Column: This latest crazy parenting fad from the USA should be given the bird

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Everyone likes the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because we love animals. They’re better than people. They don’t gossip about you and we don’t mind when an animal has a hairy back, says comedian and writer Steve N Allen.

Here’s another reason to like the RSPCA: it has told people to stop having gender reveal parties.

If you have never heard of a gender reveal party, well done. A few years ago, a trend started where people would hold a party to inform their friends and family of the gender of their unborn child.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was an American fad like baby showers, push presents and many other things that add narcissism into being a parent-to-be.

Guest columnist Steve N Allen is a writer and comedian.Guest columnist Steve N Allen is a writer and comedian.
Guest columnist Steve N Allen is a writer and comedian.

Instead of simply saying, “Oh, we found out we’re having a girl,” the people who do a gender reveal party announce the gender with some elaborate stunt.

They’ll have a balloon that they burst to reveal pink glitter. They may set off fireworks that show blue or pink. It’s pretty basic stuff.

The RSPCA has warned parents over a gender reveal party craze that is killing birds. Some have been using pigeons dyed pink or blue to announce their baby’s sex.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Firstly, I know doves and pigeons are the same animal apart from the colouring, and if you’re painting it you can use a pigeon in place of a dove but it does seem like announcing your child’s gender using a flying rat.

People at the party will say, “What’s that pink skinny bird with a missing foot? Oh, it’s telling us we’re having a niece.”

Secondly, why are we celebrating the new arrival of life by harming something that’s already here? The paints can be toxic and it turns out that painting a pigeon pink makes it a lot more likely to be caught by other animals.

You might as well paint a target on its back. The RSPCA says it has seen an increase in cases of cats catching pigeons that have been painted.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Normally a pigeon blends in quite well to trees and bushes but if it’s painted pink it will only have camouflage if it hides in a hen night.

Normally I wouldn’t be so blunt but saying this could save an animal’s life. If you’re thinking of holding a gender reveal party you should remember that no-one cares. If you tell them you’re having a boy or a girl they’ll be happy for you. No one will think, “That’s nice but I wish I found out by seeing 12 blue pigeons splutter out of a box before being mauled by the cat.”

For more, check out Steve’s podcast Steve N Allen (almost) Daily.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.