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2013’s Most Mind-Blowing Selfies

The year’s scariest, sexiest, weirdest and wildest celebrity snapshots

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, beyonce

The concept of the selfie dates back at least as far as the first post-invention-of-the-mirror artist who thought to paint a self-portrait. But as a cultural phenomenon, self-shot portraits are rooted in the early days of MySpace, when teens with emo bangs flooded their profiles with headshots taken from just about every conceivable angle. The selfie exploded into the mainstream of pop culture in 2013 — the term, once colloquial slang, is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. That shift was due in no small part to celebrities embracing the medium via Instagram and Twitter, partly out of natural human vanity but also likely as a response to the uncontrolled invasion of paparazzi. So, in a banner year for the act of taking a million photos of your own face, here are the most memorable selfies. BY JORDAN SARGENT

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Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, beyonce

@Beyonce

Beyoncé’s Pixie Cut

Beyoncé was insanely prolific on Tumblr this year (and she worked hard in the recording studio, too), posting thousands of photos while she crisscrossed the globe on tour. But she got most personal on Instagram, as evidenced by this selfie displaying a perfect blonde pixie cut.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, kim kardashian

@KimKardashian

Kim Kardashian #NoFilter

Kanye West's better half is, uh, no stranger to public displays of nudity, but she still sent shockwaves across the web when she posted a post-pregnancy bikini selfie. The caption was simply #NoFilter, which was also one of the better kiss-offs of the year.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, beyonce

@MariahCarey

Mariah Carey’s Birthday Gifts

What did Mariah Carey give her husband Nick Cannon for his birthday? Well, he — and the rest of us — got this selfie of the star posing seductively in a bra.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, bieber

@justinbieber

Justin Bieber Is Bored

Justin Bieber's Instagram is a rather mundane mixture of promotional screenshots, travel photos and shirtless images. Just about the only interesting aspect of his account is the existential emptiness of his frequently dead-eyed selfies (many taken in the backseats of cars). They provide a glimpse into the day-to-day banality that permeates even a pop star's life.   

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, amanda bynes

@amandabynes

Amanda Bynes Wilds Out

In the vicious and quick cycle of entertainment gossip, Amanda Bynes' infamy during the summer of 2013 already feels weirdly long gone. But at one point this year she was as newsworthy a celebrity as was out there, often posting selfies to Twitter that were accompanied by captions revealing some troubling body image issues.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, ariana grande

@arianagrande

Ariana Grande’s Sex Toy Mystery

Singer Ariana Grande frequently posts selfies to Instagram, but one she shared in September caught the eye of her followers, and eventually the rest of the Internet, because it appeared to show a sex toy lying on her bedroom floor. (Check out the bottom left corner of this photo.) Of course, the oddly shaped object turned out to be a power strip, as Grande helpfully explained a few days later.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, nicki minaj

@nickiminaj

Nicki Minaj’s Topless Selfie

Nicki Minaj loves to play with her power as a sex symbol, which is even more potent considering the fact she makes music in a male-dominated genre — and can outrap nearly every man out there. She's never made her delight in messing with sexual dynamics clearer than she did last October, when she posted a series of photos to her Instagram showing her costume — a cross between a policewoman and a dominatrix.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, miley cyrus

@mileycyrus

Miley Cyrus as Lil’ Kim

Miley spent much of 2013 appropriating hip-hop culture (or celebrating it — depends on who you ask), and that trend continued on Halloween when she dressed as Lil' Kim from the 1999 VMAs. But in a year filled with twerking and tongue lolling, Miley's homage to the Queen Bee was rather tasteful.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, dj khaled, suffering from success

@djkhaled

DJ Khaled Sparks a Meme

Few will remember DJ Khaled's seventh album, Suffering From Success, for the music. Instead, its legacy will be a particularly hilarious social media meme based on the album's cover, which depicts the Miami DJ holding his head in his hand. Over the summer, Khaled started reposting a flood of Instagram photos showing fans lovingly imitating his pose, and looking like they were either lost in thought or fighting their way through a particularly bad brain freeze.

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Young Chop’s Epic Celeb Impersonations

Where meme-rapper Riff Raff built a persona on Vine over the course of months, hip-hop producer Young Chop (Chief Keef's "I Don't Like") spent one prolific night goofily impersonating a number of personalities from across hip-hop and the city of Chicago. The best, which you see above, is his hilarious gurgling version of the rapper Kevin Gates' hit "Satellites."

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, geraldo rivera

@geraldorivera

Geraldo Rivera Wearing His Mustache and a Towel

"70 is the new 50," Geraldo Rivera announced when he posted a selfie to Twitter. Unsurprisingly, he soon deleted the photo from Twitter.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, beyonce

Valentina/Tumblr

Beyonce’s Fan Photobomb

What was originally interpreted as Bey photobombing a fan's selfie turned out to actually be her obliging a request for a photo, but the outcome is no less amazing. This is the kind of selfie you proudly show off like a photo of your newborn baby.

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, mike tyson

@MikeTyson

Mike Tyson Explains His Face Tattoo

The one-time heavyweight champ turned Official Media Personality was in the news in the fall thanks to a one-man Broadway show and a memoir. He even posted a selfie that included a caption succinctly explaining his infamous facial tattoo: "I got this tattoo on my face because I like it. If you don't like it then don't look at me." You gonna argue?

Selfie, 2013, year in review, instagram, Michelle obama

@FLOTUS

Bo Knows Michelle

Selfies got their greatest legitimization in August when Michelle Obama snapped a photo of with the family dog, Bo, in support of National Geographic's attempt to compile the world's largest animal photo album. This is the only dog photo ­— and maybe the only selfie — the world truly needs.

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Riff Raff: Selfie Genius

The absurdist figure Riff Raff is a rapper by trade, but he's probably most famous for being the obvious inspiration for James Franco's character in the film Spring Breakers. He is also known for his prolific use of the micro-video app Vine, in which he showed that the service's ultimate use was as a one-hit version of selfie-driven sketch comedy.

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Soulja Boy Sings Vanessa Carlton

Soulja Boy skipping in the backyard of a house exaggeratedly singing Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" before forgetting the words and hitting a blunt. What else do you need in your life?

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