Looking for alternatives to traditional gender reveal parties that don’t rely on gender norms? Consider these eight creative and splashy celebration ideas to commemorate your kid on the way.
Again, a gender reveals party caused a massive wildfire that jeopardized homes and livelihoods, all for the sake of a split-second pink vs. blue reveal.
According to reports, the fire outside Los Angeles was sparked by a device designed to emit either pink or blue smoke to indicate the sex of a newborn. Instead, the device ignited a fire that scorched over 9,000 acres and forced the evacuation of thousands of people. And this wasn’t the first time. A gender reveal in Arizona last year ignited a 47,000-acre wildfire.
Jenna Karvunidis, a former blogger and mother of three, is credited with starting the gender reveal party craze in 2008, before the birth of her first kid. She revealed last year that she cried when she heard about the first fire caused by a gender reveal. This year, she called for the termination of the tradition via Facebook.
Quit throwing these foolish parties, wrote Karvundis. “For the love of God, stop setting things on fire to broadcast information about your child’s penis. No one cares but you.”
Last year, the inventor of the fad went public with “mixed sentiments” about gender reveals and disclosed that her oldest daughter breaks gender standards by frequently donning a suit.
“Who cares what gender the baby is?” Karvunidis wrote in the viral Facebook post. “I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019, and we didn’t know what we know now, which is that focusing on a person’s gender at birth disregards so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with their reproductive organs.”
As soon as you focus on a baby’s gender, “people have all these assumptions and things they put on your child,” according to event planner Justine Broughal of Together Events. According to a plethora of research, these stereotypes limit kids as they grow up and exclude transgender and nonbinary children.
According to Broughal, it is impossible to determine the gender of a child by observing his or her genitalia. “That’s a rather strange thing to say in front of all your friends and family: ‘He has a penis!'”
When Karvunidis produced a colored cake for her daughter, gender reveal party gimmicks have also increased. Shortly after her 2019 popular tweet, Karvunidis told us, “The issue I have with it is that it is so excessive.” There are weapons and glitter, tractors and tutus, and the emerging trend of spreading the pink or blue powder in front of an alligator and waiting for it to chomp down for a spectacular revelation (although we might like to).
Although Karvunidis is aware that she is not responsible for everyone in the world, she nevertheless feels some degree of responsibility. Hence, she instructs parents-to-be who conduct gender reveals, “Don’t do anything aggressive and don’t set anything on fire.”
Yet, those seeking a unique type of pregnancy celebration are in luck. “People can come up with their own innovative ways to celebrate such news that have nothing to do with gender,” Karvunidis explains. Broughal concurs, encouraging parents to be deliberate with the events they choose, whether it’s a large party before infant hibernation or a private occasion to mark a new season of life. Here are eight to think about.
1. I’m Pregnant! Party
Karvunidis says, “We may change it to a pregnancy reveal party” if a woman discovers she is pregnant. “If you find out you’re pregnant at six weeks and have a party at 12 weeks, it takes roughly that amount of time to prepare things.”
That’s six weeks to choose a date, organize your guests, send out invitations, collect RSVPs (even on Facebook, you know your busiest friends need extra time to check their calendars), order a cake, and purchase decorations. In addition, at this time in your pregnancy, the fact that you are pregnant is thrilling enough for your family and friends; the gender is largely immaterial. A cake in the shape of a baby is a simple alternative, and Karvunidis proposes basing a meal on peas in a pod.
2. “Preferred Family” Dinner Party
Broughal proposes that people expecting their first child hold a modest gathering to share the news with their closest friends and family, similar to how religious families choose godparents. Sometimes your family and support system consists of blood relatives, and occasionally it consists of like-minded individuals you’ve encountered throughout your life. A dinner party when your complete support system is seated at the same table demonstrates that “you’re purposefully bringing them into this next season of life with you and your child.”
3. Name Reveal Party
“If parents want to have a large party, they can unveil the baby’s name,” explains Karvunidis. “If you have a fortune cookie and open it, everyone will know your name.”
And in the age of Pinterest, you know there are insane cake projects that might allow parents to craft their child’s initials inside a cake while still achieving the effect of slicing into a baked delicacy. The spectacle would generate oohs and aahs on its own.
4. Fandom Reveal Party
Broughal states, “I thought it would be great to make a reveal with whatever fandom you’re into.” If you are a fan of “Friends,” for instance, ask your pals what character your child will be. We are aware that some Chandler children are on the way. Could you be more eager for the birth of your child?
5. Diva Reveal Party
Broughal asks, “Which diva is your baby, Christina or Beyonce?” Consider karaoke, sweet sweets, and an opportunity for your friends and family to dress up. And let’s face it, once your child begins kicking you, you undoubtedly know whose spoiled brat he or she is channeling. Who is Bey? Mick Jagger? Who is Jonathan Van Ness? Cardi B? Consider the photo booth’s possibilities…
6. Zodiac Reveal Party
Your baby may not arrive exactly on your anticipated due date, but this estimate should be sufficient to ascertain the astrological sign of your child. The woo-woo theme of a zodiac reveals party demands a comprehensive birth chart activity and possibly a tarot card reading.
7. Birthstone Reveal Party
You can host a birthstone reveal party if you know your baby’s expected birth month (sorry, parents-to-be with due dates in the first or last days of the month). We need not enumerate the innovative options available to you for an April deadline. Howdy, diamond party!
8. Party to Uncover Parenting Style
On a more serious side, if your parents or close friends are more of the pink or blue sort, you may have a dinner party to discuss how you want to raise your child without adhering to these stereotypes.
Broughal explains, “We don’t want it to feel like you’re forcing something on your parents or in-laws.” Face-to-face, you can instead “discuss gender and the expectations surrounding how you’re parenting your child and how they should engage with your child.”
Although a baby shower is often the occasion for gift-giving, you can also request that attendees refrain from bringing stereotypically gendered items to a gender reveal. “Don’t say, ‘don’t bring pink,'” says Broughal. “Instead, say something like, ‘We invite you to bring rainbow-colored gifts.'”
For added protection against a room full of pink or blue, Broughal suggests being very deliberate with your wedding registry.
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