Eliza was the ugly duckling of her high school, voted “Most Butt” of her senior class.
It's fashionable to lament the status of the novella: unjustly neglected, the ugly duckling of the literary world, etc.
Benjamin himself, at first, was only an ugly duckling in no way remarkable.
I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was still the ugly duckling!
From 'The ugly duckling' she was led on to the story of the mermaid, from that to the enchanted swans.
You see, at present you are the ugly duckling that for the first time meets a swan.
The story of the ugly duckling is much truer than many a bald statement of fact.
The ugly duckling of the party, longcasted and deep in keel.
Undeniably it was the "ugly duckling" of the American exhibit.
He compared it to the ugly duckling that became a regal swan.