Paris Hilton says she and Britney Spears invented the selfie, but Twitter has different receipts

Gather round as we tell the tale of the great selfie discovery. Eleven years ago, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears invented the selfie. Wait, that doesn’t seem correct. Were Hilton and Spears really the first ever humans to hold a camera in front of their own faces and snap a photo? Twitter investigates.

Earlier today Hilton posted two photos on Twitter. The year is 2006 and Hilton and Spears smile for their digital camera, or T-Mobile Sidekick, or a Motorola Razr, or whatever camera technology was popular at the time.

“11 years ago today, Me & Britney invented the selfie!” Hilton captured the throwback photos.

First of all, lol. Humans have literally been pointing cameras at their own face since forever. We do think Hilton was being tongue-in-cheek, but Twitter thought otherwise and showed up with different receipts. One Twitter user shared a mirror selfie taken in 1910. Someone else hit back with a scene from Thelma & Louise where they literally take a selfie with a Polaroid camera. Somebody else shared a vintage Madonna selfie that clearly predates 2006.

After Hilton’s seemingly innocuous tweet, the Twitter receipts began to pour in.


While these responses are funny, the actual first selfie was this one, taken in 1839.

Hilton and Spears may not have “invented” the selfie, but they did help usher in its 21st-century renaissance. The first documented instance of the word “selfie” was in 2002 in Australia, where the slang was commonly used. It wasn’t until 2013 that the word entered the Oxford Dictionary.

What we’re trying to say is, Paris Hilton posted a throwback selfie. That is all.

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