40+ People Who “Peaked” in High School Share Their “Glow-Down” Pics, & They’re Hilarious


As we grow older, we often yearn for the things we had in the past. Whether it’s longing for youthful skin, hair, or a sense of style, we often miss the way we looked or presented ourselves during our younger years. Some people reach their prime later in life, while others experience it during their teenage or college years. The latter group has turned to social media to express the extent of their transformation, or at least how they perceive it, since their youth.

Embrace Being Comfortable

As we age, our focus on dressing up tends to diminish. This shift may be attributed to our increased self-assurance compared to our teenage years, or simply a lack of energy and interest.

The person depicted here confidently prioritizes comfort over dressing up. They wear glasses, a cozy t-shirt, and sport a smirk that exudes a fearless approach towards life. It is important to perceive this as an embrace of comfort rather than a decline in appearance.


Days on the Lake

Many young individuals have a strong inclination towards socializing outside their homes. The excitement of dressing up and having the opportunity to make new acquaintances is something that entices a lot of them. And if it leads to a few questionable choices, they consider it even more enjoyable!

From Chic to Hippy

Men, too, join in on the trend of self-reflection and often experience a feeling of disappointment rather than satisfaction when they compare their current photographs with those from their younger days.


This individual transitioned from looking sophisticated in his v-neck shirt and fashionable glasses to adopting a more relaxed style with long, flowing hippie hair and a slightly untidy beard. While he may view it as a downgrade, those who appreciate that aesthetic perceive it as merely another variation of his identity.

Bye-Bye to Blonde

In high school or college, a lot of girls become fixated on altering their hair color. Some opt for vibrant, unconventional shades through dyeing, while others choose to lighten their hair with bleach to achieve a blonde look.

She appears significantly altered from her previous self, but that doesn’t necessarily carry negative connotations. The younger image shows someone who made an effort to follow trends through bleached hair and layered outfits, while the older version exudes a sense of contentment and self-assurance.


A Sad Look

As women get older, they typically reduce their use of makeup. While some choose to use less of it, others may opt to stop wearing it altogether or at least decrease its frequency.

The single decline we notice is that she appears slightly unhappy. It is not just for herself to contrast a picture of her without any makeup and her hair in its natural state with a picture where she obviously put effort into her makeup and hair.

Changing Sense of Style

Throughout our lives, our personal fashion preferences go through multiple transformations. What may have been fashionable in our youth no longer holds the same appeal as we grow older. Often, we come to the realization that we were merely following trends rather than dressing according to our true desires.


It’s apparent that there has been a significant transformation in her appearance in these photos. Although she is still seen in a comfortable t-shirt, she made notable changes such as altering her hair, allowing her eyebrows to grow slightly, and reducing the amount of makeup she wears. It would be intriguing to witness her current fashion sense.

Double-Nose Piercing

Changing your wardrobe isn’t the only way to transform your sense of style, and it’s not only girls who experience this. Many guys also embrace new fashion trends, such as bleaching their hair or eyebrows.

He has certainly become more rebellious compared to when the first photo was taken. He went for a bleached hair style, grew some facial hair, and got a double-nose piercing – which we must confess, we really like. While he may call it a glow-down, we see it as a more edgy and grungy appearance.


No More Overalls

It is perfectly normal for a person’s weight to change over time. This is particularly true for women, as their bodies undergo various transformations at different stages of life. Therefore, experiencing weight gain or weight loss is a very common occurrence.

Despite the fact that she may no longer be able to wear those overalls, we believe it presents a chance to explore a different fashion style and embrace body positivity. Whether she wears overalls or not, she remains beautiful. It is unfair to make women feel guilty for their bodies evolving.

Prom’s Not Every Day

Girls often find events like prom, homecoming, or any other occasion where they have the opportunity to dress more formally quite thrilling. They engage in elaborate hairstyles, wear extravagant outfits, and indulge in costly makeup, among other things.


In the first photo, it’s evident that she is very done up, possibly for prom or a similar event, judging by her hair and elaborate makeup. It’s possible that she even participated in a competition of some kind. In the second picture, she looks just as good, but with a more natural appearance. We can’t help but wonder how much time has passed between these two photos.

Tough to Pull Off Black

It can be quite challenging to successfully rock two hair colors: black and blonde. Black hair often tends to give a washed-out appearance to many individuals, while blonde requires careful selection of the right shade that complements their skin tone in order to achieve a desirable look.

The hairstyle in her photo where she appears less glamorous is surprisingly adorable and fitting. The color complements her more compared to the previous photo. We are confident that if she was as dressed up as on the right side, she would still look equally as stunning.


