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.BellaSugar: How did you two come up with the idea?
Melissa Walker: Looking through a box of old photos, I found about 20 pictures that were ripe for a site like this. I talked to Anne, and she admitted to having the same kind of stash. We thought it would be fun to create a space to share the awkward years.
BS: How did you manage to make the site fun, not mean-spirited?
Anne Ichikawa: A lot of it is due to the description that is submitted with the photo. Everyone has such a self-deprecating, but good humored, view of their past awkwardness — it makes it really easy for everyone to relate with and share in the experience. And really . . . bad perms are funny!
BS: Do you know anyone who escaped adolescence without going through an awkward stage?
MW: Some people were always cute kids, but no one escaped at least one laughable trend. (Oversized '90s tees, banana clips, perms, and the ever-necessary braces and retainers come to mind.)
BS: So many of the photos involve awkward trends like mullets and spiral perms. What trends of 2010 do you suspect might not age so well?
AI: So hard to tell when you're in the moment! But I'm going to go with self-tanner, hair extensions, and multicolor dye jobs. In terms of fashion, those open-toed boots are already totally suspect.
BS: Do you have any favorite celebrity ugly-duckling-into-swan stories?
AI: When we were on the CBS Early Show, they showed a pretty geeky photo of George Clooney as a kid wearing huge glasses and sporting a bowl cut. We think he turned out pretty OK.