The uplifting tale of self-transformation, perhaps best exemplified by the well-known fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling,” is enjoyed by all. We are all aware of the conclusion: All of the other ducklings on the pond learn to admire and enviously awe the magnificent swan that emerges from a rejected and abandoned duckling.

It is a lot more than just a fairy tale because, like the majority of fairy tales, it teaches important life lessons. We can bring out the beautiful swans that are hidden within us, despite how unlikely it may appear if we put in enough effort and dedication.

What is ugly duckling syndrome?

Thankfully, the ugly duckling syndrome has nothing to do with birds and everything to do with people.

Ugly duckling syndrome describes someone who was perhaps less than mainstream attractive when they were younger. They might also have been a bit clumsy, awkward, and not the most popular in school. However, they were nice. But, when they grow up, they turn into very attractive and graceful humans. [Read: Why is physical attraction so important?]

We’ve all met someone like this, or maybe you had ugly duckling syndrome when you were younger too. The fact that society tends to judge people on their looks and their ability to fit in means that many people end up falling into the ugly duckling category. However, ugly ducklings get the happily ever after in years to come!

Is ugly duckling syndrome good?

The term ugly duckling syndrome may sound bad. And although you may have to go through a hard time when you’re younger, it can actually make you a better person as you age. Doctors have even studied this phenomenon: The Ugly Duckling Acceptance

It’s not that those with ugly duckling syndrome always have low self-esteem, but many do. It could be that a person falling into this category simply doesn’t care what others think – and good for them!

However, when you go through times with low self-esteem, you end up improving in other areas of your life, such as kindness, loyalty, conversation skills, determination, and patience, along with many other positive traits. And all this is because you weren’t gifted with physical attractiveness in your younger years, and you needed to develop other life skills to stand out from the crowd as you grow up.

Overall, it could make you a better person.

That is not to say that people who have always been gorgeous are cruel, but they tend to lack a specific understanding of what it feels like not to be attractive to everyone, right?

As we said before, society seems to find beauty acceptable, and anything below a so-called standard is cast aside. Life is cruel that way.

Having ugly duckling syndrome is sort of like having a makeover. You are the same person you’ve always been, but now your outside shines too and matches your insides. It is kind of like karma. You’ve been a good person, so now you’re being rewarded.

Of course, this means looks matter. As much as we’d like to say they don’t, they do. There wouldn’t be online dating, models, and beauty pageants if it weren’t for people’s looks.

So, even though looks may not be the most important, ugly duckling syndrome can take you from sweet and awkward to sweet and gorgeous. [Read: Why is inner beauty more important than outer beauty?]

The benefits of ugly ducking syndrome

As we all know, how we feel early in our lives shapes how we see ourselves into adulthood and beyond. If everyone is always praising you for your looks or judging you for who you are on the outside, then what you learn is your strength and what you develop about yourself.

Hence, beautiful people, from the start, believe that the exterior is what matters. [Read: Build your self-esteem – 35 funny things to tell yourself]

Now, the girl or boy who was born not-so-fun-to-look-at is different. Because they weren’t all that attractive, they found that the way to shine was to develop their inner beauty. That is what ugly ducklings focused on during their critical younger years, and that is what they know. It is what is inside that matters.

Many ugly ducklings have no idea how attractive they really are. Even if they do, they don’t value their external appearance all that much because they know they have other more important and valuable traits within them.

Unlike a person who was complimented for being beautiful all their lives, an ugly duckling doesn’t need validation for their external beauty to feel good about themselves.

Here are some awesome reasons why people having ugly duckling syndrome may actually be a good thing. [Read: Tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better YOU]

1. They are kind

People who grew up on the other side of the beauty fence know what it is like to be outside looking in. They know how hurtful “kids” can be *although adults can be much worse, especially online*.

Empathy is typically high in women or men with ugly duckling syndrome. Not wanting anyone to feel as misfit as they did or as hurt or ridiculed, they take great pains at being kind to everyone. [Read: 18 ways to have high self-esteem and start winning in life]

2. They aren’t shallow

Someone who grew up pretty and learned that their looks alone are what get them far in life won’t understand how important your personality truly is. They may even depend solely on their looks.

