Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Blue for Boys, Pink for Girls

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Something adorable is happening in the baby world. Across the country, right under your nose, expecting parents are welcoming their closest friends and family into homes festooned with pink and blue streamers, cakes, candy, pillows, necklaces, t-shirts, confetti and ribbons in order to reveal and celebrate the gender of their soon-to-be-born babies. 

Welcome to the hippest thing in the baby kingdom: the gender reveal party. 





I got my first taste of a reveal this past weekend when I attended the absolutely stunning soiree held by my cousin and her husband. Their planning was meticulous: from the moment we crossed the threshold, we were accosted by pink and blue decorations bursting from every corner, balloons swaying from the ceiling and tied to chairs, confetti thrown over the tables, and frosted cupcakes strategically placed on little side tables and stools around the room. 

Games were played, ballots were cast, food was consumed over pink or blue plates (pick your utensils carefully - they represent which gender you think the baby will be!) and an amazing time was had by as we admittedly bit our fingernails in nervous anticipation.

Finally, when the time came for the actual reveal, we hurriedly crammed around the coffee table like sardines and strained our necks to try and get a good view of the whimsical cake placed ceremoniously before us. My cousin and her fiancĂ© approached in nervous silence, cut into the cake, lifted a sizable piece from the dish, and revealed....a strip of pink frosting! It's a girl! 

The room erupted with cheers and tears (of happiness, don't worry), as the gender of our future family member was revealed. 



Parties like this are popping up all over the place -- just take a glance on Pinterest and you'll find hundreds of photos advertising fun and creative ways to decorate your very own gender reveal party complete with tips on how to get your guests involved in the fun. 

While I think this is an adorable idea, and had a fabulous time at my first party, I couldn't help but take a step back and think about how gender reveal parties can walk a fine line between celebrating a future child while also potentially contributing to gender stereotypes. 

As Elline Lipkin so eloquently states in her book, Girls' Studies, the moment babies are born, they are "identified by their bodies and then sorted into two simple categories - blue for boys, pink for girls - within minutes of their entrance into the world. The imprint of gender is usually pressed onto her right from the start." 


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Now, as a feminine feminist and an ardent supporter of the color pink, I do not take offense to dressing baby girls up in fluffy pink onesies and little boys in blue pajamas with dinosaurs polka-dotted all over them. However, I do think it is important...actually vital that we encourage children from the beginning of their lives not to incorporate negative gender stereotypes onto themselves if we also allow them to adhere to traditional aspect of gendered dress. I passionately believe that your little girl can wear sparkly princess outfits as long as she is told that she can become president one day too. In the same vein, of course your son can wear power ranger (is that really dated??) suits, as long as he knows that it is important to be intelligent, sensitive and aware of his emotions as well. 

What are your thoughts? Have you been to a gender reveal? Let me know in the comments! 


4 comments :

  1. The pastel Oreos genuinely look so delicious. Yum. However, I can understand the qualms about a gender reveal especially when they are so gender stereotypical. I know a friend who just had a baby girl & dresses her up in football onesies & other sports teams. I dig it. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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  2. Oreos looks yummy!! I totally agree with you about gender reveal!! Great post!!
    Hugs,
    Love from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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  3. I think gender reveals are great! Yes, they definitely play too much into pink, bows, and lipstick themed decor for girls and blue, sports, mustaches for boys. BUT it's a huge a wildly exciting time for new parents to be! XO
    -Dara
    www.peoniesandbees.com

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