There was once a time when all you need for a gender reveal is a Dr and an ultrasound. Nowadays, you need that and so much. You might need a couple of black balloons, some confetti, a plane with 1300 liters of blue or pink water, or even a pipe bomb. Yes. A pipe bomb.
We have seen very interesting, dramatic and life-threatening gender reveal parties in the last 5 years. They have grown to become very popular. Which begs the question: Should you have a gender reveal party?
Is it necessary to announce to your family what gender your child is in an actual party? A lot of people argue that is it not necessary. You can simply send a Whatsapp broadcast message with an “It’s a boy” artwork on it. It is extra money and extra work for your friends and family. This also depends on how big or small you want to make it. The bigger it is, the more money and work it requires.
Jenna Karvunidis, the woman that started the trend of gender reveal parties is now taking a position that argues against hosting gender-reveal parties. This comes after a couple started a wildfire in a couple of regions in California after the car they used exploded.
Speaking on the Daily Show, Jenna told viewers about the first gender reveal party that she hosted in 2008 using, wait for it, a basic vanilla cake. Jenna adds that she has been campaigning for the disavowing of these parties for a year publicly.
When asked the question “how did these gender reveal parties evolve from cake-eating to mass destruction?”, she responding by arguing that “I think a lot of people out there are searching for likes on the internet and it has caused a lot of problems”.
These parties also requires extra effort from your friends and family. What do people bring to gender reveal parties anyway? You can’t bring clothes or toys (you don’t know the gender yet). You are most probably saving those for the baby shower.
Speaking of baby showers, the expecting couple will also be having one soon. So that’s another party in the bag. They will probably also have a baby announcement party soon after that. That is a lot of parties and a lot of gifts. And times are tough.
The biggest backlash these parties have received is its enforcement of rigid gender norms. This relates directly to gender neutrality and allowing children to choose their gender. It also relates to the distinction between gender and sex. Sex relates to biology and the genitalia children are born with. Gender is based on societal observations of sexuality.
Some people love a good party and any excuse to do it.
Not only does the expecting couple share a sentimental moment with their family, but they also make them feel like a part of the pregnancy journey. Another reality is that a lot of couples struggle to conceive. Their ability to carry to that point of gestation is a cause for celebration. This is why they have so many celebrations.
Some people keep it very intimate, with a simple cake with close family and friends.
So, assess why you want to have a gender reveal and whether you need to host one. Would you just like to trend on Facebook, or do you want to bring your friends and family together to observe a really beautiful moment?
Karabo Mokoena is a wife, a girl mom, a writer and content creator. She is the Resident Contributor for Parenty and a Mommy Blogger, creating relatable parenting content for her blog Black Mom Chronicles. You can engage with her on her Instagram and Facebook pages. She is a Political Science graduate, who has worked in Human Resources for most of her professional career. She loves engaging with people, thus her choice to specialise in recruitment. She loves telling stories and sharing her life’s journey to brighten someone else’s day.