Gender reveals: a party to reveal your kids’ junk while they’re still unborn. Gender reveals are a relatively new phenomenon that has already caused significant damage to both the environment and the general sanity of people like me, who keep getting invited to them and then having nightmares about being enveloped in a cloud of blue smoke while people chant “BOY! BOY! BOY!” into my face. Not only do gender reveals typically involve bad cake and a criminal amount of colored glitter, but they’ve also become an obsession with couples who don’t think having a dry baby shower and forcing us all to buy washcloths with ducks on them and then pretend we’re excited to paint a f*cking onesie is enough to properly celebrate their successful bout of unprotected sex.
The most recent cause of the aforementioned environmental damage was inadvertently caused by a couple in California, who set off a pyrotechnic device in San Bernardino county that ignited nearby brush and started one of the many wildfires burning in my home state. That wildfire has already burned more than 14,000 acres and evacuated hundreds of people from their homes, adding insult to injury, since the reason it started was completely unnecessary. Even the woman who is largely credited with inventing the gender reveal party, blogger Jenna Karvunidis, has spoken out about the ways in which what started as a cute, fun event for family has morphed into chaotic, sometimes hazardous situations, saying “Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.” I couldn’t say it better. But I’m happy to add my own twist to the breakdown of why gender reveals, as they stand as now, need to end.
1. It’s Not Even A Gender Reveal, It’s A Sex Reveal
You’re not even calling it what it really is! You are announcing what genitals your baby has based on your doctor’s best guess with an ultrasound probe. Gender, on the other hand, is literally the cultural and social expression of a person’s sex, which can be revealed in a wide variety of ways and to different degrees. Girls liking pink and boys liking blue is an example of a stereotypical gender assumption that we’ve largely grown past (well, some of us). There is no way to assume or predict the way your child’s gender identity will assert itself until they’ve been, ya know, BORN, and had time to figure that out on their own. But it freaks people out to call it a sex reveal because it sounds creepy and weird, which should tell you something. And that thing is: Announcing your baby’s genitals with a powder cannon you shoot into the air is weird and creepy.
2. Celebrating (Or Being Disappointed By) Your Baby’s Sex Is A Privilege
If I had a nickel for every man in a viral gender reveal clip who throws his hat on the ground as pink confetti falls down around him, I’d be able to buy that inflatable hot tub I’ve had my eye on since the beginning of quarantine. The fact that you’re pregnant at all is an accomplishment and a big one. As a gay woman, I can attest to that. Some of us have to actually pay money and visit a lot of doctors and use a stranger’s genetic material to achieve what a healthy, straight couple can do for free any night of the week in between Selling Sunset episodes. I’m not bitter, or anything, but yeah it stings a little. And it’s not just an ordeal for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are plenty of heterosexual couples who struggle with infertility, or who have to search for alternative methods to create a family for any number of reasons. The point is that yes, healthy pregnancy and a foreseeably healthy baby is absolutely worth celebrating. For some people, a healthy baby is a miracle, period. The sex, and later on, the gender of that child is secondary to that baby’s general health and wellbeing. Being able to be disappointed or excited about your baby’s sex is a privilege that we don’t all share, and that should be recognized.
3. We All Know You’re Just Doing It For Attention
Yeah, I said it. I know this might surprise some folks, but you can find out your unborn baby’s sex, be excited either way and share that news with your family without setting anything on fire or buying a cake with fugly pastel pink fondant. But people can’t resist the urge to share a personal event on Instagram and watch the hate-likes roll in. And that’s fine; in fact, it’s more than fine. I am completely on board with your need for attention, as attention is something I don’t hate either. But disguising it with a genitalia announcement makes it weird. Would you buy a sign that said “VAGINA!”? No? I didn’t think so. Then maybe think again about doing essentially that for online attention. And if you would buy that sign, then go for it. At least you’re acknowledging that it’s a sex reveal and not trying to act like it’s something else.
Images: t.max / shutterstock.com
The headline says it all, guys. What have we told you about how stupid gender reveals are? Like, only in America and with the rise of social media would we have a legitimate issue with people trying to one-up each other on how to announce their yet-to-be-born kid’s genitals in front of friends, family, and internet strangers—and causing harmful accidents in the process. Before you hate on me, I had a gender reveal, too. It was in the doctor’s office with my husband. The nurse pointed at my kid’s junk on the ultrasound screen and said “look, a penis! it’s a boy.” MAZEL. Then I texted my parents. That’s how it should be done.
If you ask me, a gender reveal party is yet another excuse for parents-to-be to try and squeeze more baby gifts out of friends and family. I respect the hustle, but also, chill tf out. You need one baby shower to ensure you have some diapers and maybe a car seat. You do not need a f*cking separate party with either pink or blue decor. Give me a break. And, as we continue to see in the news, not only are gender reveal parties unnecessary, they can also prove to be dangerous. Such is the case with this Texas couple, who tried to do way too much and ended up getting someone hurt in the process. Let that be a lesson to all of you to knock it off with these stunts.
This incident took place back on September 7, 2019 in some godforsaken place called Turkey, Texas. Basically, someone (my money’s on the dad because this feels like something a dad would do) rented a crop-duster plane and pilot (don’t ask me about the logistics of renting a pilot) to drop pink water for a gender reveal. The water would turn to vapor, making for a TRULY SPECTACULAR and heartwarming sight when pink mist would envelop the guests. I guess that would have been cool… if it worked.
Instead, the crop-duster actually stalled out—possibly due to the shock to the plane’s system after dumping 350 gallons of pink water—and subsequently crashed. The pilot was not injured and will go on to be available for future parties and gender reveals, but one passenger had minor injuries. And that’s not counting the pride of the parents-to-be, who now can’t even post their gender reveal party on Instagram because their stunt went so horribly wrong. Like, would confetti not have sufficed?
Honestly, these idiots are so lucky no one was killed or seriously injured. Gender reveals, as I said above, are getting stupider and stupider. Lest we forget the woman who was killed in October when someone thought it would be a good idea to reveal gender with a MOTHERF*CKING PIPE BOMB which, naturally, exploded and led to this woman’s death when she was struck with a piece of shrapnel. Then we have the guy who started a 47,000 acre fire in Arizona (the Sawmill Fire, to be exact) when he shot a target filled with explosive blue powder to let everyone know he was expecting a son. People are using alligators, planes, explosives, and dumbass balloons all in the name of celebrating a social construct we as a society place way too much emphasis on anyway.
If you insist on having a gender reveal, please, for all of our sakes, avoid heavy machinery, wild animals, or anything that could explode. It hurts that I had to type that sentence, but, hey, it’s just another day in Trump’s America.
Images: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com; Giphy (2)