Latest Issue

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? 


Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect