that I was 'Ultra Cool' (this was one of my favorite articles of clothing at the time), and my weirdly-framed old lady glasses (I picked those out, so I can't even blame my mother). That Mott's juice box is an unnecessary-but-classy touch of maturity. And the disembodied, pastry-clutching hand is my best friend Katie, who has stuck by me for twenty-five years even through questionable fashion moments like this."
"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..." -Rhys
"Apparently I was super excited about my extra large glasses, bowl cut hair, and Old Navy flag t-shirt. This must have been a dress down day though, since I'm not wearing my trademark silver eyeliner... isn't everyone fashionable at 13?" -Melinda
"I was extremely sick and forced to sit for a family photo (hence me looking so unimpressed). Despite my older sister pinching me to try and get me to smile, I managed to maintain my dead-pan face. I am often told how much I look like the little boy from the sixth sense in this photograph. I blame this on two things. Firstly, my expression. Secondly, the bowl cuts that my mother used to give me. My hair was extremely thin and would not easily... so my mother would actually place a bowl on top of my head and cut around it. It still haunts me to this day." -Gemma
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