I’ve noticed a recent trend for elaborate gender reveals, and I have a confession:
I can’t stand them.
I’m not talking about the videos of people telling their kids about their new baby brother or sister; that’s quite cute, even if it involves a pink or blue cake (as long as the cake gets eaten, that’s fine. Do not get me started on cake smashes, please – suffice to say I do not endorse cake wastage) and especially when it involves the child being comically enraged that their sibling will be the wrong gender. I’m evil, I accept that.
I’ve (obviously) never been to a gender reveal party.
It seems like an odd concept to me, but there is apparently a whole business sector dedicated to helping you to throw a party, selling everything from balloons to scratchcards so that your nearest and dearest can find out whether you’re expecting a Martha or an Arthur, a Doris or a Morris, an Maeve or a Dave (it’s a shame I never had twins really, my rhyming names have gone to waste). But I’m not really referring to those. A little self-indulgent perhaps, but I guess if that floats your boat, and people want to come, then why not…
No, what I’m on about is the reveals that are constructed and filmed purely for YouTube viral video fodder.
A ‘gender reveal’ cropped up on my timeline the other day which was basically a complex marble run set up around someone’s entire house. I’ve seen one with coloured ‘lava’ spewing out of a volcano. My friend said she saw a video shared that was a big scavenger hunt resulting in a pink or blue balloon release – who knows, because like me, she didn’t make it to the end. They seem to be taking over the internet and I don’t understand why.
Here are the reasons that I find elaborate gender reveals a bit naff;
1) If you’re not bothered about the gender of your baby, it seems a strange thing to invest so much time in. If on the other hand you have even the smallest preference, and I daresay however un-PC it may be that a lot of people do, why find out in front of millions of internet strangers if there is a 50% chance you are going to feel a deeply personal pang of disappointment?
2) Number one of course assumes that the couple are the people finding out; I do kind of get this. Finding out the gender of your own baby is enormously exciting, if something that can be done within five minutes at a scan. However when the couple already know and this big reveal is for the benefit of others? Please don’t take this the wrong way, but no one apart from you, your immediate family and perhaps friends who are hoping to offload hand-me-downs really cares if your baby is a boy or a girl. They are just happy for you that your baby is healthy.
3) There are only two options (if it’s a hippo or a weasel, come talk to me) and you’re basically going to get the same response for either (Oh how lovely!) unless you have two or more of one gender already and then the responses are going to annoy you (‘Oh, bad luck, you can always try again!’ or perhaps ‘Now you have your girl/boy you can stop!’).
4) The effort involved… Who has the energy to do this at 20 weeks pregnant? The voluntary setting up and – moreover – tidying of an assault course around one’s house is just flabbergasting. Sit down, get your feet up, have a (decaf) brew, watch TV and tell people via Facebook like a normal person. Your house is going to be full of crap from 20 weeks’ time until eternity so why start now?
5) I have two friends who have both been told they were expecting girls at the 20 week scan and then have gone on to have boys. What a wasted effort that would be. Give it 20 more weeks, and you’ll have the best kind of gender reveal, and it’ll be 100% accurate.
Oh, I concede they are not harming anyone, unless you count the risk of repetitive eye rolling injury. I feel the same towards stop motion pregnancy videos and yet 50 million people watch them on YouTube.