No celebrity has done for the selfie what Justin Bieber has done for the selfie. Okay, we have no evidence to back that claim, but we do know that Bieber was one of the reasons Instagram had a massive influx of users back in 2011, when the pop star first joined the photo service. Bieber is so synonymous with the celebrity selfie that he even backed a selfie-sharing app called Shots Of Me, where he sometimes posts pictures of himself in various states of undress. Of course, other celebrities have taken the opportunity to post choreographed self-portraits as well, like the not-at-all attention-seeking Kim Kardashian.
Speaking of celebrity selfies, here's one that brought down Twitter. Shortly after Ellen DeGeneres tweeted out this Oscars group selfie (What do we call that? A groufie? An usie?), the photo was retweeted more than a million times, making it the most retweeted tweet ever, causing Twitter's servers to go through intermittent outages throughout the evening. Touted as a shining moment for Samsung -- the photo was captured on a Note 3 -- this selfie is a reminder that celebrities like to take pictures of themselves just like everyone else.
One of the prime culprits behind the rise of the selfie is the cellphone. Specifically, the ones with front-facing cameras, so that you could frame your pouty face just so. Sadly, most phones have rather subpar front-facing cameras, but get ready for that to change. The Sony Xperia C3 seen here, for example, is touted as the "ultimate selfie Android smartphone" because of its 5-megapixel front shooter. Indeed, Sony even calls it the "ProSelfie," and touts its wide-angle lens, soft LED flash and portrait retouch features for hopefully the most flattering selfie to ever grace your Facebook wall.
Simply titled "#SELFIE," the electronic dance title by electro house duo The Chainsmokers became a viral hit on YouTube in early 2014. Judging by the lyrics and the video, you could either interpret it as a tongue-in-cheek critique of how narcissistic selfies are, or simply an ironic celebration of it. Either way, it's a song ripe for parody -- several users have taken to Vine to make fun of it using the hashtag #letmetakeaselfie (Our favorite is this one).
There are places where it's okay to take a selfie, and then there are places where it's not okay to take a selfie. Auschwitz most certainly falls in the latter category. Poor Breanna here did take some heat for this unfortunate photo, but you have to admit that it seems inappropriate to take a smiling self-portrait at a Nazi concentration camp. Still, it's not like she's the only one perpetrating this faux pas -- there are whole Tumblrs dedicated to capturing selfies taken in improper situations, such as, sadly enough, funerals.
Yep, there are now apps dedicated to just selfies, and only selfies. Sure you can take those narcissistic self-portraits on Instagram and Snapchat too, but now there's Shots, Frontback and even one that's simply called, well, Selfies to stroke your ego. Yeah, we're not really sure why you'd use a dedicated selfie app either.
Say you want to take a selfie, but your arms are too short to capture you and your friends, and you'd rather not ask strangers to snap the photo for you. Enter the selfie stick, essentially an arm extender made just for taking selfies. A lot more commonplace in Asia, the sticks run for about $20 apiece, and can usually be used either with a smartphone or a GoPro camera. It seems like a pain to be carrying an extendable camera arm around all the time, but we're guessing a good selfie is probably worth the trouble.
[Image credit: Johnragai-Moment Catcher/Flickr]
If you're a tourist in Japan, however, you might not need to carry around that aforementioned selfie stick at all. Wise to the selfie tendencies of its visitors, the Japanese tourist board installed several "selfie stands" in notable destinations -- such as Enoshima Island, the Expo Commemoration Park and the Osaka Aquarium -- around the island nation in early 2013. Simply slot in your phone, set the timer, stand in the designated spot and give your best kawaii smile.
[Image credit: Chris McGrath via Getty Images]
As if we needed more selfie-capturing devices, the folks over at digital agency iStrategyLabs have created a mirror that snaps a self-portrait for you. Called S.E.L.F.I.E. (which stands for Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine), the mirror is triggered by standing in front of it and smiling. From there, a countdown takes place, and a "flash" indicates a photo has been taken, which will then be posted to Twitter. Vanity has never been so easy.
In just a few months, a TV show called Selfie will grace idiot boxes across the country. Now hold on: Before you barf, it seems that the show's premise actually makes fun of just how ridiculous and self-absorbed our selfie-obsessed culture has become. It centers on Eliza Dooley, a clueless social media star with more "friends" than actual pals and marketing guru Henry's efforts to help her relate to the real world. Sure, it sounds like a ham-handed attempt at replicating My Fair Lady, but anything that takes the selfie craze down a few notches is fine by us.