The pilot and co-pilot of a plane were both killed when a gender reveal went horribly wrong in Mexico this week.
Moments after the plane released a pink cloud into the air to excited shouts of “Girl!,” it began to plunge. The expecting couple and their loved ones watched in horror from a boat below as the plane fell into the waters just off the coast of Cancun.
Authorities in Mexico are now working to figure out exactly what went wrong.
The tragic incident is just the latest in a string of gender reveal stunts that have left participants dead.
Back in February, a father-to-be died when the device he was building for a gender reveal party exploded.
Police say 28-year-old Christopher Pekny was killed and his brother Michael Pekny, was injured in the blast, too.
That same month, a Michigan man was killed when a cannon exploded during a baby shower.
Last year, California’s El Dorado wildfire claimed the life of a firefighter and destroyed more than 22,000 acres of land. Ultimately, authorities determined that it was caused by a family’s gender reveal pyrotechnic display.
Even the blogger credited with popularizing the gender reveal trend is saying it’s time to stop with the dramatic—and potentially dangerous—displays. And it’s time to stop saying gender reveal when these parties are really sex reveals and leave gender assumptions behind in favor of focusing on kids as individuals.
Jenna Karvunidis, of High Gloss and Sauce, took to Facebook with a rant against gender reveals, saying in part, “Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.” She says she’s now getting hate messages for speaking out about the trend, but that isn’t changing her mind. “Just because I’m the gEnDeR rEvEaL iNVeNtoR doesn’t mean I think people should burn down their communities,” she wrote.
Incredibly, the El Dorado fire wasn’t even the first blazed linked to a gender reveal. In 2017, a dad fired a gun at an explosives-packed target, which revealed a blue cloud of smoke—and then went on to spark a fire that burned an astonishing 47,000 acres and caused 8 million dollars in damage. Mercury News detailed other mishaps as well, from a car accident to a plane crash and even the death of a woman killed by a homemade gender reveal pipe bomb.
Even setting aside the chance that a gender reveal could accidentally lead to massive devastation and destruction, the trend has been the subject of debate in recent years.
Karvunidis alluded to the issue herself in a 2019 post, writing, “Who cares what gender the baby is? I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019 and didn’t know what we know now—that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.”
Not every family will agree with that sentiment, of course, and it’s totally possible to be excited to find out your baby’s sex without boxing them into a stereotype forever. But cutting into a cake with specially colored filling is one thing, while gunshots and explosions are quite another. Hopefully, we can all agree that a little common sense goes a long way and leave catastrophic sex reveals behind.