When all you have to do is smile, and people want to be around, and with you, then you never have to develop a complex personality.

But, as someone who didn’t grow up in the popular crowd, the ugly duckling learns that looks are not all that important. Attraction is, but that isn’t based just on the outside.

3. They work hard for what they have

No one is handing the ugly duckling anything for free growing up. We are just going to say it – pretty people tend to get things handed to them whether they deserve them or not.

People who are not so beautiful have to work harder to get further up on the chain. If you are dating an ugly duckling, they didn’t just happen in their career. They know how to put their nose to the grindstone and make a commitment to achieving their goals. [Read: What should I do with my life? 16 steps to design your ideal life]

4. They don’t peak early

Do you all remember that girl in grammar school or even middle school who was the hottest and coolest person in school? We mean, everyone, big, small, fat, pre-pubescent, thought if they could date her, then their lives would forever be miraculous.

Have you ever looked up those girls or guys? You will likely find that, since they never really had to work at their beauty, they didn’t really keep up with it either. They’re probably leading a simple life, and speak of their school days as the highlight of their lives. [Read: How to find the right person for you when you’ve given up hope]

5. They won’t take you for granted

When everyone is nice to you, does what you want, or will do anything for you because you’re so attractive, you have a tendency to take people for granted. And because of this, beautiful people may not put much value on the people around them.

Sometimes, they have a “self-importance” that makes them believe that others are disposable. But when everyone grows up, the “beautiful” popular person doesn’t understand why they’re having so much trouble keeping friends. But the truth is, collecting friends from school because you were pretty is very different from the real world where everyone has to work on their friendships.

The ugly duckling, on the other hand, was probably just happy that some girl or guy would take a chance to be their friend. They have learned early on that to keep a friend, you have to be a friend. [Read: The 15 qualities of a good friend that sets them apart from the bad ones]

6. They will pull their weight

Perhaps you have a beautiful friend, and when you all get together, she just sits around and lets everyone work their asses off while she sits and looks pretty. It’s a cliche, standard example.

Or, she will find a guy to entertain and leave you to fall all over yourselves to work for the queen bee. On the other hand, if you are dating an ugly duckling, you can be assured when shit needs to get done; it will get done. They are not afraid to break a nail, get their shirt dirty, or mess with their perfectly styled hair.

7. They are generous

How many times do you see a pretty girl pay for anything? The girl who has been pretty forever doesn’t get it. It is like coming from a first-world nation and thinking that everyone has the internet.

Someone with the ugly duckling syndrome knows that being doted over and paid for isn’t the norm. And so, she appreciates that she is in that position but doesn’t take advantage of it. In fact, most of the time, she will probably ask to go “halfsies.” [Read: How to master positive self-talk and banish negativity]

8. They just might settle for someone who isn’t a 10

Just because they are a ten on the scale does not mean that they are looking for like-kind. All the things that make an ugly duckling so attractive both inside and out are about understanding that it isn’t just about the way you look on the outside.

They know that it’s what’s inside that matters. Growing up in a non-beautiful world, they are more likely to value the way someone treats them and their partner’s empathy. And they won’t even think of it as settling.

9. They are humble

People who don’t become beautiful until later in life tend to be more “humble.” That means they don’t flaunt themselves, need the attention of others to define their self-worth, and often have a better sense of self.

The people who have always been beautiful think that their only gifts are the ones that show on the exterior.

To someone with the ugly duckling syndrome, not even knowing they are drop-dead-gorgeous, the attention is nice, but they don’t need the attention to survive, nor do they seek validation about their looks just to exist or be happy.[Read: What makes someone an attention seeker and how to recognize their traits]

Ugly duckling syndrome gives you a unique view of the world

The way we perceive the world early on shapes who we ultimately become.

Having the ugly duckling syndrome when you are young, gives you a different view of the world and the part you play in it. That can only be a good thing because when you understand the points above, it means that these are well-rounded, happy, and genuine people. These are the types of people you want in your life.

The ugly duckling always becomes the swan in the end!

[Read: Self-concept – How we create it, develop it, and use it to control our happiness]

It’s true. Beauty really is the eye of the beholder. So what is more fantastic than dating someone with ugly duckling syndrome? It means they’re as beautiful on the inside as they are on the out!