The first ever documented use of the word "selfie" was in an Australian chat room in 2002. Kind of anticlimactic, isn't it? Interestingly enough, it was used to describe a rather gruesome picture a man took of himself, a far cry from the glamorous selfies Kim Kardashian posts that we now associate with the word.
Most selfies we see now are of girls fully done up, doing duck lips, and they have an inspirational quote as the caption. Doesn't sound too similar to a selfie of a guy with a gaping wound on his face, which makes the way it has evolved even more interesting. At their core, they are still just pictures we take of ourselves, however. Gaping wounds or not. The word has taken the world by storm, and by August 2013, the Oxford Dictionary had proclaimed it a real English word and included it in their dictionary. It didn't stop there, though, months later Oxford went on to name it the word of the year! "Selfie" earned its #1 spot by boasting a 17,000% increase in use between 2012 and 2013. Use of the word hasn't slowed down since 2013, either. Today, there are over 300 million "selfie" tagged photos on Instagram, a significant jump from the 57 million in 2013.
Of all of these millions of selfies, there are bound to be some tasteless and insensitive posts. Infact, some selfies go so far beyond being tasteless, they end up getting the subject of the photo fired from their job, arrested, publicly shamed, and sometimes, all of the above. Here are 15 people who should have thought before they selfied.
15 Shoplifter Selfie
In 2014, a 27-year-old pregnant woman named Danielle Saxton posted a new profile picture on Facebook of herself wearing a leopard print dress. The selfie seemed rather innocent, but the problem was, the dress she was wearing had recently been stolen from Mortie's Boutique in West Frankfort, Illinois, where Saxton lived. Mortie's Boutique had posted footage of the thief (who also made off with some jewelry) on their Facebook page in hopes clever locals may recognize the perpetrator. And recognize her they did. It only took a few hours until people realized the woman in the video was Danielle Saxton. Not only did Saxton make a poor choice by stealing the dress, she made another poor decision when she posted a selfie of her wearing the stolen merchandise right after she stole it. When police arrested Saxton, she apparently had the stolen garments in hand. Yikes!
14 Beer-Drinking School Bus Driver Selfie
An Ohio woman who worked as a school bus driver in the Princeton City School District made a regretful decision when she posted one particular selfie earlier this year. The unnamed woman shared a picture of herself with a bottle of beer up to her lips while she was behind the wheel of the school bus she drove. After an internal investigation, it was determined the bottle was unopened, she was off duty, the bus was not moving, and there were no children on it. She still lost her job, and parents were outraged about the selfie. One parent believed that this woman should never be allowed behind the wheel of a school bus again, explaining, "She should absolutely get fired. It was very inappropriate and very poor judgment on her part." The selfie-taker would likely AT LEAST agree to it being poor judgement.
13 Paramedic Selfie
When we're in the care of medical professionals, we all hope that they are focused, respectful, and taking their jobs seriously. At the very least, we expect them not to take selfies on the job. A young Russian paramedic, Tatiana Kulikova, 25, committed one of the most insensitive acts imaginable when she took a selfie on the job this year. Not only did she include a patient in one of her selfies, that patient was dead. Kulikova posted a few pictures of the heart-attack victim, and one of them included Kulikova giving his body the finger shortly before he died. Another one of Kulikova's selfies shows her giving a patient bunny ears, or else she's giving the camera a peace sign, and she also captioned it "oh how i hate my job." Well, she didn't have to worry about working a job she hated for long. She was fired shortly after the pictures were posted and the patients' families were also considering taking legal action against Kulikova.
12 Confederate Flag Cop Selfie
The Confederate flag is considered a racist symbol with associations to slavery by many, and it represented 11 states that abdicated from the Union during the American Civil War. After a shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina that left nine people dead this year, photos were released of the shooter holding a gun and a Confederate flag. Public outrage sparked companies like Amazon and eBay to ban sales of Confederate flags through their sites. Not long after that tragic shooting and other horrific events near by, one South Carolina cop still decided to post a selfie on Facebook that featured him wearing only a pair of Confederate flag boxers. The cop was fired shortly after, and the North Charleston Chief of Police Eddie Driggers issued the following statement: "Your posting in this manner led to you being publicly identified as a North Charleston Police officer and associated both you and the Department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve."
11 Playboy Pilot Selfie
Two pilots and a Playboy model meet in a cockpit, but this isn't the beginning of an erotic film. Instead. it would end up costing both pilots their jobs, as well as public shaming of the model involved. Viky Xipolitakis, a Playboy model, was invited to the cockpit of an Austral Lineas Aereas flight she was on earlier this year. The two male pilots, Patricio Zocchi Molina and Federico Matias Soaje showed Xipolitakis how the controls worked, and also asked her if she'd like to fly the plane as it took off, which she briefly agreed to do. The model made sure to get pictures and videos of her experience, including selfies with the two pilots. There were 36 passengers on board, but the pilots seemed more concerned with the model's cleavage than they did with doing their job. When Xipolitakis posted the photos from her adventure to social media, it didn't take long for people to be outraged. Shortly after that, the pilots were both fired.
10 Geraldo Rivera's Shirtless Selfie
72-year-old Geraldo Rivera has enjoyed a successful career as a talk show host, attorney, reporter, and author for years, and that has come with a lot of publicity. In 2013, however, he was the subject of a social media controversy that his shirtless selfie sparked. Then 70, Rivera posted a picture of himself wearing only a towel covering his nether regions, smiling into the mirror. He captioned it, "70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be so pissed...but at my age...)." Turns out, it wasn't "Erica and family" he had to be concerned about. He was scheduled to be the speaker at a Duquesne University event shortly after the picture was posted, but the Catholic university called off his appearance, saying the photo was, "inappropriate and not in line with the school's values as a Catholic university." Rivera referred to the cancellation as "pretentious censorship" and the public was immediately debating if the school's decision was a just one.
