Since I joined The New Paper in 2008, the paper has underwent four redesigns - two for the weekday editions, two for the Sunday edition. Each redesign means all the reporters (and columnists) get new byline photos.
So each redesign brings new hope that I would finally get a non-embarrassing byline photo. Each redesign crushes that hope like you would a cockroach. First world problem.
From 4 May 2008 to 13 July 2008
If not for the smile, I'm okay with this photo since my hair looked neat for once. But this was used for only a couple of months before it was ditched because of a redesign.
From 17 August 2008 to 28 August 2011
I call it the poodle hair photo. Still the stupid smile. Dig the suspenders though.
A few readers who wrote in to complain about the column used my hair against me.
I had to live with this byline photo for three years.
From 11 September 2011 to 9 November 2014
My longest running byline photo. No more smile. Maybe because I had a woman's haircut. One reader called me "Samantha".
I had to live with this byline photo for three years too - plus a couple of months.
From 16 November 2014 to ?
For the latest redesign, the Sunday paper is going with the full-length shot for the byline photo. That made me self-conscious of my posture because I tend to slouch. That's why I was pulling shoulders back so awkwardly. Which resulted in me pushing my stomach forward, making me look fat.
I guess I have to live with this for the next three years until the next redesign.
I got a shock this morning when I open the papers, while having my favorite prata at the mama shop @ Bencoolen street.
SPH has changed your photos and other writers too. Damp!! What the hell...!!
I miss the "stupid and blur (fxxx)" look which has been your symbol and personal branding. It synchronizes to some of the "crap" you write in your article, which I really enjoy and look forward for Sundays. I spent 80 cents every Sunday to read Act Blur and to see your blur face :)..
Now, you are looking too studious and academic, Act blur title does not suit well.
Please take this is a compliment and also know there are many fans like me out there for you, each week.
Bring back the old SM Ong.
Keep me alive with your articles, Sir !
Thanks and have a nice day.