The Awkward Years Project: Ugly Ducklings Blossoming


The Awkward Years Project is an ongoing portrait series by designer Merilee Allred which features people holding up a picture of their past selves as awkward teens with embarrassing hairdos and no fashion sense whatsoever.

According to Allred, “Whether it was braces, big glasses, zits, awfully-styled hair, or victims of terrible fashion, we can all think back to at least one photo that is especially incriminating… I want this blog to show the ‘aftermath’ of my subjects, and how they not only survived their awkward years, but how great of people they turned out to be!” She adds, “To all the nerds, geeks, and fashion victims, past or present, this project is for you!”

1. Becca

Then: 12 years old, Salt Lake City, UT

Now: 29 years old Graphic Designer and Lettering Artist residing in Salt Lake City


 2. David (aka “Guatón”, lit. “Chubby”)

Then: 10-year-old 5th grader, Caburgua, Chile

Now: 30-year-old 5th grader, with a degree in Civil Engineering and I work in the Drinking Water field; residing in Santiago, Chile

David (aka “Guatón”, lit. “Chubby”)


3. Anthony

Then: 14 years old, Cardiff, Wales

Now: 21 years old, Cardiff, Wales (personal trainer, youtuber, actor and amateur model)