Hands holding phones sticking out of a pink ball pit

dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo


R.1, R.2, R.6, R.7

The Story of Selfies

Humans have always loved sharing their faces with the world—even before social media or smartphones! 

National Gallery of London (Jan van Eyck); Library of Congress (Robert Cornelius)

1- 1400s
Mirrors become cheaper to buy. This makes it easier for artists, like Jan van Eyck, to paint or draw themselves. 

2- 1839
Photographer Robert Cornelius becomes the first person to photograph himself. To get the shot, he stands still in front of his camera for several minutes! 

3- 1913
The first known mirror selfie is snapped by a 13-year-old Russian princess. 

4- 1966
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin takes the first selfie in space.

5- 2002
An Australian man uses the word selfie for the first time. (Soon after, cell phone cameras make taking selfies—and deleting ones you don’t like—easier than ever!)

6- 2011
Instagram user Jennifer Lee posts the first #selfie to the app. There are now more than 460 million photos using that hashtag.

7- 2013
Oxford Dictionaries names selfie the word of the year. Why? Use of the word has increased more than 17,000 percent from 2012!

8- 2022
Today, people pay to visit places like the Museum of Selfies in California. They go just for the chance to snap a selfie in colorful ball pits and in front of other fun backdrops.

Talk about it:  In your opinion, why are we so interested in creating images of ourselves? Why are these images so important to us?

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