Happy National Selfie Day! How did this holiday come to be, how did selfie become a word, and where did the first selfies appear?
I remember one of the first selfies that I ever took. Sometime in 1998, my new husband and I were lying on the futon in our apartment, and I spontaneously grabbed our camera.
Yes, the kind with real film in it! I reached out my arms in front of us and snapped a pic. To this day, that’s one of my very favorite pictures of us.
So, what I’m trying to say is that the Selfie isn’t really all that new. But National Selfie Day sort of is, and so is the tremendous popularity of taking them.
Now that everyone, everywhere has a cell phone, the selfie has exploded. My 22 year old self would never have dreamed. What a world we live in these days!
So, now, let’s learn more about National Selfie Day and how the selfie became a bit hit!
When is National Selfie Day?
National Selfie Day happens every year on June 21st!
What is National Selfie Day?
It’s a day to celebrate the art of the selfie. Imagine a day where you can take selfies with abandon and have zero feeling like you’re a narcissist! This is it! hahahaha
Taking selfies can be really fun, so keep reading for more history and fun ideas for taking them.
A Brief History of National Selfie Day
Who Founded National Selfie Day?
Back in 2014, there was a disk jockey in Arlington TX who thought it would be a fun day to have. His name was DJ Rick McNeely, and he was from the Fishbowl Radio Network.
The first selfie day was on June 21, 2014. Interestingly, what started out as just a fun promotion, has now turned into a Charity Event benefiting those experiencing homelessness in the Dallas Fort Worth Area.
You can see a short video from 2016 with Rick, himself, talking about the event prior to their establishing it as a fundraiser.
A Brief History of the Selfie
We all know that the selfie, a form of self-portrait, is pretty wide-spread these days.
But who took the first selfie ever?
Well, his name was Robert Cornelius. He was an American Chemist who worked in his family business, a lamp factory.
In 1839, when he was 30 years old, he set up his camera outside the factory one day. Then, running around to the front of the camera, he crossed his arms and just stood there for several minutes.
It was the first selfie ever. In fact, it was the first intentional self portrait in the world. 
Robert truly was a pioneer photographer! If only he could see us now.
So who coined the term, “Selfie”?
It involves a drunken accident, don’t you know.
The first documented use of the word, selfie, was in an online forum in 2022.
Nathan Hope, an Australian man, had been out partying with his friends. He busted his lip in the process, incurring some stitches.
When asked in the forum what happened, he snapped and posted a pic of his lip. His caption said, “”And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.” 
Little did he know but that he invented a new word!
A few years later, in 2013, the word, selfie, was chosen as the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. And then in 2014, the Oxford English Dictionary added selfie to its official collection of words. That is, they officially put that sucker in the dictionary.
But what really put the Selfie in the spotlight?
Who else but a president of the United States could put a new type of photography in the limelight?
Again in 2013, President Barack Obama took a selfie with the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt, and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Apparently is was retweeted almost a million times. And there were some not so fun reactions to it. But I’ll let you decide. Is it cool to take a selfie at a memorial service for a very, very famous person? I’ll say this: Michelle looks none too happy. 
But what about the big celebrity selfie that almost broke twitter?
Oh yes. That auspicious event was actually in 2014 at the Oscars. Amid the hustle and bustle of the night, Ellen Degeneres decided she wanted to snap a pic with some of her famous friends! What started out with her and a couple of pals turned into an A list bestie selfie. It included not only included Ellen, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts, but also Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Lawrence.
It was retweeted millions of times within the first 24 hours. 
Of course it was. Just look at those names!
Fun Ideas for Celebrating National Selfie Day
If you love taking selfies, you have to celebrate this day.
And let’s face it, who doesn’t? Even my teenage son (who hates me taking his photo) takes a zillion selfies for his friends.
Here are some of our favorite ways for celebrating National Selfie Day:
- Organize a Selfie Scavenger Hunt! Invite your friends for a fun night out, split up into teams, and then give them challenging places to go take selfies. Then meet up at your favorite restaurant at a certain time and see who took the most! The winner gets free dinner.
- Challenge your friends to see who can take the most selfies with strangers on this day. Then have everyone over that night to talk and laugh about the experience.
- Take a selfie and share it on social media, but tag your best friends and challenge them to add one in your comments.
Cool Places to Take Selfies for National Selfie Day
Everyone is looking for places to take cool selfies and up your selfie game:
- Find a cool sign in your city. We have a giant LOVE one downtown!
- Take a selfie of your reflection, but not in a gym selfie in a gym mirror… find a lake or pond and take a picture of your reflection there.
- Go to a botanical garden, find the brightest blooms in the garden. Then sit down on the ground in front of them and snap a selfie. It will look like you are sitting in a field of flowers! Just don’t go tiptoeing into the flowers. They’ll probably kick you out!
- Scout out a mural in your city and go there to snap a pic!
More common types of selfies include:
- A basic mirror selfie
- Duck face selfie (where you suck in your cheeks and pout)
- Foodie selfies
- Pet Selfie
- Bathroom selfie
- Coffee shop selfies
Noteworthy Stats about Selfies
- According to a recent survey, 68 percent of selfie-takers admitted to editing their photos before sharing online.
- Around 8% of people regret sending a selfie to potential romantic partners.
- In 2013, people started using the word “selfie” 17,000% more often
- Facebook users’ share of all selfies shared on social media: 48%
- Percentage of US plastic surgeons that report seeing patients who wanted to look better in selfies: 55%
Whether you’re a television celebrity like Ellen or a regular person on the street, it seems as if no one can resist the allure of their own image. Since the invention of the film camera, photography has taken huge leaps forward to where we all have smartphones in our pockets and purses with a camera at the ready.
It makes those visits to popular tourist destinations like disneyland parks and famous monuments, so easy to document.
If you can a functional camera phone, you’ll always have a way to remember your fun times.