Deirdre Reynolds: It’s time to ditch gender reveal parties for good

A hapless mum and dad-to-be last weekend turned the Queima-Pé River cascade into an 18m-high slushie in their excitement to reveal whether they’re having a boy or a girl.

Gender reveal parties can be narcissistic and showy. Picture posed

Deirdre ReynoldsSunday World

An expectant Brazilian couple are in hot water after dyeing a waterfall blue for their baby’s gender-reveal party.

Can this be the moment where we clamp down on all this clap-trap for good?

The hapless mum and dad-to-be last weekend turned the Queima-Pé River cascade into an 18m-high slushie in their excitement to reveal whether they’re having a boy or a girl.

Now even authorities are swept up in their ‘nub’ news while probing whether the pair committed an environmental crime by contaminating the main water supply for Tangará da Serra in the state of Mato Grosso, as the country recovers from the worst drought in over a century.

The Queima-Pé cascade

For the avoidance of any confusion, the pair are expecting a son, hammered home by blue smoke bombs in the viral video, which has since been deleted from social media.

Never mind the child’s gender - I’d be more concerned about their inherited IQ.

Designed to let family and friends know whether your unborn child has a pee-pee or not, gender reveal parties first sprang up in the States in the early noughties, and have become alarmingly popular this side of the Atlantic in recent years.

Katy Perry, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson are just some of the stars who’ve helped the trend to gestate.

And I suppose we can look forward to American-style first period parties, divorce parties and hamster funerals next.

Pink or blue cake pops, gender reveal balloons, confetti cannons and even fireworks are among the most popular ways to announce little Arlo or Aurelia to a roomful of nonplussed pals.

Although hats off to the more daring parents-to-be who’ve braved skydives, shooting range parties and live ultrasounds to break news that absolutely nobody but themselves cares about.

Just to reinforce gender stereotypes a little more, guests may be invited to dress in their predicted colour or cast their guess for ‘blue or pink - what do you think?’ on the way in.

A more risky, if longer-term game could be to take a punt on whether the baby grows up binary or non-binary.

Either way, let’s hope it goes more smoothly than it did for the Dublin couple whose big moment in August was ruined when the balloon containing the surprise popped prematurely.

In some instances, not even the parents-to-be know the gender beforehand, whereby a chosen ‘gender keeper’ - which sounds like something out a Neil Gaiman novel - is entrusted with the secret following the 20-week scan before organising the big reveal.

Honestly, who are the obstetricians going along with this malarkey?

Still, I suppose it’s a step on from the superstitious days when Irish couples feared to name their unborn child, let alone bring a cot or babygrow of any colour into the house.

Not to labour the point, but isn’t a healthy baby ultimately the only wish of any new mammy or daddy?

Team Boy or Girl, let’s face it, it won’t make any difference when changing their gender-neutral nappy.

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