Gender Reveal and Wildfires: The Unlikely Duo | Aimee Han
Recently, gender reveal parties have appeared in a plethora of headlines in the news, for the wrong reasons. These gender reveals are becoming more and more creative as they have been gaining popularity on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. The traditional baby shower: the onesies, strollers, diapers, and cribs, have been replaced with pink and blue confetti, cupcakes, balloons, exploding powder, and worst of all… pyrotechnic devices.
A pyrotechnic device uses exothermic chemical reactions to create colorful or aesthetically pleasing smoke, often for family bloggers to spice up their Instagram page. According to family bloggers, there is nothing more celebratory than introducing a new child’s gender to the world by some sort of extravagant explosion of pink or blue smoke. Introducing a new child into the world may seem like a gift, but so does the attention, the actual gifts, and the excuse to throw a party.
Gender reveal parties have been taking the nation by storm, or dare I say, fire.
It is currently fire season. California has been suffering from extremely dry weather, making itself prone and vulnerable to blazing wildfires. These are not just any type of fires; these wildfires destroy not only our homes, but also countless homes of animals. Wildfires release unhealthy amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which further contributes to global warming. Climate change and its drastic effects have caught up to us in the year 2020. We are destroying our environment in various ways, letting it burn slowly down to the ground, even though this planet is the only one we have. Around 80% of the fires are caused by humans and are easily preventable. For instance, the necessity to reveal a baby’s gender with colorful smoke from a pyrotechnic device is not needed, especially if it is close to a forest and in the middle of a nature park; hence, a wildfire that would have been easily preventable.
There is currently a raging wildfire that has burned down around 10,000 acres of California, forced residents nearby to seek refuge, and polluted our Mother Earth with its ash and embers. Fire officials have confirmed that the wildfire originated from the misuse of a pyrotechnic device for a gender reveal party in San Bernardino National Forest.
There are several issues with this particular gender reveal party. It is not only the tasteless design of the decorations or the lack of enthusiasm from the guests; it is not only the fact that there is a party being thrown in the middle of a global pandemic. The main issue was the irrational decision to use a device that could start a fire in extremely dry weather and in a flammable environment. And now, there are firefighters on the frontlines, risking their lives to stop these wildfires, while evacuees hope for the best for their homes, schools, workplaces, livelihoods, and communities. The consequences of the explosion were most definitely not worth the fifteen seconds of fame.
So to these families, next time you would like to throw a gender reveal party, maybe, just maybe, consider using confetti. Maybe even consider using cakes filled with blue or pink sprinkles. Maybe even do a virtual Zoom party for the time being. Mother Nature will thank you later.