The Popularity of the Gender Reveal Party in the Gender Equality Era

While city streets fill up with protestors in pink hats holding passive aggressive poster board literature, Americans are simultaneously popping confetti balloons, slicing cakes and celebrating in backyards and event venues all across America at “gender reveal” parties to announce the sex of a baby on the way.

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Both events are made widely popular thanks to social media, with the share-and-like-ability and long lifespan of the content being a major motivator for why people even participate. Each in its own way is interesting and worthy of a hashtag, creative photo and virtual conversation among strangers or friends.

But the two together being [almost] as widely supported and popular as one another is a little perplexing. OK, maybe it’s not a 50/50 split, but there truly is no shortage of posts related to either topic on the internet. (By now you’ve probably seen the outrageously creative Rube Goldberg machine gender reveal that made headlines earlier this week.)

705,000: Google search results for “gender equality protests”

33,500,000: Google search results for “gender reveal ideas”

As a society and across the world, we’re working hard to celebrate and support individuals for whoever they personally identify themselves to be, and that stretches far beyond the traditional distinction of male or female. Within the past year, the first male Covergirl introduced himself the beauty world, an all-female flight crew made its inaugural trip to Saudi Arabia and the transgender military ban was lifted in the United States.

When you grasp the fundamental idea that we are all the same at the end of the day, human beings for better or for worse, it’s a pretty inspiring thought to support. That means removing the barriers between what’s “meant for” one gender over another, be it a children’s toy or a full-time occupation, and caring less about how one identifies themselves on the inside and physically displays it on the outside.

So, why do we announce the highly-anticipated gender reveal at a social event for all to see? Are we defining the future of today’s youth by an ultrasound? Or, are we simply excited and in need of an all-smiles celebration at a dark time in our nation’s history?

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Most everyone knows it’s all in good fun, the party, that is. Parents-to-be will shriek and shed tears whether the smoke bomb or creme-filled cupcake is pink or blue. Children will be loved throughout the various stages of life as they themselves choose the path that feels most comfortable.

So, in a devil’s advocate’s scenario (which this post is entirely meant to be), it raises the question whether a lavish gender celebration might be considered putting the cart before the horse. Yes, the odds are somewhat slim, but it’s something to think about.

But if you ask me? I’ll be saving it for the delivery room.


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