A group of friends sit laughing, enjoying milkshakes, presumably listening to music on the jukebox that sits behind them…or at least that’s how it might appear in the photo that the three friends took at Selfie WRLD Indy.
In January 2022, a new “Instagrammable” location, the selfie museum, opened up on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Opened by owner Nina Koehler, a former local news anchor at WISH-TV, the site has multitudes of interactive room installations.
“I stumbled upon Selfie WRLD on Instagram about a year ago and just knew Indianapolis needed a location,” Koehler said. “I was looking for a new challenge in my life at the time too, so it seemed like the perfect fit for both me and the City of Indianapolis.”
Olivia Witta, an employee at the museum, believes that sometimes with selfies, people don’t know what to do with themselves, or feel awkward. She views this museum as the answer to those issues.
“I love that we are all about self-expression,” Witta said. “We will never make anyone feel embarrassed or weird about how they present themselves.”
According to Witta, she recently saw someone come in with full Harley Quinn cosplay, and said it felt totally normal. She believes people can come here to be whoever they want to be.
Some of the many backdrops one could visit include bleachers with neon text reading “Out of your league,” a black backdrop with a regal chair, and a purple installation featuring functioning swings.
Honesty Stoops, one of the guests visiting the diner backdrop, had been following Selfie WRLD social media pages and thought the museum looked very interesting. She said it looked fun and affordable for a fun night out with friends.
Social media has been one of the main ways the museum has gained traction since its opening. People come and take photos and soon after will post those photos to Instagram, TikTok or other various platforms. The more people post, the more popular the museum has become according to Witta.
On the particular night that Honesty Stoops visited, she was joined by Harmony Stoops, her sister, and Zoey Morris. On Wednesdays, there is no time limit for how long attendees can stay, so they chose to take their time with the photos.
“They had a lot of [photo] booths on their Instagram,” Morris said. “I was really pleased when I came in here because there is a lot more than what I expected.”
Coming in May is an Indy 500 installation that guests will be able to visit, and the gallery will continue to switch out installations over time. Koehler hopes that the museum can be a great place for birthdays, parties, fundraisers, date nights, or even just a place to go with friends like Morris and the Stoops sisters.
“You know how you put your makeup on, and you take the selfies, but it’s only one background and one outfit, so you only really get two photos out of it,” Harmony Stoops asks. “Us being able to change and go to all these different backgrounds means I could have photos for months.”
Anyone wishing to visit the museum is encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online at selfiewrldindy.com Tickets are $25 for one hour or $40 for two. Time slots are limited to allow for COVID-19 safety.
Eliana Bucklin is an intern at The Campus Citizen. She is expected to graduate this May with a degree in journalism and a certificate in museum studies. Outside of her intern work she enjoys reading, keeping up with Formula 1 and various artistic activities Her twitter can be found here.