In junior high, would you have imagined that this endearingly awkward girl would grow up to be a model? That's exactly what happened, and Before You Were Hot has the proof. Former ELLEgirl editors Anne Ichikawa and Melissa Walker started the site to look at the ugly ducklings who later became swans. Readers (such as this DARE graduate) submit geeky photos along with the stories behind them. "Being 'hot' isn't about looking like Angelina Jolie," Ichikawa says of the project. "It's all about how you feel about yourself and being comfortable in your own skin."
We talked with the duo to find out more about their inspiration, what current trends are unlikely to age well, and more. For the Q&A (and to see the "now" shot of the girl in the photo), keep reading.