9 The Naked Selfie Performance
Ever heard of a Naked Selfie Performance before now? If you have, hopefully you've never been arrested for one like Swiss artist Milo Moiré, 31, was. She was performing a fully nude routine in Trocadero Square in Paris that involved her approaching pedestrians to take selfies with her. Before long, police approached her and led her away, explaining she was guilty of public indecency. She ended up spending the night in a Parisian jail because your genitalia in a public place is punishable by a year in jail and £10,600 fine, if you're not in a specially-designated area in France where nudists are allowed.
8 Baseball Selfie
It was the eight inning of a Cincinnati Reds versus Chicago Bears game when one brave 19-year-old fan decided to run onto the field to get a selfie. Police chased Justin Buchanan while he ran across the field, but he was able to evade authorities and jumped over the fence of the Great American Ballpark and got several selfies in the process. Buchanan ran home and bragged about the stunt on Twitter. Shortly after realizing the severity of a stunt he thought would be no "big deal", Buchanan surrounded himself to local police and was arrested. His friends started a GoFundMe to raise money for him if he were to be forced to pay the $1000 fine (or 180 days in jail) that can come with his crime.
7 Drug Selfie
These days, everyone and their dog is on social media, which means we need to be hyper-aware of what we're posting if we don't want to offend, or in some cases, break the law. Unfortunately, 21-year-old Taylor Harrison didn't consider that the police now often use Facebook to solve crimes and seek out criminals. When Harrison posted pictures of himself on Facebook with drugs, bragging about how much money he makes, and how he doesn't get caught, cops called his bluff. His pictures show him with drugs and cash on his lap while he sits in a car, and through the car window you can see a deputy police car right beside him. It didn't take long for Harrison to get caught selling drugs to undercover cops, and the police department got a good laugh out of showing off the error in Harrison's ways.
6 Snapchat Selfie
Maxwell Marion Morton sent his friend a Snapchat that would end up changing his life. Snapchats are known for disappearing after ten seconds, but if the recipient screen shots them, they can keep them forever. Good thing Morton's friend had the good sense to do so. Morton sent his friend a Snapchat selfie that showed Morton, 16, and the body of a fellow teen he had just killed. Morton's Snapchat friend immediately showed the photo to the police and Morton was arrested. Morton was charged as an adult with criminal homicide, first degree murder, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
5 Weapon Selfie
When one young woman decided to post a selfie on Facebook that showed her brushing her teeth and holding a gun to the camera, she had no idea the problems it would cause. Kristin Holmes, 26, was in an online dispute with a person who had confused her with someone else, when she posted that picture with this caption in response, "So you know the difference when u (sic) come find me." Holmes said "It wasn't a threat. I thought it was a funny picture, and then I realized later it was a little bit intimidating. So I took it down." Police were informed before she was able to take it down and she was arrested. The law under which she was arrested, using obscene or threatening language online or in public, can come with a $2,500 fine and a year in prison.
4 Bank Robber Selfie
When a 21-year-old man who calls himself "King Romeo" successfully robbed a few banks and made off with an estimated $15,000, he likely felt on top of the world. So much so that King Romeo, or Jules Bahler as his mugshot would show, decided to post a Facebook selfie of him holding the gun he used to do his crimes. Bahler was able to make off with several thousand dollars, but that won't do him any good when he is spending years behind bars!
3 Springbreakers Wannabes Selfie
Two Swedish teens, who were too young at the time of their crime to be publicly identified, robbed a burger place in Halmstad, Sweden and made off with about $400. The girls wore ski masks and brandished a knife during the crime, and took a selfie of themselves in their gear. When the K-9 unit was able to track down the girls at their grandparent's apartment, police found two ski masks and a knife on them. They also searched through the girls' phones, and on one of them found incriminating photos of the girls wearing the ski masks and holding the same knife used in the robbery.
2 Church Robber Selfie
Adam Howe robbed a Southern California church in 2014, and thought he had done so successfully as he made off cash, watches, and a laptop. However, what he didn't make off with was his cellphone, which he left in the church. Unfortunately for Howe, 26, there was a selfie on his phone that identified him, and police arrested him once they knew who he was. When Howe was arrested, they also found stolen goods from other burglaries, and his arrest led to the arrest of two other thieves as well. At least some good came out of his crime!
1 The No Words Selfie
This selfie has to take the cake when it comes to stupid selfies. The trouble this man got into was a result of a whole bunch of bad decisions, and not just his selfie. Ashley Keast, 25, robbed a house in England, and put his SIM card in the homeowner's phone to take a selfie of him doing so. First, Keast took a selfie in the victim's bathroom that he posted on Facebook (only to receive four likes, mind you) and then this not-so-clever criminal then proceeded to accidentally send out his selfie to a group text...but the group of friends belonged to the homeowners. So, when the victim's friends received a selfie of a strange man in their friend's home, they alerted authorities. The next day, Ashley Keast was arrested upon being identified through the photo. Keast pled guilty and was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. D'oh!
Sources: cnn.com, newsfeed.time.com, nydailynews.com, huffingtonpost.com, http://ca.complex.com, inquisitr.com, http://gawker.com, telegraph.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, usatoday.com, time.com, nydailynews.com, nypost.com, huffingtonpost.com, telegraph.co.uk, huffingtonpost.com