Tell me Gender Reveal Parties aren’t real.

by renegademama

We’ve talked about baby sprinkles and push presents. And you know, I thought I might actually die from the cuteness of a baby sprinkle, and on many levels the push present makes me want to jab myself in the eyes with rusty nails. Wow, sorry, that was more graphic than I anticipated. But at least, people, the baby sprinkle and push present make sense on some level.

It’s a fucked-up level, but still, it’s a level.

I mean it never makes real sense to call something a “sprinkle” instead of a “shower.” That shit’s just wrong. And I maintain that the best “push present” around is the human that actually exits the vagina post-pushing, however, the “gender reveal party” is some next-level shit.

First of all, if you can’t call it what it is, you shouldn’t be having it. It’s a SEX REVEAL PARTY. Gender is a social construction. In other words, the “gender” of your child won’t be determined until your kid decides if he/she is a girl or a boy or both or neither. But “sex reveal” party sounds weird. And we all know people who unleash a box of pink or blue balloons to signal the genitalia of their little miracle are totally not into weirdness.

Reason number 1 it’s the stupidest shit ever.

But I should back up. Readers of this blog may not know what the hell I’m talking about (which is, incidentally, why we’re lovers). Anyway, it’s this thing where parents reveal the sex of their kid to family and friends in a party. A PARTY. Like they invite a bunch of people over and exclaim (via some totally cute method found on Pinterest): Boy! Girl!.  And then everybody pretends to care.

I’ve heard parents will like cut into a cake and the filling is either pink or blue.

Ohmygod how cute. Hold me while I attempt to recover from the cuteness.

But now, things are changing! According to our trusty pal BabyCenter, “Cutting into a cake with pink or blue filling is so two years ago. A “gender reveal” extravaganza, on the other hand – complete with games, favors, and a Pinterest board? Now you’re talking!”

Oh god help us. Games. Yes, please. Let’s play games relating to the sex of your unborn baby.  Fascinating!

They continue: “The gender reveal party trend has exploded in the last year…Why the boom? The economic hard times may have something to do with it. ‘People are looking for reasons to celebrate.’” (more BabyCenter)

NO. No no no no no.

This is not it. This is not the reason people are throwing gender reveal parties. The reason people are throwing these parties is because they have become so materialistic and self-involved they fail to recognize the single fatal flaw with an event like this:

NOBODY CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO about whether your kid has a penis or vag.

Maybe your mom.

Nope. Nevermind. Nobody. Not even your mom. Even you mom doesn’t care as much as you do.

Those are some shitty odds, dude. And yet, it’s a fact. Truth. Written in stone. To illustrate, I made a graph.

 Picture1

This means you are asking a bunch of people to come over and celebrate a detail with absolutely no bearing on their lives. In the lives of other people, the sex of your kid deserves an “oh, cool,” a passing nod, a mention to their husband or wife “So and so’s having a boy! She’s totes bummed cause it’s her 4th boy, but whatevs.”

Yeah. Not sure what happened there but I felt it necessary.

You aren’t even celebrating the CHILD. You aren’t really even celebrating the sex of the child. Rather, you are celebrating YOURSELF. You’re like “Hey everybody! Come watch me learn something I care about even though you don’t!” Or, if the parents already know the sex (though the “hottest trend” is to have the doctor write the sex on a piece of paper and then it’s revealed at the party to the parents too! OMG HOW ADORABLE!”), then you’re asking people to take time out of their lives to celebrate a piece of information without any personal connection or meaning, and it’s even less interesting because they don’t even get to WATCH YOU give a shit.

“I command you to come to my house and celebrate nothing, because it means something to me!”

Yay! Fun! Balloons!

I see it as an excuse to buy shit and do adorable things with paper and cupcakes and mason jars. And that’s cool. I do it for my kids’ birthdays. But that’s kind of semi-logical because celebrating people’s LIVES makes sense. But celebrating their GENITALIA?

Nope.

It’s another commercialized invention just cute enough people buy into it.

“Need some ideas for your gender reveal party?” (Oh yes, please, all-consuming mindless materialistic America, give me some ideas!)

You can use a “fun theme!” like “pregnancy cravings (think pickles, ice cream, and potato chips) or ducks (hang up a “waddle it be” banner).”

PLEASE FUCKING SHOOT ME.

You should for sure ”Make those teams commit!…Ask everyone to wear either pink or blue, or provide gender-specific accessories, such as pink and blue bead necklaces, pins, leis, or temporary tattoos. One inspired couple gave out cardboard mustaches and lips on sticks.”

Make it stop. Please.

“My friend is going to make cake pops, but only one will have the colored center,” says one BabyCenter mom. A particularly creative idea comes from Tiffany: “We had a huge Easter egg hunt, and one egg had a slip of paper inside that said, ‘It’s a boy!'”

I just can’t.

Baby showers celebrate new life. People can relate to that. Mother blessings celebrate the transition to motherhood. People get that. Bridal showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties…these are ritual events signaling movement in life, new birth new growth new chapters. These events resonate with something in me, something that’s facing new moments too. Maybe I’ve been there. Maybe I’m waiting for it.

This nonsense? It’s celebrating nothing. It’s like the vacation party in the 1970s were Sue and Rick invite their 30 friends over to watch a slide show of their trip to the Grand Canyon, only in this scenario, all the guests act SUPER INTERESTED because duh! It’s baby stuff! Whee!

