A French court has upheld a ban on smiling in pictures taken for passports or identity papers, despite a civil servant asking them to approve grins in official photographs to end a “national depression”.
Under a February 2009 decree, passport photographs must conform to the country-specific requirements, which states that a person’s look and expression must be “fixed on the lens. The expression should be neutral with the mouth closed”.
The unnamed official decided to appeal to the court after his own passport photo was rejected for breaking the stringent rules. He claimed that he was not smiling on the incriminated pictures, but instead had a neutral face with the corners of his mouth turned up.
Arguing that, like the Mona Lisa, people could look happy while keeping their mouth shut and their expression neutral, a lawyer representing the civil servant told the judge: “If they stopped asking the French to be miserable on their IDs, they’d give the morale of the nation a little lift.”
To smile or not to smile: Which countries allows photo grins?
Some countries have different requirements for passport photos, but the overall rule is that the quality, style and appearance must meet the standard set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The ICAO recommends neutral expressions because it is used by facial recognition systems – “advanced technology that helps prevent fraud by electronically verifying identity based on each person’s unique facial features”.
The UK authorities, meanwhile, states that individuals must have “a neutral expression” – described as one “that is without smiling or frowning (defined as any expression that affects the contours of the face)” – with a mouth closed. “If the mouth is open, facial features are distorted and an accurate representation of the applicant is not captured,” the UK government website outlines.
This is similar to Canada’s “neutral facial expression (eyes open and clearly visible, mouth closed, no smiling”) requirements.
However, the more lenient US State Department websit, states that it allows passport pictures “taken with a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open”. – IBTimes
SAN CRISTOBAL, VENEZUELA - Venezuelan authorities are investigating gruesome accusations that two men were murdered, mutilated by a confessed cannibal then fed to fellow prisoners in a riot at a police ...
United Family International Church (UFIC) leader Emmanuel Makandiwa whose real name is Shingirai Chirume has claimed that he was born mysteriously after an angel foretold his birth months before he ...
Local rapper Desmond “Stunner” Chideme is nursing wounds after unidentified people assaulted him outside a popular Harare night club on Friday night, it has emerged. By Kennedy Nyavaya Yesterday a picture of a wounded Stunner […]
MEDIA personality and socialite, Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, has dismissed claims that she was using facilities belonging to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals as a studio for her new online programme, in a suspected case of nepotism and […]
NEW YORK – Two months after being hospitalized for exhaustion and still recovering from memory loss, Kanye West is expected to make his first major public appearance at New York Fashion Week, his producer revealed. West, […]