Ugly Ducklings Inc featured on I Am That Girl

UDI featured on I am that girl

We have been interviewed for I Am That Girl. Check it out! Ugly Ducklings Inc is becoming more popular :) Continue reading


Grey’s Anatomy’s April: “I’m a swan”

I'm a Swan - banner

swan badge, duckling stories

This is the badge that all our duckling stories get after they’re published

At the first mention of the word “ducky” on Grey’s Anatomy last Thursday night, I smiled and thought “I’ll have to think of a tweet to share that with the Ugly Ducklings”.

At first, I thought the nickname the character April (played by actress Sarah Drew) had been given by her three sisters who we meet for the first time in this episode was just something cute. “Ducky”. I’ve heard lots of nicknames like this. Perhaps she used to love ducks. Perhaps she loved “The Land Before Time”.

My childhood nickname comes from three movies that I watched over and over again that all had the same name in them. I assumed this was something Shonda Rhimes, creator and writer for Grey’s Anatomy, was trying to do.

But I should have known better. Shonda Rhimes doesn’t do anything arbitrarily, and of course, this nickname opened up an opportunity for this character to grow and stand up for herself.

It turns out, April’s sisters gave her this nickname because she was the “ugly duckling” growing up. She was different from them, but like so many of us, when she was a young woman.

But not anymore… check out this clip of April finally standing up for herself. Listen to her words. Is she a swan or what?

Thank you, Shonda Rhimes for writing this into the show. This is brilliant, and it’s exactly the message we are trying to spread: life is about becoming, being different isn’t bad, and everyone will become the beautiful swan they are meant to become.

– Erin J

PS: The badge you saw above is all over our Swans page. And you can visit it and read stories by our brave ducklings. Click here.

swan out


S stands for Swan

banner the letter S for swan

A warm August hello to you, fair Ugly Ducklings.

Today’s blog is going to feature, not me, but a very special friend of us. Charlotte has followed Ugly Ducklings Inc closely since its very inception, and she was even one of the first people around here to turn into a Swan, after she opened her heart to us and told us her Ugly Duckling Story.

Very recently, Charlotte opened and started writing on her new blog and we’d love for you to become the first readers of this budding, great writer.

Here’s a tiny proof of that.

Charlotte dedicated the second entry of her blog to our movement, and, as a way to thank her for spreading the word on what we do, we decided to post it here as well. Can you guess what the letter S stands for?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013.

One of my all time favorite quotes by Maya Angelou is:
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.

And it’s so true, because it is our own personal stories of failure and triumph that can help others.

I have two very dear friends that literally live continents apart, yet they have started a movement that has eclipsed their distance and it has traveled to all the corners of the world.

Their website provides a safe haven for anyone young or old to tell their story. The website was inspired by Jennifer Morrison’s character role of Emma Swan in ABC’s Once Upon A Time, as she gave her fans the moniker The Ugly Ducklings, and thus the website was born.

If you haven’t seen the show or are unfamiliar with it, PLEASE lie to me and say that you have. It’s a show that encompasses all of the complexities of family, love, and loss while set against the backdrop of every fairytale story you’ve ever read.

 swans and ducks cleaning feathersSo, what makes an Ugly Duckling? It is someone who despite what life has thrown at them, they have succeeded. It is someone who has not let life harden them, and instead they have taken their own personal tragedies and used them to help others. We all have a story and when we start sharing, then that’s when the healing begins.

I was very fortunate to be able to share my story with Ugly Ducklings Inc. It is a story that is reminiscent of a phoenix rising from the ashes. I had every opportunity to be filled with hate, to be angry with the world, to repeat the cycle of abuse.

However, why not turn those horrific events into something beautiful? Why not take my anger and turn it into love for others who have also been hurt?

I am hoping to obtain my Master’s degree in Psychology so that I may further help those whose paths have been littered with broken pieces.

Being an ugly duckling means that not only do you empower yourself, but those around you as well.

Your story just may be someone else’s story too. And you’ll see that you don’t have to play a superhero or a story book character on TV to maybe save someone.

I thank Jennifer Morrison for inspiring Marie and Erin to create their website which has given a family to so many little ugly ducklings out there.

So, today’s blog is brought to you by the letter “S” because, eventually, all ugly ducklings grow up to be Swans.

PS. We cannot thank Charlotte enough for such beautiful words. They just make us work even harder to help and offer our encouraging words with more people.

– Marie,

The Tail Shaker.
The Ugly Ducklings Inc's swan

Ugly Ducklings UNITE!