Also, do you have a shower too? If so, do you demand people to come over to your house TWICE to celebrate your offspring? I read about a woman who had a gender reveal party for her fourth child. Oh good lord.

Can you imagine how little interest there was in that event? Not only are you making me get excited about your FOURTH kid, you want me to celebrate its SEX?

Let’s examine a graph of people’s interest in your pregnancy based on the number of offspring, just to get a little perspective.

Picture3

 

Are humans really so out-of-touch they haven’t realized that everybody else is busy thinking about themselves and their lives, and if you’re gonna be like “Hey let’s celebrate me!” it better be for a decent reason?

I mean if you’re gonna drag my ass to your house and force me to wear a damn pink pumpkin (cause it’s October!), it better be a major life event (not a miniscule detail skirting a major life event).

Wait.

OMG. Are there people that enjoy this shit?

There are people that enjoy this shit.

There are. Aren’t there?

There are people that are like “Yay! Katie’s having her reveal this weekend! I’m so excited!”

I’ll never fit. I hate the world.

Now I know what some of you are like: “Oh come on, it’s just fun! Who cares? It’s a reason to celebrate! It’s one more reason to have fun and celebrate our babies! There’s no problem!”

Yeah, there is a problem. The problem is that it’s fucking stupid.

Why isn’t that enough?

Why isn’t the fact that it’s self-absorbed and inane sufficient reason to outlaw it all together?

Right. Because it’s just so cute. It’s just so cute and crafty and we all dig crafty cute shit! We’re women! We craft! We’re crafters! We like wearing summer dresses and giggling and celebrating our existence!

I’ll tell you what, harbingers of Satan wherever you are inventing crap like this, I’ll think of a few “creative” things you can do with that pink-filled cake pop, and then we’ll talk about my gender reveal party.

Mmmkay?

Cool.

 

more stuff I shouldn't have said out loud:

  • Dixiebelles

    I come here for the graphs.

    😉

    What the hell kind of shit is this? What happens if it turns out the ultrasound was wrong, and it’s a different sex when born? Does everyone get their money back? Or at least, their gifts??

    • melissa

      Seriously, right?

      I love surprises. I love the U/S pics. I love the newborn trivia — pounds, inches, APGARs. I don’t know why, but I do. I even kinda love the idea of biting into a cupcake and finding out of it’s pink or blue. Not proud of it, but there it is.

      But when I go to a baby shower and they are doubling down on the footballs or tiaras, I’m like hey, hold up. My nephew was supposed to be a niece. Did you get an amnio? Cuz even with an amnio, we could be dealing with ambiguous genitalia here. You might wanna see what you’re dealing with here before you get all invested in your future MVP. Like… personally, I’d recommend waiting until the kid tells you he likes football…

  • Sarah

    haha, love this! Thanks!

  • Courtney

    Love the graphs!!!!

  • Stephanie

    But tell me, though – is there free food? Because if there’s free food, it negates your entire argument.

    • autumn

      Yup there is at every one ive been to anyhow

  • monica

    I have zero problem with gender reveal parties. They aren’t asking for presents. If they are your friend why wouldnt you want to hang out for a bit eat some snacks and cake then go home? I don’t think I could have one cause if it was a boy I would cry. But we went to one and it was kinda cool with the anticipation and cheering.

    Push presents are kinda dumb. But I wouldn’t mind a camera.

    • Tina

      I think what is so sad about that is that parents-to-be automatically
      assume that the arrival of their child is as special to everybody else as it is to them. And that’s just bullshit. Sure, if my friend tells me she is expecting I’m gonna be happy for her, and a bit excited to meet the new person. But do I give a fuck what gender it’s going to be? Nuh-uh. It’s just the self-importance of people that gets me. And yes, the fact that you can’t know for sure, so there really is no point to it and it is annoying as hell. But that’s just my opinion. Gladly I don’t have any friends who would do this kind of party and I have never heard of it before either. Maybe it’s an American thing….

      • Rich

        Honey to share self joy with others is a blessing. It’s not self importance it’s sharing joy. If a persons own happyness can bring a smile on anothers face while providing great food and entertainment what part of that is annoying. Your comment was just bitter. & that’s just my opinion.

  • SummerLIly

    Ha! Totally agree!! Pure silliness…..We actually waited to find out the sex of our babies till the day they were born 🙂

  • Bran

    I love you and your fantastic graphs, dammit. That is all.

  • Shille

    Bitter much?!?!?

    • Heather

      You must have just sent out invitations for your gender party hu??.. My personal preference is a “ME” party. I don’t have to send out invitations to that party. It involves Vodka, Chocolate,…oh an ME! I hope I don’t sound too bitter…

    • Tina

      Why does that sound bitter to you? It’s just a rant about people’s silliness and self importance. Celebrate something that people actually care about.

    • Rich

      Honey to share self joy with others is a blessing. It’s not self importance it’s sharing joy. If a persons own happyness can bring a smile on anothers face while providing great food and entertainment what part of that is annoying. Your comment was just bitter. & that’s just my opinion.

    • Stephanie

      I have to agree with you on this and completely disagree with the writer of this article. I am planning on havig a co-Ed shower (so my husbands family who lives out of the country can all enjoy it with us) and my friends continuously ask me to throw a sex-reveal party instead.
      & If no one cares about the sex of the baby why is it the number 1 question people ask pregnant ladies! Evidently somebody wants to know. Soooo many of my coworkers have asked me to inform them when we find out so they can buy something cute.
      & how is it any more selfish than a regular baby shower. It’s the same fucking thing except here people at least get to have half a second of excitement as opposed to watching each other stuff cupcakes down their faces.

