Why The Mom Who 'Invented' Gender Reveal Parties Now Finds Them 'Cringe' & Wishes People Would Stop Throwing Them

She never knew the trend she would be responsible for and now wishes she hadn't done it in the first place.

Jenna Karvundis, gender reveal parties Facebook

From forest fires to explosions, gender reveal parties have caused their fair share of catastrophes — and that's without taking into consideration their long-term impacts. 

The notion of firing a canon and declaring your child's gender based on whether blue or pink confetti pops out is, let's face it, a little archaic. But that hasn't stopped these events from becoming a major industry.

Increasing in popularity since the mid-2010s, gender reveal parties are often traced back to one 2008 event hosted by a mom who now regrets ever having one!


The woman credited with 'inventing' the gender reveal party now thinks they're 'cringey' and should be canceled. 

When Jenna Karvunidis and her husband Niko documented their gender reveal party for their first baby back in 2008, they had no idea how quickly their creative idea would spread and spark wildfire — literally.

After suffering several pregnancy losses, the parents were over the moon when they learned that they were expecting their eldest child. To celebrate the joyous occasion, they decided to find out their baby’s gender with their friends and family where they cut into a cake filled with pink frosting on the inside, revealing that their baby was a girl. 


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At the time, the phenomenon of gender reveal parties was nearly unheard of, and Jenna’s idea quickly went viral. The Los Angeles blogger shared photos of the cake on a parenting forum. She was later interviewed by The Bump magazine and expanded upon the idea of gender reveal parties.


"I'm the type to bake a cake for every occasion. We like to party!" she told TODAY Parents. "I had absolutely no thoughts in 2008 of the greater implications of gender reveal parties." 

Now, 15 years and two children later, Jenna admits that she regrets popularizing the idea and never expected it to be taken to the extreme levels that it has reached today. "Gender reveal parties are canceled," she says. "I cringe when I see them now. The insane levels people are taking them just to celebrate one of the most mundane facts about their child is just bizarre." 

Even back in 2008 at her own gender reveal party, Jenna claims that she was not too invested in her baby’s gender.

"Her nursery was done in blue and yellow, so it's not like I was trying to create a pink world around the baby.” The mother believes that the gender of your child is only a small part of who they are and that there are more important qualities about them that deserve celebration. 


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In a Facebook post, she explains why she is now against gender reveal parties and begs other parents to end their obsessed focus on the genders of their own children. “I've felt a lot of mixed feelings about my random contribution to the culture. It just exploded into crazy after that,” she wrote. “Literally - guns firing, forest fires, more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby.” 

“Who cares what gender the baby is? I did at the time because we didn't live in 2019 and didn't know what we know now - that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what's between their legs.” Jenna proves her point by noting that the gender reveal party she held all those years ago was for her baby girl who now wears suits, debunking the traditional beliefs about boys and girls that may not hold true in the future. 


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Not only have gender reveal parties gotten out of hand, but they have become environmentally threatening.

Some expectant parents incorporate dangerous ideas into revealing their baby’s gender including guns and flammable devices. In September 2020, a California couple used a pyrotechnic device during their gender reveal party that resulted in a serious wildfire. The blaze torched nearly 23,000 acres of land, destroyed five homes, and 15 buildings, and claimed the life of a firefighter. 

Jenna took to Facebook following the incident begging parents to stop the gender reveal insanity. “Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid's penis. No one cares but you,” she wrote. “It was 116 degrees in Pasadena yesterday and this tool thought it would be smart to light a fire about his kid's d–k.” 

Now, Jenna is encouraging soon-to-be parents to celebrate other aspects of their future children and put less emphasis on their gender.


"Let children be. Let them explore. The gender norms have become so rigid and narrow, it's a wonder anyone can breathe. We can't reduce kids to 'guns or glitter,' so let's stop," she says.

Her alternatives for a gender reveal party include holding a party when you discover that you’re pregnant, or a “name reveal” party. "There are a million ways to celebrate your life that don't involve putting anyone in danger,” she notes. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.