Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Look Away...!!"

Recently renewed my driver’s licence. Yet another fabulous photo op.

The new licence has yet to arrive and I know the picture will be as gruesome (laughable) as the previous ones but I swear – I SWEAR – I do not look that bad.

Which leads me to this question: Why, when I present my driver’s licence for I.D. purposes, does the person comparing that image with my real live face not say, “This couldn’t possibly be your licence! The person in this photo is hideous – looks nothing like you!”

They never, ever say that.

Even if they just paused to glance back and forth a few times in slight bewilderment (ugly mug, my face, ugly mug, my face…) I’d feel a bit better. They never do.

I just don’t get it. There is a difference.

Is it any wonder there’s money to be made in the fake I.D. business? No one in authority actually studies these pictures – they give cursory glances only. Any resemblance to the person in possession of the I.D. and the image on that I.D. is purely coincidental.

(And, no, I am not posting a picture of my new licence when it arrives.)


sherry lee said...

Good point!!!

Lainey-Paney said...

In posting this---I know I am jinxing myself for the future. But, here goes: I have the opposite problem. My DL pic is from about.... 6 years ago? Is that right? I was engaged, but not yet married---so yes. So, I was happy, glowing, & looking rather good in my DL pic.
I get the triple & quadruple take b/c in real life---I don't glow, I don't always look that happy, and I'm pretty freakin' lucky to just not have gummy bears dangling from my hair.
So, if I had the choice, I'd definitely keep my current DL pic b/c I know the next one is going to SUCK big time!

oreneta said...

Ohohohohoh soooo true..

My drivers licence photo? I had gotten back from the Bahamas the day before I was a deep brownish colour, healthy, rested. My photo? Pale, waxy, swollen, I look like I live in under a rock and that I am recovering from a serious beating.


I'll show you this summer.

I seriously hope I don't look like that.

Jay said...

I know what you mean!

I had to show mine recently, and in my picture, I'm blonde (in real life, at the moment, my hair is jet black). Not a peep.

Beth said...

sherry lee:
I thought so. ;)

Keep your current one as a keepsake, a reminder - "Before and After Motherhood." (And check for gummy bears before your next photo op...)

We'll have a Show and Tell time - and some laughs!

They don't care. (So, why do I??)

Leigh Russell said...

What idiot said the camera never lies? It's not true. There's no way I'm as hideous as I always look in photos. I'm not that ugly. I'm not! When my publisher's PR people requested a photo I don't think they had any idea of the domestic mayhem they caused. My poor longsuffering husband spent an entire afternoon doing his best to take a picture of me that didn't make us laugh or squirm, if not both. He didn't succeed. You can see my 'face' on my publisher's website and draw your own conclusions - just keep them to yourself. I don't want to know...

As for the attention paid to documents, a friend travelled half way round the world without realising he had his daughter's passport. It was noticed in somewhere in Eastern Europe, after he'd crossed several borders to get there. Woops. Luckily he managed to return home to tell the tale!

Cid said...

My beef is the rule re. no smiling in passport photos. Is the world such a terrible place that when we get on a plane we are all scowling? Oh yeah, nowadays we are. But when I had my kids photos done they were hysterical, mini Nick Nolte mug shots.

BrightBoy said...

The picture on my learner's permit was awesome, and I was so angry when I renewed my driver's license because the current picture is horrible. I'm looking forward to getting a new photo now that I'm 21.

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

Oh man, you should see my passport shot. Everytime I go somewhere I get all paranoid that the customs agents will laugh behind my back.

When I went to have the pic taken it was raining and hot out, by the time I got there I had frizzy hair and shine face. Lovely. I basically looked like Nick Nolte when he was arrested ;)

Shari said...

Hear, hear. Most of us hate our own pictures. That's me? We just don't see ourselves like that. Oh, well.

Beth said...


Beth said...

Either the camera lies or we're seriously delusional. I'm going with the camera lies...

Never throw away those passports with the Nick Nolte mug shots - good for future laughs!

Ah, youth - goes a long way to correcting the flaws caused by those damn Motor Vehicle Dept. cameras!

You really want me to see your passport photo??!! NO ONE is seeing mine unless absolutely necessary!

See Leigh's comment - cameras lie!


rebecca said...

I thought I was the only one with that problem! Yeah, photogenic, I do not seem to be! I hear your pain sister!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Who is that masked woman? Or...Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It couldn't possibly be as bad as a passport photo. If anyone ever scrutinizes it, just shrug and look mischevious!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to check; it was the passport photo that caused me to convulse in the airport, right? Not the driver's licence. Now THAT'S a photo you should post! Of course that's based on the understanding that you NEVER post my driver's photo OR passport photo.

Seraphine said...

i think its like listening to your own voice. it never sounds the same as you imagine.
i'm sure your license photo is a perfectly fine representation of you. and you have a beautiful voice too, i'll bet.

Leigh Russell said...

I have to agree with the last comment. My voice recorded? No, can't be me. I don't squeak and squawk like that. Never!

Chairman Bill said...

I believe the accomplished IDers look for the similarities between the photo and the real thing, like hideous moles, facial tattoos and missing ears.

Deidra said...

Oh....pleeeeeze post the new photo!

VE said...

I have a picture of a tree on mine...just for fun...

cipriano said...

You remind me of the time when I got into a bar [WAY under-age] by showing the bouncer-guy a BOOK OF MATCHES.
In some countries, that is known as "bravery" on the presenter's part! Or stupidity. On BOTH parts.
But I got in.
I got in to the bar.
I have met you and I know that you are not in any way ugly. But what is it, about Photo ID, that makes us all [me included] look like caricatures of ourselves?

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Hi Beth. Completely off the topic of your post, I just wanted to say that if indeed you wanted to check out "Saving Grace", I suggest you start with season 1, I couldn't imagine someone jumping in in the middle of this kind of show. I know sells the DVDs, I'm not really one to own tv shows on DVDs, though. I am going to see if any of the big box video rental places carry it. It is the kind of show that makes me think "this is the potential of tv instead of all of what I consider to be time-wasting material. And no, I don't think it's possible to read too much, unless it means you aren't eating or sleeping! Happy Mother's Day to you!

Bee said...

This made me laugh, because I think EXACTLY the same thing when someone peruses my passport. I don't think it looks like me, and I never understand why people don't say, "Oh, you look so much better in person."

(Beth, thanks so much for your lovely comment today. You are a good, good blog-friend.)