Nobody has explained to me what a "gec" is, yet everyone—from online stans, to the New York Times (repeatedly!), to colleagues in the VICE office—is talking about not just 100 gecs, but 1000 of them. Gecs have clearly taken 2019 by storm.
But with the definitions on Urban Dictionary unlikely to inspire all this buzz, I'll choose to define the word for myself. And if you ask me, what we should all really be talking about when we talk about "gecs" is geckos, the most slept on and the objective best of all of God's creatures to ever grace our Instagram feeds.
With "fur babies" being an endless and inescapable cultural obsession, the internet is overrun with dogs and cats, blubbery seals and baby pandas, and plenty of animal gifs you've seen far too many times. You need something new, like a pleasantly hypoallergenic reptilian little buddy. Please join me on a tour of Lizard Instagram, where geckos and their goofy faces reign supreme.
As an entry point, meet the highly aesthetic @JaneLovesSnake, run by a herpetology hobbyist in South Korea with eight snakes, seven geckos, and one gummy-looking green frog. It's through JaneLovesSnake that I realized my previous misgivings against lizards (scales and creepy diet, primarily) were underscored by pleasant truth: Geckos are actually... extremely freakin' cute???
The crested gecko shown above might be a little too reptilian for newbies, I'll admit, but I'd wager that it's impossible to see Jane's leopard geckos without your heart melting more than a little bit. Their mouths are upturned in perpetual smiles, and with moveable eyelids and big, doll-like eyes, they can even wink.
From there, enter the lizard hole. User @kayo_n_0923 boasts a cute orange lizard with eyes like Sauron, but a smile that gives new meaning to "Tongue Out Tuesday." On @senna_friends, look at tiny lizards in proportional tiny hats or a big lizard with a really big butt. User @geckotic's big-eyed, wide-mouthed geckos call to mind the 00s-ism "squee," but in the best way. Like a few pictures, and the algorithm will provide, filling your Explore page with cold-blooded blessings.
You might find yourself, like me, suddenly more open-minded to the planet's many options of pets—and if that's the case, might I recommend this picture of three frogs in an ice cream cone?
Instead of staring into the Instagram void and all the depressing crap you'll find there, stare into the eyes of these scaly beacons of joy, who look as happy as we can only hope to feel with our cold and jaded human hearts. This virtual gecko appreciation, of course, comes with the added benefit of not having to be the person who has to go buy crickets to feed to them.
Very well, I'll take 1000 gecs, please!