Frankly, I blame Apple for the latest teen trend. The introduction of portrait mode, the bokeh effect that blurs the background of your iPhone images as though you’d taken them on an SLR camera, means that so many more of us, teens included, can easily take aesthetically pleasant photos sans pricey equipment. And with a slightly fuzzy background and decent lighting, just about anything can look professional. Even portraits taken among the fake plants and flowers displayed in the aisles of a Hobby Lobby. Which is, you see, the latest and greatest in viral teen trends. Remember when the hot thing was kids pelting each other to the ground with backpacks full of books? This is like that, but, you know, less violent and less likely to end in a concussion.
The Hobby Lobby Challenge, as it’s being hailed, has been growing on Twitter since the end of January. The gist is simple. Head to a Hobby Lobby — make sure you’re looking camera-ready before you get there — and position yourself among some fake greenery. Lay on the aisle floor with roses and vines piled around your head. Stand and pose with a synthetic lily in one hand and a look in your eyes that says, I am about to launch into the “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” sonnet. Do whatever it takes to get the shot. (You’ll also need to bring a friend to act as your photographer. The Hobby Lobby Challenge is no time for selfies.) Then tweet your pics and hope for viral fame and acknowledgment of how good-looking and artsy and creative you are.
Of course, you can do the challenge in just about any craft store. It doesn’t really have to be a Hobby Lobby — if you aren’t near one or don’t feel like visiting a store best known for a lengthy Supreme Court battle over refusing to provide birth control for employees, and also that time it smuggled a whole bunch of artifacts out of Iraq and the United Arab Emirates by pretending they were “tile samples” — just any place you can get your hands on some plastic plants that’ll blur nicely into a sea of verdant tones.
A friendly reminder to pick up those giant, plastic Monstera fronds when you’re done posing with them, teens.