The first ever evidence of a ‘selfie’ was a photo taken in the winter of 1839 by Robert Cornelius of Philadelphia, who posed in front of the lens with a stern face, perhaps because his pantaloons weren’t keeping him warm, or maybe because he was keeping it real in front of his Philadelphia crew…
Plenty of self-portraits have been taken ever since, by a variety of photographers both professional and amateur, capturing an image of themselves that they choose to preserve in time. Depending on the motives of the selfie-taker, self-portraits can portray a wide range of impressions, from serious and sexy to fun and playful.
The rise of smartphone technology has made it easy for people to take selfies, which has resulted in a new genre of photography emerging as an offshoot of self-portraiture. This has allowed people to capture pictures of themselves in all sorts of different situations, like selfies while getting kicked in the head by a conductor of a passing train.
Smartphones also help fanatical followers of celebrities to capture selfies with their favorite stars. While most of the time, the photo taken is simply a pleasant, smiling moment between fan and celebrity, occasionally the fan-celebrity selfie transcends into a truly great candid photo.
10. Ariana Grande
This unflattering selfie that a fan scored with Ariana Grande is the result of what selfie experts refer to as the “reverse duckface”, also known as the “gerbil cheek” method of self photography. The fan mugs the camera while Ariana Grande lines up for the photo using her good side, the part of her face she strongly prefers photographed.
The diva shot to fame beginning with a stint in the Mickey Mouse club followed by a series of television shows focusing on her character Cat Valentine from iCarly. Her main focus is currently her recording and performing career, although there’s a good chance she will also continue appearing in acting roles… and selfies.
9. Gerard Butler
This fan of Hollywood hunk and film star Gerard Butler slid into position to take advantage of a moment of celebrity weakness. The star-struck fan was lucky he avoided falling victim to Butler’s heft and power – the Scotsman would be more than capable of enforcing violent vengeance on people who take unflattering selfies when he wants to enjoy the glow of a few adult beverages.
Gerard Butler became super famous for playing King Leonidas in 300, cementing his reputation as a Hollywood tough-guy and leading man capable of playing both a spartan and the Phantom of the Opera.
8. James Franco
One of the most enthusiastic Hollywood celebrities in the world is James Franco. When taking selfies with male fans, he has to wear sunglasses like Cyclops has to wear goggles. If he doesn’t, the intense joy he experiences when he meets fans exits his eyes like a laser beam that burns holes through walls…
When he isn’t busy taking magnetic selfies with fans and wearing ironic ballcaps with psychedelic religious icons, he can be found on Twitter and Instagram occasionally sliding into teenage DMs. He’s also a successful actor, appearing in movies such as Milk, Spider-Man and Pineapple Express.
7. Kimye Westdashian
This celebrity and fan selfie is one that exhibits not one, but two celebrities behaving the exact same way they would in front of 100 cameras on stage, despite the fact that this stealthy selfie appears to be at an airport.
Kanye West looks like he’s extremely pissed off and ready to square up against the girl’s dad, while Kim Kardashian displays her finely honed instincts that reflexively detects any and all camera lenses, automatically responding with a photogenic pose.
Maybe the biggest question about this selfie is how Kanye West and Kim Kardashian ended up using the same airport terminal as a non-celebrity commoner.
6. Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage is the terrific talent behind the fantastic portrayal of fan-favourite Tyrion Lannister on the Game of Thrones television show. The makings of this memorable selfie took place at an X-Men film event and was uploaded to social media – a fellow fan then photoshopped a picture of Grumpy Cat into the fray after the fact.
The entire internet responded with rapture at the meeting of Tyrion and Grumpy Cat, and were intensely disappointed when Peter Dinklage revealed that he has never met Grumpy Cat.
Turns out that Peter and Grumpy missed each other by 60 minutes during an Iron Throne exhibit at SXSW, which is probably a good thing – given the reaction to this fake selfie, it likely would’ve triggered an internet-based apocalypse.
5. Mike Tyson
One of the most manic selfies on this list arrives courtesy of Mike Tyson, who may or may not have photobombed this selfie. Remarkably, this picture looks exactly as if it’s taken from the perspective of a person who just insulted Mike Tyson’s family with the most profane words.
The man in the foreground appears to be saying “daaaaaaaaammmnn” while the other guy considers calling an ambulance in advance. The women in the background appear amused at the beating that’s about to take place, while Mike anchors the selfie from the rear with a look that says, “I don’t know how hard I will punch you, but I promise my fists will change your life forever.”
4. Nicolas Cage
This fan selfie with prolific, Academy-award winning actor Nicolas Cage is on the set of his latest, top-secret film project – a collaboration with one of the top American airlines in the creation of the best pre-flight safety videos ever conceived. In this production, Cage plays a regular American traveler on a big American airline after having a bit too much to drink.
Known for throwing himself headfirst into numerous roles with reckless abandon, Nicolas Cage didn’t reveal the filming of this project with any other the passengers or crew. In fact, it turns out that there were no cameras on board the jet, making the taker of the selfie wonder if he was actually preparing to play a role opposite Wesley Snipes in Passenger 58, a sequel to the modest box-office success of Passenger 57.
Super Bowl XLIX was one of the most hotly contested and exciting Super Bowls ever, ending with one of the most bizarre and entertaining finishes to a football game in recent memory. Many celebrity football fans were in attendance, including Bahamian superstar and top bad girl pop star Rihanna.
Some in attendance didn’t care much for the game, spending plenty of effort getting selfies from Kanye West and other celebrities. This over exuberant fan, whose glazed eyes suggest he had too much liquid excitement for the evening, seems to creep the hell out of Rihanna. She looks at the camera with a glance that says “who is this guy and why does he smell like Corona and expired nacho cheese?”
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
This selfie, taken by a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fan, perfectly captures The Rock’s playful side and easy sense of humor that emanates naturally from the film star and WWE icon.
Upon further inspection of this selfie, it becomes clear that the fan is about to experience the wrath of Stone Cold Steve Austin, preparing a Stone Cold Stunner for the selfie-taking wrestling aficionado.
The Rock looks on in horror, too late to save the flailing fan, and decides to make sure the taser in his outstretched hand is ready to subdue Steve Austin should the wrestler set his sights on whatever The Rock is cooking – probably Cod.
The gold standard of fan selfies with their favorite celebrities is this nearly impeccable picture caught by a fan who somehow managed to arrange the perfect angle to capture the ultra mega star performer in the middle of a concert.
As if capturing the biggest star on the planet with a selfie isn’t rare enough, both the fan and Beyoncé are wearing perfect smiles and arrange themselves in the frame perfectly.
In a hundred years, when historians study the phenomenon of selfies during the early 21st century, the Smithsonian Institute for Selfies will digitally recreate this picture in hologram form for University students studying Advanced Social Media theory at Harvard and other fine Ivy League institutions.
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