To Reveal, or Not to Reveal

Gender reveals

Check out any social media platform, and you are likely to see someone’s gender reveal. You might see balloon pops, smoke bombs, or a dog rushing in with a shirt. You might even find someone having a gender reveal for their dog.

Yes, people have their dogs announce what genders the puppies will be.

It’s a weird world.

But not everyone is charmed by the idea of parents announcing their baby’s sex. There are those in that world that want to rain on the gender reveal parade. Yes, there are many who tell parents that gender reveals are unnecessary, or even harmful to the child. Before making a decision either way, it’s important to understand why both sides take their positions.

Anti-Gender Reveal

Yes, there is a growing online group that encourages parents to stop the gender reveal celebration. Not only do they tell parents not to have the party, but they also encourage friends and family to stay away from such celebrations. Why?

There are several reasons

Gender Bias

The first and most obvious reason given for stopping the gender reveal tradition is that gender can be fluid. Approximately one in every two thousand babies is born intersex, with genital mutations that make it difficult to determine the gender of the child. In addition, even those children born with typical genitals might feel that they are other or neutral gendered. Therefore, according to this camp, have a gender reveal is pushing the child into a mold. The thought is that gender stereotyping starts early. The fact that your child may appear to be one gender or another might not be the reality they grow into. The thought that you might be celebrating the wrong sex is disturbing to some people

Social Media Culture

Gender reveal critics often cite the fact that many gender reveal parties end up being social media events. That the party itself feeds a culture that tries to “sugar coat” or manipulate others. It may encourage parents to try to “one up” the next party so that their gender reveal video gets more “likes than the next one.

Danger

Along with the hype surrounding gender reveals is the fact that there is real risk involved in some hare-brained ideas. One couple announced the gender of their child with a live alligator. Another couple tried to announce the gender of their child by shooting an explosive target in an empty field. Unfortunately, the grass was very dry, and they wound up starting a wildfire that caused over eight million dollars’ worth of damage. People have been injured or even killed when home made “fireworks” were more powerful than expected. So, does all that mean that you shouldn’t have a gender reveal party?

Not at all.

When it comes to danger, use common sense, as you would at any gathering. Instead of trying to come up with some crazy, or dangerous way to announce the gender, be creative in how you present the information rather than what you use. If you use smoke bombs or sparklers, make sure to purchase them from a reputable source and read the instructions carefully before using them. Keep guests away from anything that might be explosive. Limit or exclude alcohol from the party to make sure that all your guests can safely participate.

That should be your goal at any gender reveal party: to share your joy with your guests. Whether you choose to share the news on social media or not, make sure that your close family and friends are your priority. After all, this is a party for a new little person, not a way to earn extra money on YouTube.

But that person is really very little. While he or she might be able to hear, she won’t know that you are celebrating her life with pink. He doesn’t even know what color is, so blue balloons won’t mean a thing to him either. Gender stereotyping just isn’t a problem for a fetus.

You’ve got years to get to know your child’s personality and preferences before you even have to consider social gender. If gender neutrality is an important factor in raising your child, a reveal party isn’t an impediment. Just because you announce the gender with pink balloons doesn’t mean you can’t design a nursery in yellow and green.

Ultimately, the question as to whether or not you have a gender reveal party is up to you. Pregnancy isn’t easy. There are physical and hormonal changes that can wreak havoc on your body, mind and spirit. Taking any chance to celebrate with family and friends is not only a welcome distraction, but can be a very healthy way to get support and love.

Not only that, but most gender reveals aren’t just about the mom. Most include the dad as well. So it usually means that men and women attend the party. This doesn’t just support Mom, but helps Dad recognize that he has a support for the changes in his life as well. But it is important to recognize that some people don’t want to support your decision. Don’t let this get you down. Listen to their reasons, but don’t let them try to make you feel guilty for celebrating your baby. Instead, accept these non-guests for who they are. As your children grow, teaching them to accept everyone, including themselves, as wonderful individual people is the most important thing you can pass on to them.