Along with the excitement of a baby comes the anticipation of knowing more about them. Are they healthy? Is it twins? And, of course, boy or girl?
The latter is such a big deal to many expecting couples that they throw parties specifically geared around finding out the baby’s sex. Gender reveal parties to announce the gender in many ways: the color of the inside of a cake, balloons, smoke, etc. Pink if it’s a girl and blue if it’s a boy.
But gender reveal parties aren’t as fun for everyone as they appear to be. They come with a couple of consequences that I think are enough to consider stopping them altogether.
The dangerous impact of gender reveal parties
The person who’s credited with bringing popularity to gender reveals parties, Jenna Karvunidis, made hers pretty simple. There weren’t any outrageous gimmicks, just cake. She and her close ones cut into the cake at her party together, and the color of the icing determined the sex of her baby.
Karvunidis had thought up this idea because she’d, unfortunately, suffered several miscarriages in the past. This time, her baby was far along enough to have its sex determined, and she wanted to celebrate that occasion.
However, she probably didn’t expect that she’d inspire others to have their own gender reveal parties. The problem here, though, is that many go way farther than cutting into a cake.
People have used planes, explosives, and cannons to reveal the gender of their babies, and a lot of them have gone horribly wrong. People have been injured and even killed because of these stunts.
In 2020, a couple decided to use pyrotechnics for their gender reveal and ended up causing a massive wildfire in California. The fire spread over 22,000 acres and injured some of the firefighters trying to put it out and killed one of them. The couple who caused this fire were arrested.
There are also multiple cases of couples using plastic in gender reveal parties, which they don’t clean up or even drop in water, contributing even more pollution to the environment.
Gender reveal parties support binaries and gender stereotypes
The fact that the environment and people are dying at the hands of these genders reveals parties are more than enough reason to put an end to them, in my opinion. But there’s another problem to discuss here: the concept of gender and gender roles.
By now, we all know that gender is a spectrum. We also know that sex and gender are not the same things. Though perhaps subtle, there’s already a red flag when the notion of “blue is for boys and pink is for girls” is reinforced again and again through these parties.
There are studies showing that babies are treated differently depending on if they’re perceived to be a boy or girl. This already puts them in a box of gender norms and expectations that they’ll more than likely internalize.
Moreover, placing so much importance on a baby’s sex is even more problematic when you consider that the child could end up being intersex or identifying as trans and/or nonbinary.
Even Jenna Karvunidis herself says she regrets starting the gender reveal party trend, as they perpetuate gender norms.
Thus, it’s easy to see that gender reveal parties are physically and possibly psychologically damaging. Having a baby can be celebrated via baby showers, but consider stopping there, so as not to bring any potential harm to people or the environment.