Can You Believe These Before And After Pictures Of Families Showing 'American Dream' 20 Years Apart?

Hilary Gowan

Journalist

The year was 1997 and Beth Yarnelle Edwards was documenting 'Suburban Dreams,' the everyday lives of families in the suburbs of San Carlos, California. “I felt isolated and trapped, but I realized that the people around me really loved being there,” Beth explained her frustration with suburban life to the press.

20 years later, Beth came back to re-do her interview and photography. What surprised her was how uniformly well their lives had turned out. “This population is kind of blessed,” she said, remarking on the unparalleled stability of the suburban life. “This isn’t how the larger population lives.”

Lilah In 2004 And 2016

Lilah started attending ballet classes a year after the first picture was taken, and her parents ended up divorcing at some point. She became a ballerina, yet she still spends a lot of time at her mom's gallery as well as visiting her grandparents.

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Niki, Rita, And Lucia In 2000 And 2017

With the parents prioritizing family, the sisters grew up having a great bond. Niki, Rita and Lucia enjoyed an awesome life growing up with their parents, who made dinner time in an almost sacred act of unity.

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Erin In 1997 And 2017

Erin's life has shifted a lot now that she has two children. A lot of stuff revolves around food, eating and music!

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More!

Lisette In 2002 And 2017

Lisette was a single mom of two and widower at thirty in the first picture. Now, she has an art and teaching career and two dogs to complement her children, who still live with her. She also does scuba diving.

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Antonette And James In 2002 And 2017

They were first-time parents in the 2002 photo, living in their freshly purchased house. Since then, they have birthed a son, send off their successful daughter to college and done some home improvement.

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Marg And John In 2000 And 2017

Year 2000 was hectic for Marg and John – she was a teacher, he was working at a Silicon Valley startup, and Rachel was an active teen. They still live in the same home, their children had moved out, and their eldest Sara got married.

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Kyle In 1997 And 2016

Kyle had a very free life in 1997. Now, post college and working as an IT engineer with dreams of his own startup, he has a more regimented outlook.

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