Friday, May 30, 2008

passport photos

The Curse of Passport Photos has struck again!

Remember all those times when we were dragged by the ear to some Fujifilm shop? The kind uncle would then perch me on a miserable lonesome stool, with a large piece of "blue sky" towering behind a very scrawny me. I remember looking around awkwardly in my oversized uniform, staring curiously at the black umbrellas while uncle fumbles clumsily with his cumbersome camera. The most embarassing part of the experience comes when mom starts telling me to straighten my head/hair, telling me exactly how to smile...

"Look straight into the camera"
"Push that hair behind your ears"
"Smile properly, show a little bit of teeth"
"Not so much teeth lah..!"

I mean, what the hell is "properly"? It's so subjective... And just because I'm made to smile like Teresa Teng doesn't mean I will look nice. Notice how the word "great" was avoided in that previous sentence. Some smile only work for superstars, not us. And that's precisely why we remain as ordinary citizens... For me (and most people, admit it) Passport Photos turn out quite a disaster most of the time. Often embarassing, awkward, or just downright weird.

Weird Passport Photos would be today's theme, and I shall generously share with all, my Passport Photos Hall of Fame. Starting from...

Yes, Kindergarten Graduation 1994!
That was what "show some teeth" meant to me back then, which is biting my lower lip.
You can have my front row pearlies to your heart's content. I hated that stinky robe, made me feel like an idiot. And if I'm not mistaken, some kid once pee-ed on it. Gross-ness.

Standard One, 1995
Probably one of the best shots taken to date. No teeth here because this was taken at school heh heh. No mom to complain about the absence of my teeth, that's why. Do you see any resemblance with myself today?

Standard Six, 1999
By now, you would've gained awareness that I have kept the same nerdy coconut shell hairstyle.
Blame the strict, traditional, rotan-ruled Chinese School I was in. Looking back, I hated those bangs, and my constipated expression. Told you I suck at passport photos. I was elected as "Cleanliness Officer" and was granted a hideous sky blue tie to go with my uniform. Just in case you're starting to think I'm horrible at Maths, I skipped Standard 4, hence I graduated in 1999 instead of 2000.

Form One, 2000
Finally I do not look like any ordinary coconut shell anymore. Instead I look like a mutated coconut shell. Still with the gold rimmed glasses, retro huh? From my "smile", it's easy to know that my mom was with me when this picture was taken.

Form Two, 2001
Stop laughing! I know this is like Nerdiness Extreme, especially when you compare it with my kindergarten photos. Centre parting, round gold rimmed glasses, buck tooth smile.
But believe me, the worst is yet to come.

Form Three, 2002
Voila. A personal low in My Passport Photos History!
To be honest, this was taken after school hours as a photo was required for urgent matters the next day. Sweaty, tired, and messy, I had to go take a photo. This is recorded all the evils perfectly in one shot. Oh, and I've started wearing contact lenses already since joining cheerleading! No more nerdy glasses. The pink uniform is because I was a librarian, and I was for 98% of my high school life. If you look carefully, at this point I have started to develop my trademark swollen left eye.

Form Four, 2003
Everything became slightly better here. Not that ugly a duckling already, eh? The swollen left eye persisted. You can see that I'm starting to be more comfortable in front of the camera, because this is the point of my life where I changed from that timid, quiet girl, the this current girl who is lame and loud.
Senior Librarians get a maroon vest, which I like but often sweat in it.

College, 2005
Taken from my Passport. Pardon the darker-than-neck face. Truth is, I had such bad complexion at that time that I had to use my mom's foundation to cover the imperfections. Obviously, it was not the right shade, and the results were ugly =P

Post Year 2, 2008
My current Driver's License photo. By the way, I'm no longer a "P" anymore, yay!
Still I have a swollen left eye. I don't know why. But probably this is not as bad as my previous attempts? Hahaha. My neck looks ridiculously long though, like giraffe =D Although this picture is a brief PASS for me know, I just know that I will learn to loathe it in years to come. You just wait and see. As if that's not bad enough, I will have to develop 50 more of this, for use in UK.

Why can't I just look like this on Passport photos...

Then I don't have to show all my imperfections to everyone who happens to refer to the documents. People whom I bet are strangers. I don't need other people to tell me I'm so fussy. Nearly 20 years of photo taking, and I have never found the perfect shot. Sigh. Will I ever? This is, my Passport Photo Curse.


angel said...

there's a wise proverb that goes:

If you look like your passport photo, you're not well enough to travel.

And what are you saying? you look not bad in the pictures!

The Ling said...

lol, i'd really like to meet the wise person who said it... =)

LiliaN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LiliaN said...

at least u looked ok in those pics. I still dont like looking at those mugshot pics i've taken all these years. Its still bearable if u can post the pics on your blog. Mine had all been disposed :P