Old Modeling Days

Many teenagers attempt modeling, but most fail to succeed due to the industry’s heavy reliance on connections and networking.

Judging by the expression on his face, it seems like his modeling career didn’t succeed as expected. The combination of his stylish hair and black tank top in the photo may be somewhat embarrassing, but his current facial expression is even more awkward. However, it’s uncertain if this change can be considered a significant deterioration in his appearance.

Teenage Moody Messes

For some individuals, the early teenage years bring feelings of accomplishment, while for others, it can be a time of humiliation. Acne tends to appear fiercely along with hormonal fluctuations that contribute to teenagers’ turbulent emotions.


It’s not fair for someone in their 20s to compare themselves to how they looked when they were 13 years old. Our bodies go through significant changes from the ages of 13 to 21, so it’s natural to look different. Furthermore, this situation involves a girl comparing a casual photo to one with makeup and enhancements.

Candid Versus Posed

In a world saturated with photographs, candid pictures are increasingly favored, even though they often capture people in unflattering moments, such as making funny faces or caught in the midst of an action.

Gaining a few pounds is a natural occurrence, and she deliberately selected a photo of herself striking a pose rather than one taken without her knowledge. Here, she is making an unfair comparison and being overly critical of herself.


Face Shape Changes

As we age, our facial appearance undergoes significant transformations. These alterations are primarily influenced by changes in our muscle and bone composition, as well as slight weight fluctuations.

It can be difficult to recognize this individual since their facial features have undergone a significant transformation. However, this change is a natural part of the process of maturing. As our faces develop and become more defined, we tend to appear more grown-up. It is at least reassuring to see that they are no longer wearing the chain.

A Dimply Chin

As a teenager, fake tans are extremely popular and trendy, but as an adult, they lose their appeal. Adolescents are often fixated on avoiding a pale complexion and instead seek the desired bronzed appearance.


Here is additional proof of how our facial appearance transforms as we grow older. We may develop peculiar dimples on our chin that are permanent and cannot be eliminated. Nevertheless, these dimples contribute to the distinctiveness of our faces. On a positive note, she no longer uses fake tan.

A Lotta Llama Love

The fashion in the early 2000s was unique and incomparable. The extremely low-rise shorts, wide belts, bold graphic t-shirts, and distinct side parts all contributed to the era’s memorable, though occasionally cringe-worthy, style. And this girl fully embraced and enjoyed it.

It is evident that the present-day iteration of her has ultimately let go of the past, opting to let her hair grow, wear heels, and fully embrace her passion for llamas (or perhaps it’s an alpaca?).


A Missing Tooth

Although there is some improvement, men typically have a limited range of fashion choices. Therefore, they tend to opt for the classic and timeless suit as their go-to attire for dressing up. When paired with a button-down shirt and no tie, this ensemble can suit anyone and create a fantastic appearance.

It can be seen as a negative change to have a gap in the teeth and an unruly beard. Additionally, it is quite challenging to wear a turtleneck sweater stylishly. However, thanks to the impressive advancements in dentistry, this person could easily have their oral appearance restored.

From Glam to Mermaid

Blue eyes are incredibly captivating and one-of-a-kind. One fascinating aspect about them is their ability to seemingly change color depending on factors like hair color, attire, and cosmetics, thus adding an extra element to one’s appearance.


Her new hair color gives off a strong mermaid aesthetic and complements the color of her eyes. She effortlessly pulls off the bangs, so it seems that she is the only one who sees any kind of downgrade in her appearance.

No Changes Here

Some people see negative changes where there are none. It’s not surprising, since both men and women are constantly bombarded with ads telling us to fix our hair, our skin, or our fashion sense.

She looks exactly the same. The only difference here is that she isn’t wearing makeup and she hasn’t straightened the little bit of wave out of her hair. She’s just as beautiful, so if this glow-down were receiving a grade, we’d give it an F.


Nothing But Aging

Sometimes, we find ourselves missing the bodies we had when we were younger. Maybe we were in better shape, way tanner, and had clearer skin. Whatever it is, it’s not healthy to lust after something that doesn’t exist anymore.

The main glow-down here is in his expression. Younger him looks confident and calm, whereas older him looks like he’s seen some things and he’s not happy about it. We bet if he smiled, he’d still look great.

Fun in the Sun

Teenagers love taking bikini pics at the beach. We aren’t sure if it’s because they’re rolling in confidence, or because they want to convince people they are by posing in cute bathing suits. Whatever it is, this girl pulled it off.


