When your ID Photo Really is that Bad

I have a terrible passport picture.  The day I had my pictures taken, I had braces, a tan from a tanning booth, and bright pink lip gloss. My hair may have been a little overly highlighted. I decided it would be a good idea to wear a bright pink turtle neck sweater for the occasion, not thinking this picture would be with me for, oh, about the next 10 years of my life. Then, when I arrived at CVS, the guy taking my picture informed me that I could not smile in the picture. He claimed (though a tiny part of me still thinks this was just a mean joke by him) that you are not allowed to smile in official passport pictures. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do serious face well. My natural inclination is to smile for a photo. I like to call the whole end result serial killer Barbie.

Here’s why it’s not really all that big a deal:

  • You reach a certain point in life where it’s fun to compare id’s and make fun of each other’s pictures
  • Most people don’t think pictures of you are half as bad as you do
  • Who do you really have to show it to anyhow? Bouncers? Grumpy customs officials? It’s not like it has to be your profile picture for your online dating website.

I find the best way to deal is to turn the whole situation into a funny story (see above). Now, whenever I see my passport picture, I don’t think OMIGOD I LOOK LIKE I’m GOING TO MURDER SOMONE, I chuckle about the series of bad decisions that brought me there in the first place.

For my next passport picture? I plan to pick out an outfit in my color wheel, and for the DMV, I’ve found being friendly to the person in control of your destiny is going to guarantee you a much more flattering photo than being a meanie. See a lesson in life (and getting the coffee you want) for details

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