  • Mom

    Can I share a better kind of party? “closing of the baby factory” instead of a baby shower. complete with adult games and themes. no husbands or kids. thats a party I cn get behind.

    • Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife

      I can totally get behind this type of party! I *just* brought my husband home from the doctor’s office where they boarded up our baby factory this morning.

    • dixiebelle

      Good idea, Mom. Do you get a no-more-pushing present for that? Oh hang on, I never pushed either time anyway. Oooh. There must be a party idea in that one, too!

      Jennifer, I think he should get a party for that, and definitely a present! We can call it ‘The Snip’ party! You play Pull the Tail Off the Donkey, and have an Unlucky Dip, to see if you get a sperm or not.

  • heidi

    I started to read this and for some reason was not getting the concept of what you were talking about, but as it became clearer there was a lot of, “Oh God no”, “It can’t be”, and “No shit!”. But after this week of being a playground reject because I wasnt handing out my number and trying to make “mom friends”, I realize that indeed it must be true.

  • Claire

    I love you so much…

  • allison

    I’ve heard of people doing it as part of the baby shower, or just for close family who are already at your house for dinner anyway or whatever. Not my thing (on account of I didn’t give a fig about what genitalia my fetus had) but it seems cute and harmless, so whatever.

    But a party just for that does seem pretty bizarre.

  • Gail

    blerg… my SIL had one of these and we all smiled and nodded through it because she’d very shortly before been through a traumatic pregnancy loss. it was cute and all but we were all thinking the same thing.. “really?!”

    • premiumpotion

      That’s kind of rude. After a loss your going to mock her for having a gender reveal party. You probably have no idea what horror she has been threw, as family why wouldn’t it be a big deal for everyone?

  • Lindsay

    Thank you. You nailed it.

  • Nura

    Hmm…well it might be fun to crash the party doing something totally ridiculous like
    picking up a couple packs of vag or penis straws and popping them into people’s
    drinks. Wouldn’t it be fun if only just to see the looks on their “Cosmopolitan” reading
    faces. One could also disperse books related to gender as a social construct.

    • Kiki

      Ha! My friends, who are throwing me a reveal party, will totally have penis straws. For them, it’s just another excuse to party, and what kind of party is complete without penis straws??

    • Willow

      I LOVE this! I’m done reproducing, but if I EVER had another child, I would have a SEX reveal party and pass out penis or vagina themed party favors. Seriously.

  • Elizabeth

    I felt we were lucky enough to have a shower thrown for us. We also didn’t find out the sex of either of our kids until they were born. But all those extra parties with gifts? I would feel really guilty about having people give us so much.

  • Kristin P

    You are hilarious. I love you Janelle 🙂

  • Kate

    I think the clear moral of this story is that you should not be reading BabyCenter. Seriously, stop it.

    Also, people do seem to care about the sex of babies. My husband and I didn’t, so we did not find out the gender until the kid squirted out. And this really seemed to anger some people in our lives. They were like “But how will we know what to buy/make for you??!?” They, evidently, did give some shits.

    • Brina

      Yeah my grandma got mad at me because I refused to tell anyone my sons name until after he was born. She was mad cause she couldn’t get anything monogrammed. Really? So that it can only be for that one child? cause I would never end up having another, and I couldn’t possibly ever give it to a friend if I was done having kids. lol But if I ever have more kids, screw them, its a secret. Gender, name ideas, yup. even I wont know cause Ill just bring 3 different boy names and 3 girl names and make my decision at the hospital. Just like I did before. Besides.. I like green stuff. 😀

  • Laurel

    I love charts. Gotta start using more charts.

  • Amanda

    The only push present I wanted was a 6 pack of my favorite beer waiting for me when I got home from the hospital. I drank half a beer the second I got home and took he best nap ever.

    • Pam P

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL…….Love it! Only make mine a vodka.

  • Sara

    Wow. So many things wrong with the « gender reveal party »! First off, the echography is not even 100% right, so people might be « celebrating » the « wrong » sex… Second, most people don’t even care about a baby shower, let alone a gender reveal party! Third, it’s just a pathetic excuse to spend more money on baby stuff. And last but not least Fourth: it celebrates by giving blue or pink things according to the sex, but who decided that boys HAD to wear blue and girls HAD to wear pink??? I have a one-year-old girl, and I’m already sick of pink! Why can’t boys wear pink too? Why can’t girls wear blue? (Actually they can, but it seems, not in a baby shower or a gender reveal party!) I’m so sick of those roles : girls are calm and snobby, boys are dynamic and messy… Why can’t they be whatever they want to be???

  • A Pleasant House

    I’ve seen this done with some class. My niece had her oldest daughter read the doctors determination while being filmed by the father. No one- not even the parents- knew the sex of the baby. ANywho- they filmed it and posted to FB for all family/friends to see. It really was cute- and no party was had.

  • Jennifer B. / Brooklyn

    “…harbingers of Satan wherever you are inventing crap like this…” I think I just swallowed my tongue. And I love you. Just thought you should know.

