Paris Hilton is responsible for a lot of things. The phrase “that’s hot“. The popularity in the mid-2000s of the pink low-rise pleated skirt. The Simple Life. Flip-phones.

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What she may not be responsible for, however, is the invention of the selfie. This is a claim – a big claim – that she appears to have made on Twitter today, via the following tweet:

These are possibly the most 2006 photos I’ve ever seen, and they fill me with a joy that’s difficult to describe.

Not so the rest of the internet, it appears, who seem incensed by Hilton’s impossible claims, and swiftly set out to prove her wrong – which is totally fine by me, actually, because it’s resulted in a compilation of historical selfies that’s totally fascinating.

The stack of early selfie evidence includes Thelma & Louise, Madonna, Bill Nye, several members of The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and a bunch of Ye Olde Timey dudes whose names have been forgotten but whose dope selfies will forever live on.

And here comes National Galleries with the slam dunk:

(HELLO ROBERT CORNELIUS am I right!!!! fkn Mr Darcy looking motherfucker over here)

So there you have it: myth busted. But could it possibly be that Hilton, who is rumoured to be a vintage radio enthusiast and is a confirmed slyly hilarious business genius, is taking the piss with her breezy claim to be the brain behind the defining cultural image of our generation?

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Considering the little trip through the history of the camera and photographic documentation of the self that her stunt has prompted, I don’t really care. This was a super fun collectively-sourced retrospective, and I love that hotel heiress even more for kicking it off.

Hail Paris Hilton: inventor of the selfie.