It was only a few days ago that Paris Hilton took to Twitter to remind, or inform- the internet that she had a hand in inventing the selfie. According to Hilton, the big day happened about 11 years ago, in November of 2006, when she and Britney Spears took a few photos together.
Her post almost immediately got flooded with people who posted countless photos attempting to disprove Hilton’s claim.
The New York Times decided to explore the claim further. They contacted a professor at the University of Southern California who teaches a writing class featuring selfies as a way to explore identity.
He was doubtful, to say the least.
“Wait,” he said, laughing out loud when he realized the absurdity of the question. “The argument is that nobody had ever taken and posted their picture before this?”
He immediately recalled Robert Cornelius, the man who took a photo in 1839 that was cited as the first selfie.
Even the selfie stick has roots in the 20th century, long before Hilton was born.
As you can see, even in 1934, Helmer and Naemi Larsson, of Sweden, took a photo using what appears to be a real stick to press the button on the camera.
Even if Hilton argued that proper selfies have to include celebrities, then Madonna, Andy Warhol, and Cindy Sherman beat her to the punch.
“Could it be that they felt that there had never been a selfie quite like this before?” Mr. Marino mused. “She’s not being ahistorical — she’s saying ‘we’ did something with selfies that had not to that moment been done?”
“But yeah, it’s hard for me to tell what that is,” he said.
To sum up, Paris Hilton did not invent the selfie. Her reps didn’t respond for comment but she did post this on Twitter:
So we’ll let you decide for yourself.