There are passport photos, and then there are epic, sultry, soulful, sexy passport photos that can make doves cry, women weep and men wish; wish that they had what the one and only Prince had.
Unfortunately for us mere male mortals, there will never be another Prince or another epic passport photo like his. That’s in part because, according to statistics recently revealed, only 30% of Americans even have a valid passport. Translation, close to 200,000,000 Americans currently are not in possession of an active U.S. passport. Compare this to a place like the United Kingdom, where it was recently reported by the Office for National Statistics that 95% of people living in Britain are in possession of a valid passport. Because only 30% of Americans currently possess a valid passport however, it should come as no surprise to learn that annually, only 10% of Americans actually travel outside of the United States for vacation. When Americans do travel outside of the United States for vacation, statistics show that they are most likely to visit Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and South America; with travel to each of these regions accounting for 35%, 21%, 19% and 9% of all international vacations taken by Americans respectively. In fairness to Americans however, it should be pointed out that the United States, being a large and geographically diverse nation, really does offer something for just about every traveler; and so many Americans just don’t feel the need to leave the country for vacation. The tide however may be turning, as a recent survey revealed that close to 80,000,000 Americans who do not currently have a passport are expected to apply for one within the next few years. Now, whether or not these newly minted passport holders will actually be using their new passports to travel abroad is still up for debate; as much of the impetus for this expected rush on passports is expected to be a response to the “Real ID Act“. The Real ID Act was passed by congress in 2005 after the 9/11 Commission recommended that the federal government “set [universal] standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” Basically, the act established minimum security standards that must be met for all state-issued driver licenses and identification cards before they can be accepted as a legitimate form of identification by federal agencies like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
As a result of the Real ID Act, starting on the 22nd of January 2018, any person flying in the United States, even if they are flying domestically; will be required to present either a REAL ID compliant state drivers license or a REAL ID compliant state identification card. While many states across the U.S. have made considerable progress towards making their state drivers licenses and state identification cards REAL ID compliant, the reality is that some states will probably not meet the January 2018 deadline. Residents living in these states, who will be unable to produce REAL ID compliant state identification; will then be required to present in it’s place a valid U.S. Passport for all travel, even domestic travel. And it is for this reason that the number of Americans applying for passports is expected to jump dramatically over the next few years.
So, this brings us to the all important passport photo. If you are one of those Americans that will soon have to take a passport photo, please, do us a favor. Take your passport photo like a BOSS!!! Take it like a rock star!!! You know, it’s really not that hard to do if you just follow these simple instructions.
1 – Apply your eye shadow to Smokey perfection. But, when applying your eye shadow please remember that sometimes less is actually more. So, when prepping for your photo remember to give us more Mila Kunis and less Tammy Faye Baker.
2 – Confidently own the room when you are taking your passport photo, and don’t be afraid to give the camera that come hither stare. In fact, look at the camera with soulful eyes, as if to say “I’ll marry you tomorrow, but lets honeymoon tonight”.
3 – Put on just a subtle hint of lip gloss. But please, do try to keep it subtle. We don’t want you and your soup coolers to look like you just got finished eating a bucket of greasy fried chicken. That look doesn’t work for anyone, trust us.
4 – Purse your subtly glossed lips together so gently, so smoothly, so seductively, so perfectly, that even One-Hit-Wonders Hinder would mistake your’s for the “Lips of an angel”. “It’s really good to hear your voice, saying my name, it sounds so sweet, coming from the lips of an angel, hearing those words it makes me weak…”