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.


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?


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.