Ugly Ducklings Inc Unite

Last week, two of our lovely Ugly Ducklings met up for a traveling vacation and wrote us, deciding to share about the trip!  1146536_496113143808353_1078531511_nHow cool is that?!  We are so excited about the community that is being built here!  I’ve already heard whispers of other Ugly Ducklings Reunions happening all across the world.  Check out Maaike and Maressa’s notes below about their Duckling Vacation and stay tuned for more great stories of this awesome community!

Is it possible to find friends via an online community? That could be an excellent research question for researchers who are specialised in the development of modern culture.  Well, may we, Maressa and Maaike, two proud Ugly Ducklings, make use of the opportunity to serve as the example that it indeed is possible to make friends via social media.

This crazy idea to do a roadtrip in Maressa’s home country came into view some months ago. As a passionate traveler and Switzerland fan, together with the opportunity to finally meet a dear friend I (Maaike) had been talking to via Twitter, Facebook and Skype, I just couldn’t let that pass.

It seemed like forever until it finally was Thursday 25th July, the day I would fly out to Basel. Luckily, we planned many things in advance, which definitely was part of the fun I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on.

Today, Sunday 28th July, we’re almost halfway our trip, and we’re having such a blast! We’re travelling from campsite to campsite with our tent and visit famous areas like Ticino in the south, Zermatt (where the famous Matterhorn mountain is), Luzern and Zurich. In the meantime we’re just chatting, laughing, and having fun like we’ve been friends for years. It truthfully feels that way. (And yes, we fangirl too. Like, a lot!)
I hope everyone gets the chance to do something like this. Take the risk, and see what it’ll bring you. If it feels right, and you’re able to make clear mutual agreements with each other, why not? What’s holding you back? It’s a life experience I’ll certainly treasure for the rest of my life.



I think I can safely say that everyone who is in a fandom has their friends they’ve never met but really really want to. I met some really great friends of mine on twitter and I talk to them often. It’s always a big wish of me to meet these people.

About 2 months ago Maaike and I had this idea of meeting each other. She said she has been a lot to my home country, Switzerland, and always loves to visit. We managed to find a date where she and I could have a week off from work and started to organize our roadtrip through Switzerland.1081767_10201256354683712_1847421606_n

At this point we didn’t know each other that well like we do now after one week.  We started to skype at least once a week for several hours and now she’s one of my best friends.

I seriously would’ve never thought that I’ll meet such good friends who are almost like family on a social network site. Everyone of my friends (in Switzerland) and also my parents were a bit concerened that we would be fighting all the time because I’ve never met her before. But our meeting happened and I regret nothing because we had so much fun (and of course also fangirl moments) this week. It was just a blast and I’ll never forget it for sure. We went for it and took a risk and  it was one of the best weeks of vacation I ever had.



Check out some special Ugly Ducklingish photos from their trip below!  What fun!

Switzerland collage

Uckly Dugglings

Ugly Ducklings misspelled

We never thought o

wait, let me rephrase that…

*I* never thought that Ugly Ducklings would be so difficult to pronounce! I have to say something first though, that happened to me when I lived in Canada while studying a semester of my Major in English Teaching.

I remember I was in Education Technologies class (gah! boring!) and suddenly I turned my head and lowered my eyes to read what my fellow classmate was writing. And suddenly, I could clearly see that she wrote something like this:

Students must be engaged in groupwerk whenever is possible. But individual activities are also encouraged.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I kept saying to myself: “how could I, a speaker of English as a second language, be better at writing words correctly than a native person?”

And then, after much thinking and reflecting, I got to the conclusion which I still hold to dearly today.

Anyway, all these silly words I wrote (which actually made me waste some minutes of my precious time, and yours, too…sorry) are just a way to introduce these next couple of minutes of audio.

One of our bevies and friends, OncePodcast, gave Ugly Ducklings Inc. a shout out after the co-founders decided to sponsor one of their episodes. We both have been avid listeners of their fun podcast and we thought it would be great to give something back for all the effort they put into it.

And well, finally, after all the expectation, after listening to the theories, the comments, the laughs while the episode was on, came the moment of truth. The moment we were waiting for, our 15 minutes of fame (ha!). And… well… I’ll leave you with Daniel, the CEO rockstar of the podcast:

Still laughing? I am (and I’ve listened to it a couple of times now). After listening to him I started doubting if I was pronouncing it right. Hehe. Just kidding! we couldn’t be more grateful for those 1:36 minutes, because besides promoting our site, he did it in the funniest, greatest way.

And I couldn’t finish this without inviting you all to check their live Wednesday podcasts | Clean Comedy, and Once Upon A Time.

Hope you had enjoyed this silly silly post.

The Ugly Ducklings Inc's swan

– The tail shaker