Year of the Selfie: The birth – and death – of 2013’s biggest star trend

From Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian to President Obama and Pope Francis, everyone has been getting in on the narcissistic portrait action

Love it or hate it, 2013 will be remembered as the year of the selfie.

From Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian to President Obama and Pope Francis, everyone has been getting in on the narcissistic portrait action, helping to make the very phrase itself Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year.

The selfie is nothing new, but the trend has exploded in recent years because of the rise of camera phones including, most importantly, the release of Apple’s front-facing camera in 2010. Add Instagram filters to the mix and the world of social media has become a hotbed for mainstream narcissism.

According to the Huffington Post (the top five celebrity Instagram accounts by number of selfies posted in 2013 were Kylie Jenner, with 451, followed by Snoop Dogg (271), Ariana Grande (243), Kendall Jenner (236) and Kim Kardashian (216). Miley Cyrus topped the celebrity tweeters, with 121 selfies posted to her Twitter account.

But there have been more unlikely followers of the trend, too. In August, the Pope posed with a group of teenagers at the Vatican, creating the first ever Papal selfie. David Cameron was unwittingly captured napping on a bed in the background of his sister-in-law’s wedding day selfie.

On the other side of the pond, Hilary Clinton posed with her daughter, Chelsea, at a Chicago event in June and over in Australia, constituent Nada Makdess posed with then-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott in Sydney in August.

As the selfie has grown in popularity, individuals have become ever more creative in their style of self-portrait. We’ve had the belfie (read: Kim Kardashian’s bottom), the welfie (a selfie taken while working out), the drelfie (a selfie taken while drunk) and the trelfie (a picture taken in front of: insert famous landmark here).

Then there’s the funeral selfie, highlighted on the Tumblr account Selfies at Funerals and featuring the Cameron-Thorning-Schmidt–Obama photo as its final post.

But as with all hot trends, it looks like the selfie might be turning tepid. Once the preserve of hip celebrities and teenagers posing in their bedroom mirrors, the pose has since found itself in hot water.

Earlier this month, prime minister David Cameron was criticised for posing for an “inappropriate” selfie alongside Danish leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt and US president Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa.

And then, in some strange, copycat spate, another politician was at it: Ed Milliband. The leader of the Labour party went on a selfie spree, posting photos with TOWIE star Joey Essex and Lily Allen.

And suddenly… It’s not so cool anymore. Are we set to see more of the selfie in 2014? Or have political hands rendered it obsolete? Only time will tell. Until then, here are the stand-out selfies of 2013:

 

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star