London - First there was the bridal shower, closely followed by the baby shower.
And now those ever-inventive Americans have sent us their latest party fad – the “gender reveal party”.
This innovation allows mothers-to-be to announce the sex of their unborn baby to family and friends by cutting into an icing-covered cake to reveal pink or blue sponge.
Thousands of celebrations have been filmed and put on YouTube, where guests can be seen exclaiming in delight while the mother cries with joy at the revelation.
British bakers are already cashing in on the trend – with some receiving the ultrasound scan confirming the baby’s sex directly from the hospital, so even the parents are kept in the dark.
Such parties are said to be becoming more popular as people feel baby showers – where friends “shower” the mother-to-be with gifts – are unlucky and it is better to wait until the child is born.
And “reveal” parties are not only restricted to the new mother’s female friends – men can come too. A more extravagant version also sees guests dressing up and voting for “team boy” or “team girl” at the party, which is usually held close to the 20-week ultrasound scan.
Some websites recommend holding a baby shower at the same time, so parents can receive gifts. Michelle and Andrew Whitney, of Ormskirk, Lancashire, held a reveal party ahead of the birth of Betsie-Mae, who is now nine weeks old.
Mrs Whitney said: “I hate baby showers because I didn’t want people giving presents to a baby before it’s born; it’s unlucky and tacky. Then I saw all these videos on YouTube of women cutting open gender-revealing cakes in America and I thought it was a great idea.”
Lisa Finnigan, a baker and owner of Pretty Princess Cakes and Cupcakes in Cheshire, catered for the party.
She said: “I know a few people around here who are pregnant who are going to do it. I haven’t had anyone who has done the sealed envelope from the doctor yet, but nothing surprises me any more about what people ask for.”
But not everyone is excited by the party idea.
One poster on a UK parenting forum wrote: “When will smug mothers-to-be realise that nobody but them cares too much?” - Daily Mail