After a recent gender reveal party sparked massive wildfires in California, the creator of the original concept, Jenna Karvunidis, spoke with The Daily Show’s Desi Lydic about why it’s time to put the kibosh on the sometimes dangerous trend.
“People should definitely stop doing that,” Karvunidis told Lydic after the correspondent showed clips of explosions, alligators and smoking vehicles belching blue exhaust. Karvunidis kicked off the craze in 2008 with a simple — slightly sad-looking — cake featuring pink filling. She has since campaigned against the increasingly bizarre practice.
“Somebody on Twitter was looking for the source of the gender reveal party and one of my old social media followers added me into the conversation,” she told Lydic. “I was like, ‘It’s kind of funny that this is even coming about because we had our family picture taken recently and there’s my daughter, she likes to wear a tuxedo.'”
Gender reveal parties are back in the news of late after a “fire-generating pyrotechnic device” caused a California wildfire that destroyed more than 10,000 acres of land, causing mass evacuations. Sadly, this is not the first time such an event has turned destructive. In 2019, an Iowa woman was killed when a pipe bomb was used in a reveal and, in 2017, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot off an explosive that caused yet another wildfire — causing tens of thousands of acres of destruction and $8 million in damages.
“They’re physically harmful for many obvious reasons… but they’re also very socially harmful,” Karvunidis added, discussing how showily announcing a gender at birth could go against a child’s true identity. She also opined that assigning pink and blue to genders — as well as trucks, dolls and other trappings of traditional identity — is also grossly stereotypical. Lydic, for her part, insisted that her son loves pink while a small voice protested indignantly off-screen.
“I think a lot of people out there are searching for likes on the internet and it has caused a lot of problems,” Karvunidis concluded, suggesting that people should “be a little bit more responsible with the parties. Throw a different type of party — like what’s the baby’s name? There are many more possibilities with that than whether or not it has a penis.”