  • Mel

    Wow just realised what a negative nasty person you are, if this is what professional writing looks like nowadays, I’ll pass thanks

    • Ansley

      I think you forgot to read the note right below LEAVE A COMMENT….

    • Tina

      Why is she nasty for stating her opinion? This is her blog and she writes about things that are important to her/annoy her/whatever she likes. No? And as you can see, a lot of readers agree with her. If you don’t, you’re entitled to share your opinion, but to resort to name-calling is just immature.

      • Erin

        I think Mel had a party and no one came.

  • Heather Thorkelson

    Genius. Back when I worked in big pharma (even writing that makes me barf in my mouth a little) my “colleagues” used to do shit like this all the time. I felt like the blackest sheep in the universe and I hated most of the people I worked with because of exactly what you said: SOOOO far up their own asses. And too much money to waste. Sigh. I come for the graphs Janelle, and I stay for the amazingness.

  • melissa

    There’s one thing I think you’ve got a bit wrong, especially for a first baby. The whole papercraft Pinterest party thing is not really my scene (I look at them and think “How cute” and then I think “But God, what a waste of money.”), but I don’t think they’re celebrating nothing.

    Usually by the time you find out the sex, the baby still isn’t quite real. The pregnancy may be all too real, but you may or may not be feeling the baby move, and the fact that there will be a new person, with their own face, their own voice and laugh and way of relating to the world, is still very theoretical. And then you find out the hazy skeleton you saw at 12 weeks is male or female, and it becomes he or she, one degree closer to being a real person.

    Before all this technology, the child was born and it was endowed with a face, a voice, a temperament, a sex, and a name all at once. Now we can parcel out personhood little bits at a time. Under the selfies and Cricut bows and cake pops, I think that’s what these parties are celebrating.

  • Tanya

    You’re thoughts are a breath of fresh air time and time again. I have 2 kids and wasn’t even that big of a fan of my own baby showers. Baby/bridal showers (mine or someone else’s) have just never been all that exciting to me. So a “Gender Reveal” party? I think I’ll pass.

  • Katerina

    I know somebody who did one of these for her pregnancy – complete with a gender reveal cake. Problem is, she got the yellow cake mix instead of white, so when she added the blue dye…bright green cake fail. I didn’t attend the party, but the pictures on FB spawned comments like “oh, a frog, you must be so happy” and “congrats on your new garden hose”. It was kind of awesome.

  • Heather @betamother

    COULDN’T AGREE MORE! Your blog is now officially my favourite on the planet. A bullshit free zone where you can rant my rants on my behalf and I sit nodding and shouting ‘HALLELUJAH’ at the end of every paragraph.

    Thank you for your wisdom and your swear words and your repulsion at idiocy and self involved twattery but also especially for your graphs.

    X

  • Katie

    Janelle, I have to say. I’m 23 and won’t be having kids for a while, but I started reading parenting blogs because I couldn’t believe this whole image you get of parenthood these days- moms hand-sewing and selling burpees on etsy with their abundant spare time, and kids that have a thousand extra circular activities and are raised speaking 3 languages. I started reading your blog because you are such a fucking badass with your words, and I’m terrified that by having kids I’ll be forced into a country club box I can never escape from. But you and your graphs have made me realize I’ll never become that person, because I’m not a fucking moron. So thank you. I should, however, point out that I continue to read your blog in part because the comments on your posts are the best shit ever. To all my fellow commenters, I love you. I either read irrational posts by those who feel you’ve assaulted their love of cake pops and matching family ‘sunday best’ attire, great posts by people that support you and are just downright awesome, or rational arguments for the things you despise that change my view to be less short-sighted.

    Either way, thank you, I can’t wait to one day be a parent and wreck those kids with a (thankfully not so rare) cake pop and perfect lunch-less upbringing.

  • Meagan

    Ok, I’m having twins which seems to make people way more interested in the sex. Our neighbor came out of her house yesterday to see if we knew what we were having yet. The ladies at the grocery store are all excited too. Our reveal party is next weekend. My cousin is throwing it for us. I’m not a self-absorbed douche bag am I?

  • Kiki

    I understand your ravings about people going overboard with the self-importance thing. . . but I have to say, my friends are WAY more excited than me to know the sex of my baby (and not because they want to give me footballs or tiaras at my shower- I’ve got one friend working on a tutu and one wants to give he/she karate lessons, and both will continue no matter what sex we pop out). We love excuses to get together and do potluck brunches, and it’s the same close group of friends/family that I always tell things to first, so why not add an element of surprise and excitement to a get-together we’d be having anyway? That way everyone finds out at the same time, and not via text message or facebook. Being surprised at delivery is fun for some people, but those who find out the sex report feeling an additional “closeness” and “realness” to their pregnancy. Who knows. But it’s still fun. 🙂

