Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Barbaric rituals 2: the "gender-reveal" party

Kids? Okay, but cut us a break.

Just when you thought the cult of parenthood might have peaked, what with the drop in birthrate and all, here comes the newest tsunami of overindulgence: the so-called "gender-reveal" party.
This emerging (mal)practice invents yet another platform for breeders to put the fruit of their loins on display--and coerce family, friends, colleagues and neighbors into lavishing more attention on the happy couple. Gifts, anyone? 

If you've yet to be introduced to the delights of "gender revelation," get acquainted by reading "A Boy or a Girl? Cut the Cake" as reported by Alex Williams and Kate Murphy for The New York Times--the photo alone, well...see for yourself.

I first heard about these ordeals from a Facebook friend who had been hired to bake for such an event. The mother-to-be ordered 3 dozen creme-filled lemon cupcakes capped with yellow fondant and topped with bits of green gummy worms formed into a  question mark. The baker was sworn to secrecy as to the color of the creme filling--pink or blue. 

"When the guests bite into the cupcakes..." the baker began. "The sex of the baby oozes into their mouths," I finished the thought for her. "Well, the filling oozes into their mouths," she clarified. "But yeah. That's pretty much it."

Gag me.
At least in the circles that Williams and Murphy describe in their article, typically the parents-to-be go into these parties on an even footing the guests, clueless as to the sex of the baby in her womb until the big moment when the news is revealed for all in a squirt of creme filling, or when a sealed envelope that has traveled from ultrasound technician to baker to party is ceremoniously opened and a blurry image of the wee one's sex is held aloft.

Yum, it's...a boy!
Sometimes, the envelope is dispensed with and the cutting of the cake is the main attraction. Here, the couple cuts the cake (they've practiced, they're ready) to reveal a sex-coded object (the article cites a pink shoe, as one example) or a lucky guest discovers the a small sex token in a telltale forkful. 

Greg Allen, who blogs at, is quoted in the Times article and says it all. "The whole connection of cutting into the cake to find out, like it's a stand-in for the utuerus, is sort of sickening."

I'll say.  Stay tuned for part 3.

*half what it was 60 years ago according to the CDC's Recent Decline in Births in the United States 2007-2009

No comments: