The History of the Selfie

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The selfie that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars this year went on to become the most retweeted tweet of all time, so much so that it managed to crash Twitter itself! So what exactly is a selfie and why is it a rage with teens and celebs all over the world? Read on to find out…

What Is a Selfie?

A ‘selfie’ is short for self-portrait, that picture on your smartphone that you take of yourself by extending your arm out and positioning your face so that the camera is able to capture you! The selfie has been around for a while, at least a decade, but it went mainstream in a big way in 2012-2013 with tons of celebrities posting pictures of themselves on Twitter and Instagram. The selfie phenomenon has become so huge that the word ‘selfie’ was officially added to the mighty Oxford Dictionary in 2013.

Why Are Selfies so Popular?


The popularity of the selfie mainly derives from the fact that celebs love posting pictures of themselves, often taken in their own homes, which allows fans a sneak peek into their lifestyles. Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher, Tyra Banks, Kylie Jenner, Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham are just a few celebs who love posting selfies on Twitter.

Sharing photos of oneself is increasingly becoming a common way of expressing oneself and establishing one’s identity on the internet. Inspired by their favourite celebs, millions of people are now uploading selfies in an effort to present the best possible version of themselves online. Of course, technological advances such as front-facing cameras on cellphones and tablets have facilitated the selfie phenomenon.

How to Take the Perfect Selfie

There are some basic steps to taking the perfect selfie:

  • Look at yourself through the front-facing camera to make sure you look good!
  • Check if there’s enough light around you for the camera to capture a good image.
  • Check what’s behind you. You want to have a beautiful background or a neutral one.
  • Extend your arm out and position your smartphone a little higher than your head and turn your face at an angle. This has a slimming effect on your face and is a more flattering than clicking yourself front and centre.
  • Hold still, let the camera focus on your face, be confident, and click.
Take several selfies in different poses so you can later find the one that captures ‘you’. Use Instagram or other photo editing tools to enhance the image before sharing the perfect selfie with your friends.

As a guilty pleasure or a method of expressing oneself to the world, the selfie is here to stay. So are you getting on board?

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