    • missysahib

      Agreed. I can completely understand why the poster feels the way she does about gender reveal parties. My husband and I decided to go ahead and procreate, after much deliberation, and shortly after I got prego, I had a pretty epic breakdown thinking I might have made the worst decision of my life. It was agonizing and difficult and terrifying, and I felt like the scum of the earth for feeling that way after we had so carefully weighed our options and so consciously made this choice. After weighing all my options, I realized that I wasn’t turning this ship around. I had created this little life, and it was coming. So what is left to do, but to embrace it, and try to find joy in this incredibly complex life-altering choice. Along the way, I found comfort, solace, even some smiles and moments of joy in little things. The first ultrasound where my husband saw our baby moving, and the look on his face – how it changed him forever in that one second. I splurged on cute maternity clothes because I knew I was going to get epically fat. (My family are fatties – and it blows.) And then the idea of a gender reveal party came along – and I don’t know. Maybe I AM self-absorbed. Except I am the type of person who AGONIZED about having our wedding because I didn’t want to make people feel obligated and inconvenienced. But something about the gender reveal party (which we DID clarify to people was a sex reveal party – because gender definitely IS something our CHILD will decide, regardless of their genitalia.) . . . anyway- something about it – sounded fun. And you know, after 6 weeks of nausea, bloating and 4 months of anxiety and doctors appointments, we NEEDED some fun. Because having a child – I mean good God could I make more of understatement here to the choir who already knows? – is INSANELY TERRIFYING!!!! And from the very start, when you are puking, and bloated and hormonal – it sucks in MANY ways. But you know what didn’t suck? Our gender (sex) reveal party. Dare I say it? It was a blast. 50 people came to a local pizza joint. This was in rural Alaska – our friends are bush pilots and seriously badass mountaineers for the most part. They aren’t the type to do ANYTHING because they are obligated. But they showed up with bells one. They all had their theories about what I was having. They all hugged me and my husband. They LOVE us. They were excited for us becoming parents. It was, for them, just a great excuse to have pizza, and some laughs. They split the room into team boy and team girl – whoever won got all their pizzas paid for. There was cheering, and shouting – for perhaps the first time in my pregnancy, I felt . . . EXCITED. Not just scared. Not just fat. Excited. Because you know what? Making a life from scratch – that shit is INSANE. But it is also exciting. And some parts of it should be fun. I have the video of the moment we cut into our gender reveal cake. (Chocolate inside for a boy – raspberry for a girl) – and the cheering is SO loud. Not because people give a shit about the sex of our baby. They don’t. But because they give a shit about us. And we are lucky they do. And we go to their kids birthday parties and recitals. And we bring food when their babies are born. And we call to check on their moms when they are dying of cancer, and they know our couch is theirs whenever they are in town. For us, our gender reveal party was partly for me – to get my head around the fact that I had a person, a BOY, a human, inside my body, waiting to begin his life. And I was his mom. And that some of that should be fun. Or we should try to make it fun anyway. It was partly an excuse to just get out of our heads – and have a pizza party with our friends. Those who didn’t care that much – didn’t show up. And we weren’t offended. We didn’t ask for presents. (Most people don’t ask for gifts for these parties.) It was purely, entirely, for the fun of guessing/gambling – and sharing a surprise. People were actually, truly honored that we shared it with them. Our friends are not BS’ers. They had fun. All that being said – in the end – yeah I think lots of people do lots of things because they are self-absorbed and vain and materialistic. These same people have weddings for the wrong reasons, and yada yada yada. But I think, as with oh – everything in life – the context of the event has to do with the character of the people having the event, and those who care about them. I think the poster’s point is well-taken, that before you go throwing a party about your unborn child – think about WHY you are doing it – and make sure you are considering your family and guests and their feelings. But overall – I think the rule is . . . some people DO give a crap about this kind of thing. Some people DO enjoy parties for silly reasons. (I mean, I go to stupid parties all the time – housewarming parties – what is THAT about? – Football parties. Like I CARE.) – But we go, or don’t go, depending on whether or not we want to hang out with the people there – and whether or not we want to have a beer and some pizza with our friends. I don’t think gender reveal parties are any more stupid or awesome than any other kind of celebration. But if someone is trying to deal with the absolute horrific and utter shock and awe of pregnancy – and they want to take some time out to just lose themselves in something cutesy and silly . . . just to have a moment of pure, squigdy baby joy in the midst of the existential crisis that is procreating . . . I mean. Hell. Go on girl. Do your thing. And if I feel up to it, and you are someone I’ll love. I’ll be there. And I’ll be happy for you.

      • Ellen

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I especially agree with your perspective that parties with friends are fun and these reveal parties are more about celebrating the parents than the genitalia. My first reaction when I heard about this concept, was in line with the post, “seriously?! How cheesy!”, but I had a nagging sense of guilt for my judgement and now I realize why. Of course any party, even one for a “legitimate ” reason can be really cheesy or not. I’m going to a Super Bowl party in a couple weeks, not because I care about the game but because I care about the people that will be there.

  • lisaeggs

    I think it would be really fun if you threw one of these parties and filled the cake with orange filling or something and then provide no explanation.

    • wrinkleyold

      Or lavender.

  • Michaela

    Not to mention the not insignificant number of intersex babies born every year with ambiguous genitalia (something an ultra sound cannot easily/at all spot). How dumb would you feel when announcing ‘actually we got a bit of both and now it’s time for some big decisions, broadening of the mind and/or surgery’… Just saying…

  • Barb

    I can’t get over that these parties are incorrectly called “GENDER” reveal parties. That fact alone enrages me to the point where I would opt not to attend one, let alone have one. IT’S WRONG. I’d like to throw a party that explains to people what they really mean when they say “gender” and not “sex”.

  • Laura

    Gender vs. sex–one of my biggest pest peeves ever. Thanks!!!

