A decade ago, gender reveal parties were unheard of. Now social media and even traditional media are filled with pregnant mothers and their husbands, all one-upping each other. There seems to be no limit to the outrageous ways people are using to reveal whether one’s baby will be a boy or a girl.
A quick search of YouTube for gender reveal parties will reveal hundreds of results. One of the most common ways that parents surprise their friends and families is with an explosion of confetti or smoke. Pink for girls and blue for boys.
For those parents looking to really blow away their guests and social media followers, the sky is the limit. Some have fed alligators and even hippos watermelons filled with colored jelly to reveal the gender in an explosion of fruit. Others have used exploding baseballs. Some macho fathers have even fired up chainsaws to cut down trees to reveal their babies’ gender.
Gender reveal stunts aren’t just fun and games. They have also had dangerous consequences. In Australia, a car that was rigged to emit colored smoke burst into flames. Another gender reveal tragedy caused 8 million dollars in damage in Arizona. An attempt at firing off a cloud of blue smoke to announce a baby boy started a week-long wildfire that burned almost 50 thousand acres of land. While no one was hurt in the fire, another recent gender reveal party turned into a nightmare. A 56-year-old Iowa woman was accidentally killed by a homemade pipe bomb designed to set off blue or pink smoke.
While the gender reveal trend has spread to Australia and Canada, it is mostly a US tradition. This vain phenomenon of getting attention through increasingly more ridiculous stunts kicked off in 2008. A young blogger and pregnant mother named Jenna Karvunidis threw a party for her friends. They cut open a cake revealing pink icing to her friends and family. Jenna made a blog post about it that went viral, and the rest is history.
Interestingly Jenna is not so happy about the trend she gave birth to. She feels that it encourages gender stereotypes. She says, “Who cares what gender the baby is? I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019 and didn’t know what we know now — that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.”