Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18. Day 292. Hideously ugly

It's been said that if you look as bad as your passport photo, you are too sick to travel. I wish my new passport, which I collected today, was only that bad. I look like I should be on a terrorism watch list, although I suppose to be a good terrorist you probably should look "normal" and not like a terrorist, so I fail that test. Seriously, I get why in the animal kingdom there are reasons to look ugly and threatening. The stripes on the bees, the buzzing the stings are self-preservation measures. Those scales and spikes on the water dragons have a serious "don't mess with me" message. A turtle's shell protects, the noisy miners swooping deters, the cormorant's wing span display threatens (and dries the wings). But is there any good reason the conditions governing passport photos ensure ultimate ugly? I think not. We have moved to facial recognition software for security in airports. It would be pretty useless if it couldn't recognise you if you smiled or wore glasses or looked some way other than straight down the camera lens with a neutral expression. I can only assume that people in passport processing or border patrol have no sense of humour or everyone starts to resemble their passport photo after a long haul flight....

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