The main difference we notice here is that she’s much paler than she is in the first photo. Maybe it’s just bad lighting, but she simply needs to spend some time out in the sun! That can be hard when you’re busy adulting, though.

Kids Are a Pain

One big thing that changes for many women when they become adults is having children. It changes their lifestyles, their bodies, and their tolerance for frustrating or gross situations — like dirty diapers and grumpy toddlers.

The glow-down here isn’t mom’s appearance, but rather mom’s lifestyle. Between the laundry, the two crying children, and the TV blasting, it’s no wonder her face wears an expression saying, “What the heck happened?” We feel your pain, Momma. Hang in there!


From Sensual to Sweaty

One of the benefits of clubbing in college is that both girls and guys have an excuse to get dressed up, and a lot of the clothes worn for clubbing are the kind that make girls feel sensual and beautiful.

This glow-down went from sensual in the club to sweaty in the kitchen. That’s the reality of growing up; sometimes chores are more important than fun. Hopefully, she still gets a chance to dress up and go out once in a while.

Just a Bad Angle

Apparently, shirt-off-in-the-water photos are a thing for men, since this is the second time we’ve seen it on this list. Maybe it’s men’s versions of the bikini-on-the-beach photos girls take, and these types of photos are what make them feel good.


Anyone would look bad from this angle and this close! You always take pictures from above, like was clearly done in the first photo — not below, as shown in the second picture. He looks happy though, which is the most important thing.

Scruffy or Not

One eternal debate among men is facial hair or no facial hair. It can completely change their look, and they need to work to take care of it, just like the hair on their heads.

This could be a glow-down or a glow-up, depending on how you look at it. He clearly likes the unkempt look, and if you do too, then it’s definitely a glow-down. But, those who prefer tidy hair and a tidy beard will see this as a glow-up!


Blondes Don’t Have More Fun

Blondes supposedly have more fun, and that’s probably why so many young girls feel the need to bleach their hair. The problem is it often comes out very yellow, which doesn’t look like natural blonde.

She stopped wearing makeup and stopped bleaching her hair, but her smile seems so much more genuine in the glow-down picture. Brown hair also suits her skin tone better than the blonde did, so is this really a glow-down, after all?

Own Worst Critic

We’re often our own worst critics. Where we see unwanted curves or bad hair or strange whatever it may be, others see a normal human body. But, it’s hard to be nice to ourselves in a world that tries to convince us that we need to change things.


She looks like a completely different person, but she really pulls off that coppery blonde hair color. Her body shape did change, but that’s just part of getting older.

From Barbeque to Bed

If there’s one thing Americans love, it’s the 4th of July. Nothing says America like dressing up in all manner of flag apparel and spending the day grilling meat and shooting off fireworks.

The only change we see here is that she might be less patriotic and enjoys spending time in bed. Her face looks the same, and we can’t see enough to see how the rest has changed. We’re not sure we see a glow-down here.


Fluctuations Are Normal

Women’s taste in jewelry shifts throughout their life. In 2010, when the first photo was taken, big chunky earrings and necklaces were super in style. Those earrings were super heavy and sometimes uncomfortable.

It’s sad that she’s focused on her fluctuating weight when she has really beautiful eyes and nice, clear skin. We can’t see much beyond that (which was probably intentional), but weight changes do not a glow-down make. Her current hair color also looks better than the blonde.

She Can’t Be Serious

Facial expressions play a really big part in how others perceive your appearance. Someone attempting a sultry smolder is going to have a very different impact than someone making a silly face.


Girls like this can’t be serious! She looks like a model, even in her supposed glow-down picture. As we’ve said before, it’s not fair to compare a casual photo to one where it appears she’s literally modeling. Do better, girls.

Popped Collar Craze

For some reason, the collar pop or collar grab is a very common trend in photographs of men. Perhaps it’s to draw attention to their expensive watches, or perhaps it’s just one of those weird things that they do.

Popped collar, neatly kept facial hair, and a good hairstyle is all things he’s definitely lacking in his glow-down photograph. He cut off his cool waves and let his beard grow out a little too much. Those are easy fixes, though.


Hair Glow-Down

Hair is one of a girl’s best accessories. It can greatly change the way they look and whether they look dressed up or dressed down. Combine it with makeup and their whole appearance can change.

If you consider a normal ponytail and a lack of makeup a glow-down, then sure, this girl has had a glow-down. But as we have said before, people should at least compare similar photos. Prom and a t-shirt at home are not similar.

