I certainly never thought the Bolt was ugly. In general, coming from a Golf TDI, I like the “hot hatch” format and saw the Bolt as being another hatchback, not that dissimilar in looks from a Honda Fit or C-Max.
In terms of looks, I didn't want was a “ECO car from outer space” look (e.g., original Honda insight), nor did I want “ticket magnet sporty car”, nor “wow, I'm really rich, please smash the glass and see if there is something to steal”. It was none of those things. It looked fairly ordinary, which is what I want. (I like having a car that looks ordinary but leaps off the line quickly; it's always nice to surprise people who judged based on looks.)
I first saw the Bolt in person an auto show in late 2016. I don't fully remember my reaction. I don't think I exactly fell in love with the looks, but I think it did seem perfectly fine.
When I bought my Bolt a year later, I was pretty used to its looks.
Now, having owned it for nine months, it's hard to separate my feelings for the car. It's the most fun car I've ever owned, and even if it is “just a thing”, I'm fairly sentimental towards it. So it's hard not to see it as a cutie.
Today when I see EVs with needlessly long hoods, I feel like they're getting it wrong, trying to ape too much of the look of ICE cars with their need for lots of space up front for the engine. I'd put the Tesla Model S and Model 3 into that category.