Inside selfie stardom
What it's like to be famous just for taking photographs of yourself (and how to get that fame)
The selfie has been around in some form or the other since the invention of the daguerreotype in the first half of the 19th century. The advent of phone cameras brought it to the edges of the cultural mainstream, though it was the front-facing camera that ensured taking photographs of oneself needn’t be a furtive, inaccurate exercise. About a decade later, the selfie is all-pervasive, all-conquering. Narcissus would have approved of a society in which gazing at oneself, liking what one sees and offering up the same to public scrutiny is, far from being punishable, actually encouraged. All around the world, faces preen and pout, smirk and smoulder at their mobile phones, eager for a small dose of social validation, a couple of dozen hearts on Instagram.