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So Who Really Invented The Selfie? Not You, Paris Hilton


A while ago, Paris Hilton made a bold statement on Twitter. In it, she claimed to have invented the selfie with an 11-year-old photo of her and pop star Britney Spears. First off, inventing the selfie is hardly something you want to brag about. But is her claim true? There is bountiful historical evidence to prove the hotel heiress wrong. Selfies go WAY back.

Protesting Paris Hilton’s Claim

selfie

twitter.com/ParisHilton

Paris Hilton believes this is the first selfie ever. Although you can find multiple examples of selfies from the last half-century, let’s begin back in the 1950s.

The First First Family Selfie

selfie

Huffington Post

Before “JK” became a popular internet acronym for “Just Kidding” we had Jackie Kennedy. Yes, using a mirror is still considered a selfie in the 1950s. But the former First Lady was not the first.

Exploring Self Image in 1948

selfie

Mashable

The year was 1948 and photographers were already taking photos of themselves. If holding the camera to your eye doesn’t count, we’ve got you covered.

Perfecting The Self-Portrait From 1947

selfie

Imgur

The first selfie without looking into a viewfinder could have been in 1947. So, Paris may have been the first female selfie? Not likely, that same year the world witnessed another photo first.

The First Photobombed Selfie in ’47

selfie

Mashable

Could this also be the first photobomb? Even Florence Vandamm got in on the game in 1948, but she wasn’t the first. The 1930s were a ripe period for self-portraits.

Practicing Self Portraits In 1938

selfie

Mashable

Photographer John Chaloner Woods was snapping selfies back in 1938. But as Dan Spindle pointed out to Paris Hilton on Twitter, they became popular even earlier than that.

Inventing The Selfie Stick In 1934

selfie

Twitter

Elmer Larsson was innovating the selfie in 1934. Here he is testing a prototype of the world’s first selfie stick. Before people looked like doofuses.

Watching The Selfie Birdie In The 1930s

selfie

Mashable

Sorry, Paris. Women were paving the way for self-centered still-life images in 1930 as well. The reality star won’t be able to argue with the following photo taken at the turn of the century.

Predating Paris By 100 Years

selfie

Gizmodo

Joseph Byron took what is arguably the first modern-day selfie in 1909. Holding the camera and not using a mirror, it’s hard to argue against his claim. But let’s explore a 19th-century snapshot for good measure.

The 175-Year-Old Selfie

selfie

Mashable

Martin Hans Boyè from Philadelphia looks like he probably invented the selfie, at least until we find an older photo. His first selfie dates back nearly 175 years.

Paris had a Twitter response to the mounting evidence against her claim: “Jealousy is a disease get well soon…”

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