According to Google Trends, so-called "gender" reveal parties were non-existent prior to 2010. But by 2017 the search interest for these parties skyrocketed. While there are thousands of things one can do instead of a gender reveal party, parents all over are flocking to Pinterest to come up with the greatest way to reveal the sex of a fetus to friends, families, and internet strangers. Because, you see, this kind of rather unnecessary party must be amazing, and must be so loud and so original and so exciting that everyone ends up talking about it. And if you record it and put it on the internet, maybe it'll go viral and you can have your five minutes of internet fame.
I mean, have you seen the alligator-watermelon gender reveal? The wilder the better, I guess.
Listen, I totally get it. Having a baby is an incredibly exciting life event. Of course you want to celebrate this very special occasion. You and your partner have been waiting, trying, and, finally, a baby is on the way. But why do we need to have these superfluous displays? Sex reveal parties — because gender is a social construct, people, and a fetus (or a newborn, for that matter) absolutely knows nothing about expressing and/or performing gender —make no actual sense. In a world where society is finally acknowledging that gender is fluid, the rising popularity of these "reveal parties" seem almost suspicious, right?
And I must ask: how are these parties interesting to anyone else but the parents of the fetus being celebrated. Has our society morphed into its own reality show during which everyone's lives are suddenly so vitally important that we have to celebrate the genitals of a still-growing fetus? I sure hope not. In any case, there are plenty of other, way more interesting and/or important things you can do instead host a reveal party, like:
Tell People When They Ask
Here's a thought, albeit a controversial one: why not just keep this bit of news for yourself? Sure, some people may be curious as to the sex of your forming fetus, and if those people are interested enough to ask, and you feel like divulging that kind of information, tell them. Don't force all of your friends and family to come to your house to celebrate a fetus penis or a fetus vagina.
It may seem like people care about the sex of your baby, but they probably don't. They'll hear "what you're having," say something supportive (hopefully), then go on with their lives.
Donate & Sponsor
Have extra money burning a hole in your pocket? Why not donate to a charity of your choice? Sex reveal parties must cost hundreds of dollars, so why not just, I don't know, donate to charities that combat homelessness? Maybe sponsor a child? Sponsoring a child costs $38 a month and you will give a child in an impoverished county access to clean drinking water, education, proper nutrition, and safety. Instead of wasting money on pink or blue dust, you could provide a better life for someone else's child.
Understand That Gender & Sex Are Different
I guess "sex-reveal parties" don't sound as "proper" as gender reveal parties. But sex and gender aren't the same thing, people. And since the old school way of thinking about gender is still very much prevalent in our society, why are we continuing to blur the lines of distinction? I'd like to say this one more time, for the people in the back: sex "refers to biological differences; chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs," while gender "describes the characteristics that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine." So, when you have a so-called "gender" reveal party, you're basically just reveling how your child will align with cultural and societal norms.
Host A Baby Shower
What happened to the good old fashioned baby shower? Granted, those come with their own set of issues, but at least they serve somewhat of a purpose. Sure, no one wants to play yet another baby shower game, but baby showers can be kinda fun. Throw yourself a nice shower, invite your friends, have some food, chat, and play. Make it themed if you'd like, and go to town celebrating you.
Buy A Bunch Of Cakes & Eat Them Yourself
If you are craving some pink and blue cake, I suggest going to a local bakery, ordering a beautiful custom cake, picking it up a few days later, choosing your best silverware, and just decadently enjoying that cake all on your own. You could also share with your partner, I guess.
Watch '90s Toy Advertisements
Close your eyes and picture every '90s toy commercial. Go ahead. Do it. OK, now open your eyes. Toy commercials in the '90s and probably early 2000s perpetuated hyper-femininity and hyper-masculinity. The music, the colors, the actions of the kids in the commercials, were all about sex and not at all about the toy. You do realize just how ridiculous those commercials were, right? Sex reveal parties are basically those commercials in real life. They hyper-focus on sex, as if that is the most important attribute a person can have. You are molding your child's identity prior to their birth. Explain why?
Enroll Into Parenting Classes
Parenting classes are half the price and are way more useful than a sex reveal party. You may learn something that is helpful for raising children in general, despite their sex.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.