Embrace the Leggings

Leggings are a modern-day blessing to the female wardrobe. They’re comfortable, they show off their curves, and yet they cover everything women need covered. It’s no surprise that women love wearing them above all other forms of legwear.


Her glow-down body is still a healthy body and still beautiful. We also love her longer hair and lush eyebrows. She needs to embrace her new curves and bring those cute leggings back! Everybody looks good in leggings.

Long Live the Bob

Every woman has rocked or will rock a bob at some point in their life. It’s just a phase all women have to go through, and if it’s an angled bob, even better.

The best part of this glow-down is the look on her face, because she clearly has a sense of humor. It’s pretty clear that a lot of time has passed between these two photos, and the main thing that has changed is her poor dark circles.


Babies Are Superior

Why are tiny things so adorable? Baby animals are clearly the best animals, baby humans are much cuter than their adult counterparts, and baby objects, like tiny jars of Nutella, make us all crazy.

So we’re comparing ourselves to how cute we were as children now?! That hardly seems reasonable! Almost all of us would have been way more adorable when we were little versus now as adults. He’s still got a nice smile, though.

Awkward Teen Photos

Teenagers are so awkward. They are in a weird in-between body growth stage, and they also make a lot of bad decisions, both in their day-to-day lives and in choosing the clothes they wear and how they do their hair.


She may see that younger photo as her ideal self, but we’re here to let her know that that bleach-blonde hair was not a great look for her. It isn’t really a great look for anyone, to be honest.

Glow-Down Slump

Sunshine is good for everyone. Aside from the obvious benefits of vitamin D, like mood boosts and strong bones, there’s just something calming and essential about spending some time outside in the sun.

Who wouldn’t look bad slumped over on the couch with a miserable look on their face and unflattering indoor lighting? Fluorescent bulbs are cruel to everyone, this guy included. Get him some sun and a smile ASAP and we bet he would look a lot better.


Cap and Gown Glow-Down

Graduations are extremely proud moments in our lives. They are an acknowledgment of our work to learn new things and better ourselves, and they’re also an excuse to wear ridiculous-looking caps and gowns.

A lot seems to have changed — she bleached her hair, is less tan, and isn’t wearing any makeup. But, the first is also a professional graduation photo, and those are always taken in flattering lighting and edited, so this may not be a true glow-down.

Chokers Are Out

Some people really embrace alternative fashion trends when they’re younger. That’s generally a good thing, since it means they’re confident enough in themselves to not feel the need to follow trends. This girl’s grunge goth style is a good example.


We have to wonder how much time has passed between these two photos since she’s wearing the exact same black choker necklace. Does she consider it a glow-down because she doesn’t like her new haircut?

Really a Glow-Up

Just like the bob, most girls have tried to pull off long, side-swept bangs at one point or another in their lives. While they work for some people, for others they just cover their beautiful eyes.

This is actually a glow-up, in our opinion. Both her new haircut and hair color are much more flattering for her face, and her skin looks radiant as well. Maybe she sees it as a glow-down due to nostalgia for a former lifestyle.


Just Needs a Shave

Being a frequent gym goer and then stopping for whatever reason is always hard to deal with. You see your muscle definition disappear, along with your strength and your energy levels dropping.

This just looks like a guy who’s gone a little too long without shaving or getting a haircut. Maybe he doesn’t go to the gym anymore, and that’s why he feels it’s a glow-down. We love to be hard on ourselves.

Lighting & Angles

There are some people that just look good no matter what kind of haircut they have — and this gal is definitely one of them. Whether she’s rocking long hair or short, there’s no denying her natural beauty.


With that being said, we can’t say this makes for a glow-down. After all, angles and lighting make a huge difference in how a photo will turn out.

“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”

Let’s be real here, people — we’ve got to stop comparing ourselves to what we used to look like as a teenager. For some of us, that was 10+ years ago! We go through many changes and phases throughout life, especially women, what with our hormones and all.

This lady was beautiful then and she’s beautiful now. The only difference between these two photos is the fact that she was a girl and now she’s a woman! Embrace yourself, sis!


The Moments That Count

Ladies! Just because you stopped wearing makeup every day and you like your hair in a bun doesn’t mean you’ve “glowed down.” You’re a grown adult with responsibilities — perhaps it’s a full-time job, maybe you’re busy raising a family, possibly both?

You could be spending all your time studying to be a doctor or a lawyer. Who knows?! Whatever the case may be, you don’t have the time you had as a teenager to constantly get dolled up. Now, you save it for the moments that count!

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Mute Maven

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