woman with passport and caption 'they almost didn't let me on my flight because they said i don't look like my passport'


‘This is why you should never do hot photos for your passport’: Woman says she was almost not allowed on flight because passport photo didn’t look like her

‘I’ve never been SO HUMBLED IN MY LIFE.’


Braden Bjella


Looking good in an ID photo is rare. In fact, the idea of an unflattering ID photo is so common that it has its own TV Tropes page, with the site documenting numerous instances of the concept popping up in television and media.

While an ugly ID photo may be embarrassing, the alternative—the rare handsome ID photo—can also cause issues, as TikTok user Alisha Marie (@alishamarie) recently noted.

In a video with over 6.5 million views, Alisha warns against using a good-looking photo as your passport picture. The reason? She claims she was almost rejected by passport control because she “[didn’t] look like [her] passport.”

“This is why you should never do hot photos for your passport, because I don’t look like this,” she says in the video, revealing her passport photo. She then contrasts the image with her travel-ready self, which looks substantially different from the photo. 

“ive never been SO HUMBLED IN MY LIFE,” she writes in the caption.

@alishamarie ive never been SO HUMBLED IN MY LIFE 😭🛂🚫 #passportphoto #passport #traveltiktok #grwm ♬ original sound – alishamarie

While Alisha’s advice may seem silly, it actually falls in line with the U.S. government’s recommendations on how to take a good passport photo.

In short, your passport photo is not supposed to feature you at your hottest. It’s supposed to be an accurate representation of your face so that border control agents can quickly and accurately identify you.

To that end, the U.S. Department of State suggests “[using] a clear image of your face” and refraining from using “filters commonly used on social media.” 

Similarly, while applicants for passports are allowed to wear makeup in their photos, the U.S. Department of State emphasizes that your photo “reproduces skin tones accurately.” For those who wish to wear makeup, it is advised to maintain a natural look and avoid heavy foundation.

In the comments section, users shared their own passport woes.

“what’s humbling is I look horrible on my passport & they’re always like [thumbs up] that’s you alright!” exclaimed a user.

“My passport photo is so bad and now I’m offended that they know it’s me,” added another.

Further users echoed Alisha’s advice.

“Every time I take passport photos at work I tell people that they need to look how they would when traveling,” noted a commenter.

“I took my passport photo while in a ponytail because I knew I’d be a dirtbag in a ponytail at the airport,” shared a second.

“At first I regretted not getting a good passport photo,” recalled an additional TikToker. “But it will look like me when I’m traveling at 7am.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Alisha via email.

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