Mom Who Started The Gender Reveal Party Trend Now Has Second Thoughts

by Leah Groth
Originally Published: 
Launa Penza

‘PLOT TWIST, the world’s first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!’

Gender reveal parties have become a social phenomenon — and a controversial one — over the last decade. While many parents are super into the idea of inviting all of their friends and family over to pop some balloons filled with pink or blue confetti, cutting into a cake or smashing a piñata, some people think they are a total waste of time and energy. Others are opposed to focusing on gender at all, as it perpetuates gender stereotypes and parents should be happy with whatever baby pops out anyway.

Mom and writer Jenna Karvunidis basically “invented” these celebrations back in 2008, when she was pregnant with baby number one. Over the years, as the tradition has come under fire, she defended parents for having them.

Cut to 2019. She has changed her mind about gender reveal parties in a major way, thanks to the child who inspired them. During the writer’s own 2008 party, she learned she was having a daughter she went on to name Bee. Over a decade after the pink confetti flew, Karvunidis has revealed that her first-born is wearing suits and expressing herself in a gender-fluid manner.

“A weird thing came up on Twitter, so I figured I’d share here. Someone remembered it was me who ‘invented’ the gender reveal party,” she wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. “I had written about my party on my blog and a parenting forum in July 2008. It was picked up & and an interview with me was published in The Bump magazine and the idea kinda spread from there. I’ve got the article framed!”

She went on to say that since then she has “felt a lot of mixed feelings” about her “random contribution to the culture.” “It just exploded into crazy after that. Literally – guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby,” she continued.

“Who cares what gender the baby is?” she added. “I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019 and didn’t know what we know now ― that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.”

She then reveals her daughter is the one who helped open her mind to not placing so much emphasis on gender (or sex, really, since that’s all you’re technically celebrating when the baby is in utero — just genitalia).

“PLOT TWIST, the world’s first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!”

Karvunidis explains that her 10-year-old’s exploration of nonbinary expressions of gender, has also been an educational experience for her. “I’m letting her lead me,” Karvunidis said. “She has her opinions about there being many genders, and she is informing me about things. She was biologically born a female, and she is still ‘she’ and ‘her’ and says she’s a girl, but she is still doing things her way.”

People are loving this moment in social awareness, and rightfully so. After all, it says so much about how far we have come in just a decade.

Karvunidis has been getting so much love and support from all, and she is all for it. “The reaction has been hugely positive!” she tells ScaryMommy. “I’m so glad people are feeling heard and seen by what I said. We need more acceptance of all the varied people in our community. The fact so much attention and meaning is being put on just a girl in a suit shows how rigid the norms are. Break them!”

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