The word “selfie” exploded into the mainstream over the past 5 years, but self-portraits have obviously been around much, much longer. Sarah Burton of BuzzFeed recently set out to discover the origins of the selfie. In this 7-minute video, take a trip through the history back to the birth of the selfie.
11 years ago today, Me & Britney invented the selfie! pic.twitter.com/1byOU5Gp8J
— Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton) November 19, 2017
According to Burton, the first ever documented use of the word “selfie” online was in September 2002 by a user called “Hopey” who posted a close-up of his busted lip — it wasn’t by Paris Hilton.
“Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie,” Hopey wrote. He later stated that he didn’t coin the term, and it was “slang” being used already.
The world’s most expensive selfie was taken in the 1850s, selling for a whopping $115,000. Featuring Oscar Rjlander, a photographer pioneer and renowned Swedish photographer, the portrait appeared in a leather-bound album that was given to a 19th-century naval hydrographer before being passed down through many generations of the family.
The first group selfie was supposedly taken in the 1920s on a rooftop in New York City, USA. It features the photographers of the Byron Company, one of NYC’s renowned photography studios.
In a rather anticlimactic conclusion, however, Buzzfeed says that no one really invented the selfie. Instead, it was a creation of humanity itself.
“I guess I didn’t really answer the question,” says Burton.