  • Willow

    I love everything about this, but I ESPECIALLY love that you made sure to clarify that it is actually a SEX reveal party! Thank you for this. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when people ask if so and so is going to/plans to/wants to find out the “gender” of the child. Um no…you’re finding out if the kid has a penis or a vagina…that’s about all. The gender will be determined by a number of factors over the years. Although, sadly, in many instances it will be the parents and society shaping that gender and deciding for the child…but I digress. Ihat’s another rant for another comment 🙂

    I had a SEX reveal party for both of my children…it was the same day and time that each child exited my body 🙂

    • Emily

      I’m beginning to think that we could give a little back to the world–just a little je ne sais quois–if we could convince people to stop calling it a “gender reveal party” and start calling it a “SEX REVELATION.” Or possibly “sex revelry.” “We’re having a baby! We hope you’ll join us to find out if we’re having future prom queen Kaeliey or little quarterback Jaxtyn. The sex revelry will begin at 2:30 and there will be games!”

      As for me, I have a mild case of BabyCenter poisoning and did consider incorporating a sex-reveal element into our baby shower, which (and this is important) was going to be a very small family-only get-together. I had heard a cute idea and thought that, since my mom wouldn’t have been at the ultrasound with us, it would be a way for her to find out at the same time that we did. Even so, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, because I couldn’t picture how it would go and not just be 100% awkward and probably a little anti-climactic. I do, however, totally support celebrating with close friends and family in any way that will be enjoyed, so if it’s going to be fun, who can complain? But it is weird that it’s becoming yet another element in the “Preparing for your New Arrival–Sponsored by Babies R Us” that is how people think about childbirth these days, along with the push presents and Pinterest-perfect nurseries that all look exactly the goddamn same. (None of which are made with colors to stimulate babies’ vision or capture their interest, or spaces for them to read and paint and make messes with Playdoh! But that’s my soapbox to stand on, somewhere else.)

  • wrinkleyold

    Oh for goodness sake, I’m too Danged old to read this blog, I almost had a heart attack laughing. Definitely a Depends moment.

  • Steffers

    OMG

  • Steffers

    OMG I love you! I have my newest babe (#4!!!) snoozin’ in my lap. I’m about to pee from laughing & am yet again reminded that I should have done some kegels. We should have had a party to announce that we were expecting, just so we could have recorded the facial expressions and hilarious comments of our friends and fam. No shower for us, no sex reveal, not even a stupid frickin push present (thank gawd!). We are having a Ba-By-Que now that the weather has cooled down. Stop rolling your eyes! It’s just an excuse to have a party, eat some yummy food & have some drinks with friends. No cute party favors or pinterest decorations here. (Insert “Ain’t nobody got time fo that”) Seriously, bbq, paper plates and some coolers full of beer.

  • Pam

    Yup, it is America and people can do what they want to reveal pretty much whatever they want. I am wondering why it bothers you so much? Sounds like foul mouth bitter dribble.

  • Bianca

    Oh Janelle, you might be my favorite person ever.

  • Jessica

    I honestly think this blog is a bit ignorant. You do realize that some people have big families and they want to celebrate with the parents? I never had a gender reveal party but my cousin did, and all of our family was invited. She didn’t ask for presents or anything like that, she wanted to share her happiness with everyone else. It’s a party. So everyone can get together and be happy together.

  • Becky

    I didnt even know this existed – but when we decided we would find out the sex of the baby we wanted to have a “get together ” and tell people. This involves a bit of food and drink- no presents and no cakes!! I don’t think that is being up your ass – its an excuse to have a party and get friends together!! I’d gathered there would be people out there that would go over the top!! Also I rather a sex reveal party over a baby shower any day! Baby shower is an excuse for getting presents in my eyes!!

  • Lara

    The other thing that really bothers me about this whole gender reveal build-up is that it completely overlooks that you just had an anatomy scan and that your baby is (presumably, hopefully) healthy. If you’re having a party at all, it should be OH MY GOD THANK GOD THIS BABY HAS TEN FINGERS AND TEN TOES AND A LIVER, and oh it has a penis, too. But so many people nowadays just ASSUME they are having a healthy baby, and that it’s the sex of the baby that is the purpose of the 20-week ultrasound.

    I admit that I was excited to find out the sex of my baby, but it was secondary to the complete relief I felt that my baby appeared healthy.

    • KatieBeans

      I actually had my anatomy scan AFTER the gender reveal get together. I wanted time to celebrate in case my twins had something wrong with them.

  • Adri

    Thank you, I was starting to think that I was just a big party pooper because I didn’t understand the reveal party trend. It seriously would just never have occurred to me to make this into an event. For real, no one cares as much about this as much as me, my husband, and the grandparents. I’m already uncomfortable with the pink pretty princess vs. blue trucks and footballs dynamic. When did we all go back to the 1950s? Also I didnt know about push presents. WTF?

  • Anne

    I think it’s fine and fun to throw a gender reveal party… but I don’t think people should expect presents!!! I think at this kind of event, it is more like, a stag. but with pink or blue cupcakes.

