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Zoom Bookcases Are Out — Background Plants Are the New Flex

Stop reading and start potting

For those who did not lose a job to coronavirus, the first two months of quarantine saw an adjustment to the practicalities of working from home full-time: losing the pants, making the coffee, figuring out how to make the home feel more like an office. Rather quickly, the full bookcase became the go-to background on Zoom calls — a source of credibility and, for some, an opportunity to troll.

But that’s over now. We’re onto plants.

That’s right: Nothing conveys quarantine superiority like a big leafy boi. The more greenery — and the glossier the green — the better your situation looks. Hell, with enough plants, you’re practically outside! Drowning in pure oxygen! In a claustrophobic world, this is important power. And, because so many of my generation have collected ficuses and succulents instead of having children, they serve as an important reminder that yes, we are responsible enough to protect and nurture life. We are still grown-ups.  

Or, to be extra-grandiose about it: You’ve tamed wild nature. King of the jungle here, no big deal. The organic beauty of foliage overwhelms the dry, rectangular geometry of the bookshelf — plus, it won’t accidentally reveal that you’ve got a copy of Bukowksi’s Women lying around. No, you’d never be caught reading something like that, not when you’re sitting snugly in a lush oasis of your own making. Books? We’ve progressed past the need for books. No more books. All we want now is water, sunlight and good vibes.

Throw in a clutch dog, and it’s game over: 

Yeah, don’t be surprised if the next time you Skype me I appear to be living in the biodome. It’s not a pretentious flex — they’re only some plants I got to cheer up the apartment, not objects meant to signify my tastes — but also, damn if it’s not an enchanted forest up in this bitch.


Of course you are, with your wack art prints and dusty-ass ceiling fan. Too bad you didn’t stock up on potting soil back in March. Honestly, turn your camera off, we’re all embarrassed for you. Plant squad forever.