When parents are expecting a baby, the most important thing to most of them is obviously for the child to be born healthy and live a happy life. However, some parents put a lot of importance on what the sex of the baby will be. They will buy clothes and decorate the room accordingly. Although gender norms are starting to fade and parents try to not enforce a specific color or activity on their future baby, there are still people who do that.
Some people even make a really big thing out of finding out what the baby's sex will be. They organize parties that are specifically dedicated to revealing if they will have a boy or a girl. And these parties can get really cringey. In this list, you will find some of the bizarre ways people find out what they're having and some concerning cake ideas.
If you think that gender reveal parties are an old tradition, you’d be wrong as the party that is considered to be the first one took place in 2008. A blogger named Jenna Karvunidis made a post about the special cake she baked which, once cut, revealed the sex of the baby as the icing was supposed to be either pink, meaning she would be having a girl, or blue, meaning she would be having a boy.
Even though Jenna was the first to have a gender reveal party, she doesn’t like what it has become. She said numerous times she regrets “inventing” it and in a Facebook post has said, “I've felt a lot of mixed feelings about my random contribution to the culture. It just exploded into crazy after that. Literally—guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby.”
Bored Panda reached out to Jenna and we learnt that she is being a busy bee: “I am in my 3rd year of law school and through that, I do things like volunteer at a name change clinic helping people who are trans to legally change their name and pronouns. I’m also a Girl Scout leader, Vice President of my Women’s Law Association, Treasurer of my Environmental Law Society, co-founded Sierra Madre For Racial Justice in my community, and I was the official host of the Pasadena Women’s March last year. I also have 3 daughters and love to paint giant paintings.”
We wanted to know more about the original gender reveal party and we got to know why Jenna came up with the idea in the first place. The party Jenna made was just a simple reveal of the cake icing. She told us, “I was just trying to get my family excited about my baby. I was estranged from my parents at age 17 and I haven’t seen them in about 10 years now, but there was a short time around the time I got married and had my first baby that we were on better terms. I was trying to get them to be involved, so I threw a party to reveal the gender of the baby thinking that would get them excited about me.”
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She also told The Guardian that she'd had several miscarriages previously and when she finally got pregnant and the pregnancy lasted to the point at which she could know the baby’s sex, she wanted to celebrate that, but people who wanted to recreate the party started putting emphasis on the wrong aspects of it.
She told Buzzfeed, “I just feel like there are a thousand details more important about a person than their gender. It’s a bad detail to hang on for a baby, and just because it’s the first thing we know about our kids, it’s not the most important by far."
Also, it is worth mentioning that even though the party is always said to be a gender reveal, it is actually the biological sex that is revealed. Jenna wrote in the mentioned Facebook post, “PLOT TWIST, the world's first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!”
Jenna also told Glamour, “She has her opinions about there being many genders, and she is informing me about things. She was biologically born a female, and she is still ‘she’ and ‘her’ and says she’s a girl, but she is still doing things her way.”
We asked if she was the one that coined the term, but actually, when she was having the party, she “called it a 'peep show' because the cake was shaped like a bird.” Jenna also added, “Anyway, about the party itself—that was 2008 and I didn’t know the things I know now. Gender is a construct. Learn more, do better, I guess!”
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When asked why she thinks gender reveal parties are so popular and why people care so much, Jenna had a guess. She said, “I think people care about these events because pregnancy can be a lonely time. You love this little baby so much, but then the parents realize their support systems are lacking. Parties bring people together. So maybe people are trying to set their tribes.”
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Gender reveal parties are receiving more and more criticism because they are often sexist and they get crazier by the day. After these parties, many people just leave confetti and it creates litter, and there have also been cases where the parties caused wildfires, cars have exploded, and the scale of these parties for some has reached that of a wedding.
So this list shows the cringey side of the parties and that people should relax a bit and focus on other things that are more important about the baby. But tell us, what do you think of gender reveal parties? Do you think they can be done with taste? Or do you think they are completely unnecessary? Also, don’t forget to upvote the most cringey photos!