    🙂

  • Jamie

    I find this post extremely offensive and judgemental. First of all, If someone wants to throw a Party to celebrate what gender their baby is, They should. Who are you to be so judgemental. Having a gender reveal party is not hurting anyone. My husband and I struggled for many years to have a baby. I endured Countless operations, procedures, and 3 rounds of IVF to conceive. There was a time my doctors told me I would never get pregnant and become a mother. Now that I am pregnant, I want to celebrate every moment! We are having a Gender reveal Party! I guess I am one of those stupid, self centered, Fucked up people, right? B/c After all, I want celebrate something that most people take advantage of. I feel so Lucky to be pregnant b/c it almost did not happen for me. Gender reveal parties consist of you and close friends and family getting together to eat, drink, play games, win prizes, and talk about old times together, etc… You do not bring gifts, you get to eat for free, drink for free, and celebrate life! what is wrong with that?? I think you are disgusting and way too judgemental about the small things in life. If you don’t like the idea of having gender reveal party then don’t go to one or have one. You probably think you are so cool b/c you think you keep it “real” but the reality is you don’t have a clue. Mind your business! and stop complaining about things that don’t concern you.

    • Kaitlyn

      I completely agree with you. My husband and I have tried for years with nothing and now we have a little one on the way and everyone around us was probably more excited than we were. I was/am terrified because I’m epileptic, but we wanted a family and now we have one. Or will have one. We aren’t doing a big party or anything. My husband will be coming home from a deployment a few days before we will find out. I actually plan on finding out and making something for him and our parents that will tell everyone.

    • Emma

      I know this comment is old, but I have to say something. I have been unable to conceive for years and years, and I know how really hard it is. That said, I don’t think getting pregnant entitles anyone to become a pregzilla (like a bridezilla, get it?) and start acting like the world revolves around them. No matter what struggles we have been through to get there, I assure you, no one cares as much as you do. We, and by we, I probably mean Babycenter, have created a monster. Women have been having babies for a long, long time. Women have been infertile and struggled to conceive for a long, long time. It’s special for us and our families when a new life is born, but people need to stop dragging everyone else into it. Go ahead and have a celebration with your family, no one begrudges you that. It’s the over-the-top, all-about-me bullshit that needs to stop. I’m not trying to sound nasty, I just don’t see how being pregnant for the fifth time, or struggling to conceive for years, or anything in between, entitles anyone to this sort of narcicssistic rubbish.

  • Eleni

    Call me old-fashioned, but I know of another name for a “gender reveal party” – it’s called birth.

  • Yvette Williams

    My brother and his wife are doing this for their second child and I was like, “What? No, don’t invite me to that shit!” But his wife already thinks that everything is about her and she is so damn wonderful and breaks down anytime things don’t go her way. I want to share this to my Facebook so bad but she might have a tantrum if she realizes that people aren’t really interested in the sex of her second child. Don’t get me wrong I am curious about what they are having, but thought the news would be in the form of a text. I mean that’s how I found out she was pregnant. Now I gotta see if I can arrange to be working that night as to avoid it. Please shoot me now!

  • KatieBeans

    the only people who cared were the grandparents for us… so we made a game for them. and you know what, everyone else was super happy to NOT be invited. It was fun but I can’t see inviting a bunch of people to it

  • Elmer

    Fuck. Shit. Asshole. Bitch. There. Now I’ve said everything the author of this blog did. Terrible. Next time you want people to take you seriously- grow up. Write like an adult.

    • renegademama

      I made a graph of the “number of shits people give about the sex of your baby” and you think I’m trying to be taken seriously? Odd. Odd indeed.

      • illnevertell

        I don’t think that person knows the difference between a news article and a blog. Fuck off, we say what we want on our goddamn blogs!

  • RLNOOK

    My brother and his wife are having one and I had to search the internet to see if someone felt the same way I did or I truly am a miserable asshole. Thank you for validating how ridiculous a party this is.

    However its not shocking as my brother and his wife love to have charity events I mean gender party I mean engagement parties……

  • Gillian

    thanks for the laugh. this is the first time I’ve read your blog, and I came across it googling “are gender reveal parties a real thing or did Pinterest make them up?” Pretty sure it is the latter.

    Also I can’t post questions like that on facebook because my cousin who just had the blue-frosting-inside-the-cake-party will be offended. So yeah. Thanks for the graph. Keep writing & I’ll keep reading.

  • Erin

    Thinking I was alone in how I felt about gender reveal parties, I desperately did a “I hate gender reveal parties” search on Google, and this appeared on the top of the list.

    Thank you for existing.

  • Samantha

    bitter much? get a life. My family is as excited if not MORE excited to find out about the baby’s sexbecause of what I’ve been through to have my baby. Get your facts straight because not every family is sorry like the apparent people surrounding you. Gender reveal pairs don’t include gifts unless YOU’RE self centered and usually you are served food and beverage. Don’t like it that’s your problem but don’t bash the people who give a shit about their family and milestones.

  • Ed

    Sorry – but I have a penis so does that automatically qualify me as a dick?!?! Enjoyed the article. You found a way to inject humor in a rather mindless self-absorbed reason for a gathering. It’s exciting for the mother and father to-be. Or at least you hope that the circumstance is such. As it should be. We should celebrate life and showers should be after the birth – but that’s just me and that’s what makes the world go round. But just the idea of a reveal party is so commercial and self-absorbed and I am surprised that they did not come up with an even more politically correct label seeing how we MUST be careful these days not to offend anyone in any way. Your article seems to create at least a little balance in a society that is going off the deep end.

  • illnevertell

    Um. Wow. I hate kids and think baby showers are dumb as fuck too, but if you really didn’t give two shits, I don’t think you’d write quite such a long post about it. I don’t think you should attend baby showers. Ever. Regardless of theme.

