"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."
"I'm the one at the bottom holding the stuffed armadillo. This photo was taken during Spanish class when I was 13 years old on pajama day of spirit week. I was obviously completely unaware of how silly I looked, probably because everyone else looked silly that day too. The difference was that I looked like that EVERY day." --Heather
"When you Google 'abnormally large Thai baby in traditional costume,' my dear friend Anna's childhood photo should pop up. Here she is at age 3 standing next to her perpetually elegant older sister, and the contrast could not be more striking. Between the haircut, baby chub, and uncomfortable expression, Anna looks adorable and cuddly but hardly hot. 16 years later..." --Anna's friend Sarah
"My mom was a bellydancer at that time, so all I did was dress up in her clothes. This was probably one of those in-between stages of just-came-out-of-the-pool-but-not-quite-ready-for-real-clothes-yet (hence, bikini top and underoos). I am sure I had just seen a Miami Vice episode, which explains the jacket. I know great care went into this look, revolving around those boots. Fresh off the boat from Holland, I am sure I begged Mom to let me wear this to kindergarten the next day." --Lucy
"Hi, my name is Phil, and I'm a recovering leprechaun. I wanted to play hockey, like all my friends. My parents hated me, so they put in figure skating. The entire freaking universe hated me, so that particular year I was required to dress up as a leprechaun. Please note the lovingly crafted tin foil buckles on my skates. Also note the fact that a seven year old should really be able to look to his parents for protection, not as the source of many many years of ridicule to come. Sadly, I was never in figure skating long enough to get babes; all I ended up with was beats from my hockey playing friends. Thanks mom and dad. When you end up in the nursing home, guess what you're wearing?" --Phil
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