“Selfie” may be Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 Word of the Year, but that doesn’t mean the act of framing your own face is a new idea.
Dictionary editor Katherine Martin told the Guardian that the origin of the word can be traced to Australia. It’s the “earliest evidence that we know of,” she said, and is in keeping with Australians’ tendency to “make cute, slangy words with that ‘ie’ ending.”
Martin may be correct in saying that Australia gave the act a name, but if you dig into history, you find the concept of the selfie pre-dates even the first colonization of Australia by the British. Featuring yourself in a photo -- or painting -- has a long and rich history dating back hundreds of years.
Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait” might as well have been titled “Selfie,” way back in 1658. And Frida Kahlo’s 1939 work “The Two Fridas”? “Double Selfie.”
Even bad-boy author Hunter S. Thompson couldn’t help but snap a quick selfie with an Instagram-worthy title, “On The Road to Tijuana,” circa the 1960s.
Forget, though, the origin of the word and “selfies” through the ages. Think about this: The frequency of the use of the word “selfie” rose 17,000% over the last 12 months, according to the Oxford Dictionary folks. It wasn’t our friends Down Under or fans of Rembrandt who brought the word to the forefront of the English language. That’s thanks to all of you.
So show us what you got. Check out a few of our favorite historical selfies in both photo and painting form above, and share your epic selfies with us. We may even share them on the site.