Herald and Journal, Nov. 8, 1999

Too much beauty to capture in pictures


I heard on the radio this morning that Barbra Streisand demanded that the department of motor vehicles allow her to have her driver's license picture retaken.

This little news item was quoted from one of the scandal sheets  that "tells all about the stars." 

To be honest with you, I don't care if the story is true or not. If it's  scandalous to ask for a retake of your driver's license picture, then I'm afraid I would be right there in line with Streisand.  

Be honest now. Have you ever had a driver's license picture that you thought was flattering? I can't say that I have. My current picture makes me cringe. It's kind of like the deer in the headlights look. Actually, more like a deer sneering into the headlights.  

Let me just say that I have never been particularly happy with pictures of me. There have been very few pictures that I actually thought were good. Obviously, this is an inherited trait because my mother felt the same way about pictures. The ones she liked were few and far between.

So, as Mother would say, "I come by it honestly."

My usual excuse for especially horrid pictures is that it's hard to capture this much beauty on film. Hey, it works for me. 

The picture on my I.D. card for work is a just as bad as the license  picture. There I am, nicely dressed and looking like I'm about to burst into tears. No doubt, I was contemplating what the finished product would look like. 

Wouldn't it be terrible if you had to make the same goofy expression in order to be recognized by the security guard, or, heaven forbid, the police officer who pulls you over for a traffic violation?

I can see the headlines now, "Irate motorist runs over laughing patrolman." It could happen. 

Let's not even think about the possibilities for mirth if the officer takes a gander at the information listed on my license. Sure, my eyes are still blue, and I'm still 5-foot 5. The weight and the hair color come straight out of fantasyland. Maybe the police have sensitivity training for this sort of thing.

I'm sure they would never ask, "Ma'am, who is this blond haired, thin person in this photo?"

It certainly isn't their fault that I dyed my hair red for Halloween. (Don't ask.)  

I know all this sounds like so much female vanity, but I bet there are lots of guys out there who aren't particularly eager to show off their license picture, either. Admit it now. Your license picture has all the charm of someone who looks like they're about to be hit by a Mack truck. 

Yes, I think retakes on driver's license photos are a great idea. And   Babs, honey, if they turn you down, you can have mine.

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