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Wildfires, alligators and jelly: The brief, chaotic history of the gender reveal party

Invented by an American blogger 13 years ago, the gender reveal party is now popularly associated with extravagance and disaster. How did we get here?

By Zahra Manji  

The internet has witnessed some extravagant takes on the gender reveal party. Photo: Prospect Composite with Alligator from Lisa Yount

Wildfires; an earthquake; a downed plane and a killed grandmother-to-be. That is just a snapshot of the chaos unleashed by gender reveal parties across America over the last few years. When an American blogger unwittingly introduced the idea in 2008 by cutting into a cake at her baby shower to reveal pink frosting inside—it’s a girl!—it was hard to imagine the disruption that similar parties would later cause. The once innocent celebration has become increasingly elaborate as people bid to outdo each other, dividing opinions and creating absurd headlines, and finally prompting the question—when is enough enough? 

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