On June 21, the world celebrates International Selfie Day

On June 21, the world celebrates the international Selfie Day. This term has been included in the multicultural vocabulary for a rather long time. In addition, it has become a fairly common and familiar name for a certain type of photography. The word itself originates from the English word "Self”. DJ Rick McNealy of Fishbowl Radio Network initiated national Selfie Day. The first celebration took place on June 21, 2014. The holiday quickly became contagious, and it was decided to make it international and celebrate every year.

Few people know that selfie is over 180 years old! The very first photo auto portrait belongs to chemist Robert Cornelius. The American made his own photo back in 1839 using a mirror. The main difficulty of photography was that it was necessary to stare motionlessly looking in the mirror for more than 10 minutes. The Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna wrote about this in her letter to a distant friend. Anastasia mailed the photo to a friend in 1914. In the letter, the princess admitted that it was very difficult to take a photo, and her hands even trembled.

Hence, the very term "selfie" was first discovered on September 13, 2002 in one of the Australian Internet forums. At that time it was a slang name, especially since the Australians are very fond of adding the suffix "-ie" to the words.

In the early 2000s, self-portrait photography became very popular among users of the MySpace social network. A little later, when Facebook took the leading position in Internet communication, the fashion for such pictures began to fade away gradually. Facebook made selfies unpopular and positioned them as a sign of bad taste among users.

However, already in 2010, auto portraits gained their popularity again.

This was facilitated not only by the improvement in the quality of photographs by mobile phones, but by the emergence of the photographic social network Instagram as well. Selfie photography has gone viral since the introduction of front-facing smartphones. Moreover, the selfie stick gave new opportunities, allowing a person to take excellent group and landscape shots.

Thus, selfies were gaining more and more popularity. In 2012, the famous “Time” magazine included the word "selfie" in the TOP buzzwords of the year. In addition, in 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary officially added Selfie to its vocabulary list. The publishing house also pointed out that the newfangled word is of Australian origin. Interestingly, there are varieties of selfies. For example, drelfie (from "drunk") is a drunk auto shot, pelfie (from "pet") is a photo with an animal and helfie (from hair") is a photo of hair. A separate holiday held in cultural institutions is “Selfie Day in Museums”. However, all varieties are still significantly inferior to the popularity of the classic "self-photograph".

In order to get exclusive photos and desired likes, people are ready for very risky actions. Many attempts to take such photos lead to accidents and tragic consequences. According to The Telegraph, in 2015 alone, more than 50 people died trying to make a selfie. People (mostly men, 72.5 percent) fell under the wheels of a car, fell off roofs and bridges.

Originally fashionable among young people, selfies have gained wider popularity over time. They were even made in space by astronauts as well as NASA's Curiosity rover. Group selfies are becoming more and more popular; for example, a celebrity group selfie hosted during the 86th Academy Awards by host Ellen DeGeneres became the most retweeted image in history. The snapshot has received over 1.3 million likes on Instagram and over three million shares on Twitter. Therefore, in 2021, it remains the most popular selfie in the world.

The phenomenon of selfies is traced back to the pictorial tradition of self-portraits, which is rather late. For a long time it was believed that, an artist, like any artisan, should be in the sidelines.

Everything changed during the Renaissance. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, for example, had Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn as a favorite model. More than 80 of his self-portraits are known. Some art critics believe that the artist was obsessed with his own appearance. Others say that he was creating a "visual diary".

A selfie itself is nothing more than a desire to reveal oneself to the world, to declare one's status in society, to demonstrate one's significance. American scientists from the University of Florida said that privacy could suffer because of the excessive passion for selfies. Having examined the life stories of 420 volunteers, the researchers concluded: the more pictures in social networks, the greater is the risk of conflict in relationships in real life. At the same time, those who are satisfied with their appearance, environment and lifestyle more often take selfies. Not all psychologists tend to see selfies as purely negative. You can trace the development of your own personality in details by your own photos in Instagram. The only question is what the person himself puts at the forefront. This, in fact, gave rise to various types of selfies.