Eleven years ago, Paris Hilton invented the selfie. Or at least, that’s what she says.
According to Hilton, on November 19, 2006, she and Britney Spears took the photo that launched Instagram culture as we know it. In honor of the monumental anniversary, the heiress/reality star/mogul/DJ tweeted two side-by-side pictures of her and her pal (one of which shows them wearing matching Playboy bunny ears, because, 2006) with the caption, “11 years ago today, Me & Britney invented the selfie!”
This isn’t the first time she’s taken credit for the phenomenon:. “If a beeper had a camera, I would have taken a selfie with it,” she said in an interview with W earlier this year. “I think I have a selfie from when I was a little kid, like on a disposable camera.” Long before Fit Tea and Sugar Bear Hair, she was the original “influencer” (see: the rise of the Juicy sweatsuit for proof), and considering Hilton’s house is practically wallpapered in pictures of herself, it isn’t that hard to believe she was one of the first to flip her camera around snap a few shots if her then-assistant Kim Kardashian (#TBT) wasn’t around to do it for her.
“Nowadays, I feel like it’s so easy becoming famous,” Hilton said, who managed to become what we now know as a “social media celebrity” without a publicist, stylist glam squad…or social media. “Anybody with a phone can do it.”
Even so, the Internet isn’t 100% on board with accepting the fact that Paris and Britney are to blame for every duckfaced-selfie clogging their feeds. Twitter users claim that celebs were shamelessly taking photos of themselves long before that fateful day in 2006, and attribute the “invention of the selfie” to everyone from Thelma and Louise to Madonna to even Paris Hilton herself in 2004.
Selfie inventor or not, it’s still Paris Hilton’s world and the rest of us are just living in it.
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