The History of the Selfie: How We Fell in Love with Ourselves


The selfie is an iconic image of modern culture, but this digital-age phenomenon has a centuries-long history. As far back as the late 1800s, people have loved to take photos of themselves, and this trend has only continued to grow. Today, selfies are everywhere: from Instagram to the red carpet and even the White House. How did we become so obsessed with our own images? To understand the history of the selfie, we must first explore the roots of photography and how it shaped the way we view ourselves.

The first self-portrait photograph was taken in 1839 by Robert Cornelius, a photography enthusiast who worked in Philadelphia. He exposed the image on a daguerreotype plate as he stood in front of the camera, and the resulting photograph would become the first selfie in history. The development of photography was a major breakthrough, allowing people to capture and preserve their own likenesses in a way that had never been done before.

In the early 1900s, the selfie became a popular trend among the elite and wealthy classes. Socialites and celebrities of the time, such as film stars and royalty, often posed for photos with their own cameras. This type of self-portrait would later be called a “glamour shot,” and it was seen as a way to show off one’s wealth, status, and beauty.

The selfie also gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, as the affordability of cameras made it easier for everyday people to take their own photos. Polaroid cameras and the Kodak Instamatic were especially popular at this time, and people loved to use them to take pictures of themselves and their friends. Selfies were seen as a fun and creative way to capture memories and share them with friends and family.

Today, selfies are more popular than ever. Smartphones, digital cameras, and social media have all made it easier to take and share our own photos. Selfies are now used to express ourselves, to share our experiences, and to connect with friends and family. We’ve even seen the rise of “selfie sticks” and selfie drones, making it even easier to get the perfect shot.

The history of the selfie shows us how this phenomenon has evolved over time. From the first self-portrait taken by Robert Cornelius in the 1800s to the rise of the selfie stick in the 21st century, there is no doubt that the selfie has become an iconic part of our culture. Whether you’re a fan of the selfie or not, it’s clear that taking photos of ourselves is here to stay.

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