Thursday 20 November 2014

Evolution of my byline photo (& bad hair)

If you read The New Paper On Sunday, which my column is in, you may notice that the paper has just been redesigned again.

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.

A photo posted by SM Ong (@sm_ong) on

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.