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“It’s a …!” When gender reveals go terribly wrong

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That moment when you finally discover the gender of your child is an exciting one, whether it happens at a scan, at an event with loved ones, or when you actually meet your baby for the first time.

But some parents-to-be have become obsessed with the trend of gender reveal parties, holding crazy stunts that can – and do – go horribly wrong, resulting in serious accidents, damage, even death. You have to wonder if it’s worth it…

A fiery announcement

In Green Valley Arizona, an off-duty boarder patrol agent set up a target, displaying the words Boy and Girl. Unfortunately, he also packed the target with explosives and shot it with high-powered rifle. While the target burst into a sea of blue smoke, revealing the gender of his unborn child, the surrounding area burst into flames. You can hear the panicked voice of the dad-to-be, saying “Start packing up” as the wildfire grew quickly out of control, ultimately causing over $8million worth of damage.

A huge disappointment

One couple chose to reveal the gender of their child by popping a balloon filled with either pink or blue balloons. As it burst into a shower of pink, everyone cheers – except the future dad. Less than happy, he angrily throws down the balloon strings and turns away from the crowd. And his reaction to his unborn daughter was captured on video and went viral attracting thousands of views and scathing comments such as, “Someone wanted a boy” and “If he doesn’t want a girl why throw a gender reveal in the first place.” Hopefully he came around to having  a baby girl – and hopefully she won’t watch this video when she grows up!


#genderrevealworld #babygirl

♬ original sound – Matt H-B

An explosive burnout

In Australia, a friend of the parents-to-be was using a car was with colour infused rubber tyres to reveal the gender of their baby.  However, as the blue smoke plumed from the tyres, the car burst into flames. Bystanders managed to pull the driver to safety, but he was fined $1000 and prohibited from driving for six months.

Unfortunate deaths

Tragically, a few people have lost their lives while attending these celebrations. In February 2021, a 26-year-old man was killed when “a small cannon device” designed to reveal the baby’s gender exploded and sprayed metal shrapnel around the yard. A similar incident killed a 56-year-old woman in 2019. And a father-to-be from New York state died when the “gender reveal device” he was creating exploded in his garage, also injuring his brother.

A not-so-innocent trend

Back in 2008, Jenna Karvunidis threw a party to reveal the sex of her baby, which she did by cutting into a pink-centred cake. Little did she realise, she kick-started an ever-growing trend, now fraught with exceedingly dangerous with potentially deadly stunts.

“When I first saw that a gender-reveal party had caused a forest fire I cried because I felt responsible,” Jenna reported to The Guardian. “But here’s the thing – when planes crash no one goes after the Wright brothers. I think the parties probably would have happened anyway. I put form to it, but it’s not that crazy of an idea.”

The blogger also posted her reaction to the madness of gender reveal stunts on Instagram. Last year she spoke out saying,  “For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you,”

She went on to say, “Excuse me for having a cake for my family in 2008. Just because I’m the gender reveal inventor doesn’t mean I think people should burn down their communities. STOP.”

Now it seems that every time a gender reveal party goes badly, Jenna ends up in the paper. However her comment on Instagram says it all: “Every time a body turns up I’m in the news. This is my seasonal opportunity to remind the world that babies come in all genders. Thank you and have a pleasant day.”

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