  • Jennifer

    I’m throwing one for my friend,my idea. Her guest list is family and few close friends. See, were all great friends and truly excited for them and instead of taking a picture of a pic of your ultrasound and writing on fb,that’s tacky. I’m sorry your friends suck or maybe its just you but I will be in waiting room while mom and dad get 20 week u/s and when they tell you. The Dr isn’t telling. He’s writing it down ,in an envelope and only I will know. Were having s nice BBQ with everyone and buying a gender reveal “pinata”. Instead of batting at it, she (mom)will pull the string(its above her head,and pink or blue confetti will pour down on her. Its sad that you think its stupid and noone Cates what they are having. Most of us have been friends dice 6th grade. We are all,through the roof,excited for them and to find out what they are having. It would be MAYBE diff if parents knew and had a party but this is a way,since we all won’t fit into the u/s too.and pictures go in baby book and something mom and dad will never forget.Telling people on fb is tacky and stupid. We all just have truly caring friends THAT HONRSTLY DO CARE. Sorry you don’t.

  • Del

    I personally think this is a very bitter, and closed-minded outlook. Not everyone who does a party like this is just out to party for no freakin’ reason, or just to get gifts.

    I am currently pregnant with my 3rd kiddo (yes, we planned it, and yes the factory will be closed after this one,) and we are also doing a reveal party. Only for our close family and friends (who actually DO care about the gender of our baby, and bug me daily about the topic).

    We are doing this as a fun and unique way to celebrate the occasion without actually doing another baby shower. Even though my last kiddo was a boy a shower was still thrown for me even though I (personally) didn’t see the need since I already had one boy. So, it would be even MORE ridiculous to have another shower if this 3rd baby ends up being yet another boy. Hence, a reveal party (because yes, I have not had myself a good party in a while for any reason, and it will be small so I don’t give a crap). Not to mention those who are asking us for gift ideas I tell them only practical items (ya know…useful shit like diapers and wipes,) but totally optional because I don’t care about gifts…I just want my favorite people there to celebrate with me. I don’t see how that is a crime, and it just goes to prove that not everyone does it to have an extra party, or to ask for gifts just for the hell of it.

    Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion on the matter, but please keep in mind that not everyone who has these parties are not in it for the extra gifts, or attention. Some of us have people in our lives who actually care about this aspect of having a baby so why not have fun with it? i am sorry you feel so cynical and bitter about something that was intended to be fun; not to mention many of the moms I know who have done them (even for their 1st babies,) do it as a substitute for a baby shower. There ARE ways to do these kinds of events tastefully, but this post here just really focuses on everything negative about it.

  • Lor

    OMG I had such a laugh… Thank you so much. Nobody does this in France yet but I’m sure it will happen soon enough (courtesy of Pinterest). And what about the GAMES with statistics etc. about the friends guessing etc. HOW PATHETIC!!

  • rachel

    gender reveal party= money making business. And they wonder why babies are so expensive. The baby does not need it but hey mom go ahead and spend that money so we can cheer with you plus your helping our economy

  • Mikaela Seronello

    Janelle –

    We went to high school together. You were outstanding then, and now that I’m grown and know more about all that I don’t know, you’re even more outstanding. I’ve been reading your stuff here and there and its just brilliant. I was inspired to leave a comment this time because the graphics on this post literally caused me to laugh so hard I cried. Keep on keepin on lady. 🙂

    Love, Mikaela Seronello (formerly Blasser)

  • Tabby

    Wow you must be the most boring person on earth. Im actually having a gender reviel party in 2 weeks. And #1 everyone in my family and my spouse family is very excited to see if its a boy or a girl. We have been guessing for months now. Secondly any excuse to have my loved ones over for a party and a bbq is a good excuse for me. You may not realize but being pregnant during the funnest time of year can get boring. While everyone is out doing activities you can not do any little thing to look forward to to make the time go faster is a blessing
    Idk about you but when my friends and family get together we have fun. There are no gifts involved in a revel party so how can you say ppl who throw them are materialist? Your just a stick in the mud.

  • kas

    OK everybody has their own opinions on baby showers and stuff but why do you feel the need to come online and write this??!!!! What’s wrong with throwing a party for baby’s or reveal the gender of a baby in a special way. There’s a lot of hate and ugly in the world and it starts with people like you judging others for what they like to do. If its not hurting anybody then why do you care??? You seem like a hateful person for people that just wanna have fun. Did your mom throw one for you??? If you don’t like the idea or having fun then go lock yourself in your home and don’t come out if your gonna be a jerk about it.

  • AK

    I have to say, although I think the take on this is slightly negative (because I do actually care about finding out the sex of my good friends’ babies), I do completely agree about the narcissism, utter ridiculousness, and just pure douche-baggery that is a “gender-reveal party.” You are not that important, why should I be subjected to you throwing a special event just to inform us what sex your baby is? Whatever happened to just calling or sending a text message? I just think it is over the top self righteousness, and another dumb excuse to throw a cute party and waste more time and money (thank you Pinterest and Instagram, among other social media sites). Then I’m an asshole if I express how I feel about these things and don’t want to go. People will accuse you of “not wanting to celebrate life,” which is absolutely not the case. I just don’t feel the need to “celebrate life” in such a sanctimonious manner.

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    Wednesday, 29 January, 2014

    […] baby showers. Although I find it entertaining to read cynical (and hilarious) blog posts about why these parties are evil and don’t really consider myself a trend-abiding gal, I harbor no ill thoughts toward […]