Stupid ritual that needs to stop
First it was about cutting into blue or pink cakes. Then it was blue or pink confetti bursting from balloons.
Now the latest trend in gender reveal parties appears to be about who can cause the most thorough and lasting environmental destruction in their quest to tell complete strangers the sex of their unborn child.
On Sunday, a South Australian couple made a forceful lunge for the honour of 'world's stupidest gender reveal' when they set themselves on fire during a stunt that involved burnouts, pink smoke and a car catching alight.
Stunned onlookers near Meningie, 150km southeast of Adelaide, watched as a car performed elaborate burnouts and spewed pink smoke - an exhausting way to reveal that the couple's imminent baby would be a girl.
But unfortunately it wasn't long before the smoke turned from pink to orange to black and the car burst into flames.
Bystanders could be heard screaming - the stunt was, of course, caught on camera because that's the point - and then someone yelled for a fire extinguisher. Police later warned that the couple's baby-bits burnouts could easily have caused a bushfire.
They weren't the first couple to celebrate bringing new life onto the planet by burning part of it down.
Last month, an Arizona dad called Dennis Dickey (yep Dennis Dickey - not a drill) found his eyes watering from more than just smoke when he was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation after his gender reveal explosion stunt in early 2017 resulted in a catastrophic grass fire.
The blaze caused $8 million worth of damage and took 800 firefighters to extinguish.
In fact, the entire concept of gender reveal parties needs to be thoroughly hosed down. Even aside from their potential for destruction, they are proof that we have reached peak Baby As Performance.
Other culprits include over-the-top baby showers (featuring corporate sponsors), designer hospital bags (their contents revealed pre-admission in a detailed Instagram flat-lay) and complicated in-hospital beauty routines (pre and post birth).
They all point to a society that has become more excited about the aesthetics of babies than babies themselves.
What all of this (pink or blue) smoke and mirrors is doing is making us forget that having a baby in actually about having a baby.
It's not about you. You are there to raise the baby. The baby is not there to raise your social media profile. Thankfully, the baby will remind you of this as soon as they arrive.
You can tizz and primp and decorate and explode your car exhaust as much as you like to celebrate their appearance in your life and they will simply lift up one plump buttock and projectile poo over the lot of it.
So stop trying to pimp your babies, people.
It's unnecessary and exhausting. Babies are inherently great; the mere promise of their arrival is awesome, without any embellishment. Everyone you love is already going to be over the moon that a new little person is about to enter the family and they will not care if you're having a boy or a girl or something in between.
When your baby is born, send out texts, emails or a Facebook post that tell everyone their name and their gender. Done.
And then pour yourself a stiff drink, wash off the latest spray of projectile poo and wait for the congratulations to roll in - both for welcoming a human into the world and for managing to do it without burning down a national park.