The Original Selfie

Last word.

  • Category
  • Written and photographed by
    Chloe King

  • Above
    Clockwise from upper left: Chloe King with... Randy Quaid and Wendy Stark; Seal; Helmut Newton, Thom Mount, June Newton, Roland Joffé; Steve Martin

No, Paris Hilton, you didn’t invent the selfie. I started taking them in 1996 when you were just a teenager. No filters, no editing. Just a point-and-shoot camera, a roll of black-and-white film and a bunch of willing protagonists who wondered what the heck I was doing.

Social media did not exist back then, so my “posts” were limited to the wall of my kitchen, where I displayed them for no one else’s enjoyment but my own. If you made the wall, you were good in my world. The famous, not-so-famous, the not-famous-at-all. It was simply a means to tell my story. My youth. My time.

As for being “the first,” turns out there was a dude using a makeshift stick to take portraits in 1926. He was the maverick. I was just a party girl with a lot of groovy friends. Did I capture lightning in a bottle? Who knows? But it’s fun to think I was on the forefront of a trend that has no end in sight.