Mom Who Created Gender Reveal Parties Wants Parents To Pivot Away From Gender Focus
Gender reveal parties have become almost as common a ‘pregnancy event’ as the actual birth of the baby these days, with people taking all sorts of unique routes to share with family and friends (and social media, of course) the sex of the human occupying their baby bump. But, for the mother commonly credoted as ‘inventing’ the gender reveal with a party and cake filled with pink icing to indicate she was having a girl, it’s not quite as girl or boy as she might have orginally thought it was. In fact mom Jenna Karvunidis told BuzzFeed News that she regrets she put so much emphasis on an otherwise boring detail about what is between a baby’s legs at birth.Â Â
Pink Or Blue, What Will We Do?
In 2008, Jenna and Niko Karvunidis reached the stage in pregnancy where they were able to find out the sex of the baby Jenna was carrying. Sadly experiencing several pregnancy losses before that pregnancy, Karvunidis said she and her husband were so excited to get to that point, they wanted to celebrate with a party. She told Today Parents that she and her husband like to celebrate, and so the creation of a pink-filled cake in the shape of a duck was simply a way for her to show her excitement over her new daughter and to share the good news with her friends and family.
At the time, she said she had few thoughts on gender identification, and even fewer thoughts on what have come to be known as gender reveal parties, quickly saying she’s sure that she was not the inventor of such parties. She’d blogged about her party and was then interviewed by The Bump Magazine, setting the trend of gender reveal parties in motion and crediting her in most mommy groups with founding the idea.
Gender Reveals Gone Wild
A weird thing came up on Twitter, so I figured I'd share here. Someone remembered it was me who "invented" the gender…
But the mom of three now says that she cringes when she sees the insane levels people take them just to celebrate what she considers a mundane fact about their child. In fact, she believes that when we assign focus on birth gender, we’re essentially leaving out talents and potential that most likely have nothing to do with what is between their legs.
Though she did have a cute cake with pink filling, her oldest daughter’s nursery was actually done in blues and yellows and she said she certainly wasn’t trying to create a world of pink around her baby. Now, she’s quite surprised that so much hoopla happens over what she believes is a very boring detail about a person.
Details, Details, Details
Her oldest daughter Bianca is now 10, and Karuvnidis says that though she identifies as a typical girl, Bianca tends to wear more pants/suits than she does dresses. Karavnidis calls this a ‘plot twist,’ that has shown her that gender reveals are more about reinforcing traditional ideas about girls and boys vs. being truth about the baby they are celebrating.
Karavunidis now says what gender the baby is doesn’t really matter, and parents should be more focused on letting them be children and exploring. While she doesn’t condemn parents who still want to participate in traditional gender reveals or celebrations, she does hope that maybe a new take on parties can occur in the form of ‘name reveals’ or even parties to celebrate the fact that one is even pregnant.
She believes there are a ton of different ways to celebrate pregnancy milestones that she believes won’t put anyone in danger, and we’re with her 100%.
Quick story! I was at a dinner party last summer and the host, whom I had never met, shushed me at the dinner table….
Also, can we say we love her because she was treated like a five-year-old at a party last summer because she wasn’t an attorney, so she decided to hit law school up and check herself in. That gal is being the change the world wants to see and we’re fan-girling.