The first camera I ever owned was a purple rectangle with a seriously cool flash button. It had a spot for film – the kind that would be ruined if you opened it up before your roll was finished. It was a gift from my mom and dad, likely for a birthday celebration or maybe Christmas. I carried it with me and took shots of cats, books in my room and other objects strewn throughout the house.

It made me feel like an adult – or, at the very least a very responsible kid.

But for everything it was, it wasn’t instant. Not much was in the early 90s. That sentence makes me baffled. That wasn’t so long ago, but a lot has changed in 20 some years. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

But back to the purple rectangle.

When the film was full, mom brought it to the store to be developed. Then I waited; and waited and waited some more until the finished pictures were complete. I would sift through them to find cat’s heads cut off and a blurry whatchamacallit – an unidentifiable object – not the candy bar, in the corner of my room. Mixed within the roll of 50 images, was a shot of me; a mistake, likely, as I wasn’t really looking at the camera. But half of my face and my arm was in the picture.

Could that have been my first official selfie?

Let’s recap what exactly qualifies a photo to be deemed a selfie. According to Wikipedia – yes, it has officially been added to the dictionary – a selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone.

So it’s a picture of yourself, taken by yourself. Clearly my first official selfie was taken long before the term was invented. I’m trendy like that.

I recently found this selfie, and a few other photos taken by my purple rectangle – in a box of childhood things. After spending way too much time looking at those – and other items from the past, I grabbed my phone and tried to take my first real selfie.

My husband, Kyle was away on a trip for work, and I wanted to send him a quick picture to say hi. So I started snapping. First, they were normal smiles. I took some by the window, a few standing, others sitting – then I changed locations. I went to the front door and over by the kitchen sink. Some were serious, most were goofy. 

I hated them all.

I don’t know how people do this. They pucker their lips and tilt their head just right and then snap the shot. Some adults take too many and post them – too often, but that’s another issue far greater than the simple selfie.

Mine all looked odd. Maybe my arm isn’t long enough? Maybe my phone doesn’t take very good pictures? Maybe I’m too critical of myself? Maybe I just find it weird (and a little self-absorbed) to take a picture of me – with no one in it?

I think it’s all of the above.

In the end, I did what any self-respecting gal would do. I stretched my arm out as far as it could go, focused my phone, found the perfect lighting, smiled big and grabbed my cat, Buddy for the shot.

Yes. My cat made it easier to take a selfie.

When the photo was taken and sent, Kyle texted me to say, “Did you send me something? My phone won’t download whatever you sent me.” 

It’s just as well. Only half of my head was in the shot anyway.

Read more from Leslie in the Kearney Hub.


Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.