The sex of babies, previously announced to anxious parents during routine medical appointments, has now gained a party worthy of debutantes to announce the arrival of boys or girls to the world. Explosions, fireworks, smoke, colored powder, fights between characters, pets carrying balloons, umbrellas, grandparents with dyed hair and colorful cakes in super events that shout, in blue and pink, who is a boy or a girl before the babies come out of the belly.
Revelation teas, a trend imported from the United States that is gaining traction in Brazil thanks to social networks, have taken over parents’ calendars and assumed gigantic proportions — questioned by psychologists.
According to party planner Ana Lucia, who runs the São Paulo company Ana Banana, it was an American named Jenna Myers Karvunidis who started the trend in 2008. In interviews, the influencer says she wanted attention from her family during her pregnancy and invented the celebration for get a cone of affection.
Karvunidis’ event was cupcake style, and revealed, via pink sponge cake, that she was having a girl, but today, in a trend that has been growing for five years and that has already accumulated deaths — victims of a plane crash in Cancún , in Mexico— and forest fires —in California, in 2020— in the account.
In due proportion, Brazilian parents, from celebrities and influencers to those with Instagram closed to a few dozen followers, embraced the fashion in force.
This is the case of Thandara Queiroz, from Santos (SP), who organized a revelation tea only during her second pregnancy, when the fashion had already caught on.
“When I had my first child, this type of event was not yet common,” he says. The video of Thandara’s shower went viral due to the effusive celebration of the first-born after the black balloon burst that revealed that a little sister was coming.
He celebrated as if he had scored a World Cup goal when he saw the lilac balloons come out of the bigger balloon, accompanied by pink confetti. “My hope was always to have a girl and it was an exciting surprise for everyone.”
Rosângela Andrade and Regiane Cruz, from the São Paulo balloon store Viva La Festa, say that, at the beginning of fashion, the reveal was done using a black latex balloon, like Thandara, to hide the star dust and the confetti that would reveal the baby, and that the colors were pink and blue, “so no one would have any doubts”, according to Rosângela. Now, with the popularity of this type of event, parents are looking to innovate with colors such as lilac, green and orange.
According to Georgia Bianka, party planner from Rio de Janeiro behind teas like MC Chefin, “as blue and pink are popular, the trend today is a monochromatic party, in light tones, with the reveal made in some color.” She says that the revelation ends up falling back on the old blue and pink, but for technical reasons. “Not because there is an obligation to blue and pink. It’s to solve it. They are easier colors to make in smoke, for example.”
Lídia Noé, nutritionist from Santana de Parnaíba (SP), is one of the mothers who opted for green and lilac and the ad, made with smoke and serpentine in tones close to blue which, in another context, would lean more towards the announcement of a boy . Everything is relative — and Lídia said that, although she wants to have boys and girls, it didn’t matter who came first.
Betting on one sex is a trend at this type of party. “What parents ask most is for guests to be able to give their opinion on the baby’s sex, whether by wearing the colors blue and pink or green and lilac, or by sticking stickers and ribbons, to make them as if they were bets”, says Bianka.
Parents’ support and the videos that go viral on Instagram profiles such as @charevelacaoideias, @charevelacao._ often reveal the stereotype of the father excited about a boy and the mother excited about the girl.
According to psychologist Ana Buontempo, specialized in child and maternal clinics, tea reveals not only gender, but the way in which the child will be treated by society as a result.
For Bianka, families who host teas consider the party a celebration of life and even the desire to have children — and not just revealing the baby’s sex. “Many people who dream about this, or who took a long time to get pregnant, invest in this celebration.” The investment, she estimates, can start at R$2,500 for an intimate table and exceed R$100,000.
Before the fashion of revelation teas, the arrival of a new child used to be accompanied by a baby shower, or diaper shower, a party usually held at a more advanced stage of pregnancy in which family members and close friends, usually women, gave gifts to the baby. a baby who, at that point, already had a name decided on and a room ready.
Pregnant with a girl, Isabela Albarello, from Vista Alegre (RS), says that finding out the sex of her baby, Aurora, at the reveal party changed the relationship she has with pregnancy. “I couldn’t talk to my belly, nor buy things. Everything changed after I found out that Aurora was coming. I started talking to her, organizing clothes, asking God for things”, he says.
Faith marks many revelation teas, permeated by figures of angels, crucifixes and some even of one or another saint. Rafa Anjos, a singer specializing in producing personalized music for tea parties, says that most parents who come to her “have a lot of faith, believe in God and like me to put this [nas músicas]”.
Owner of a profile with more than 59 thousand followers on Instagram, she has songs with a country feel that she uses as a base and to which she makes small adjustments, including family details and the child’s name. “Will it be a girl, a ballerina, or a boy, a little prince?”, she sings. “Mom and Dad are waiting for me, I came to this world in God’s time.” It’s a way of making the revelation, or the song can accompany the visual part, of smoke and balloons.
Buontempo says that the party made the moment of discovering the baby’s sex more public than when fathers and mothers received the report during an ultrasound at the doctor’s office. “The celebrations or frustrations were not so public,” says the psychologist. “Parents create an image of what their child’s life will be like and they are sometimes not prepared to take care of someone different from what they expected.”
This includes, according to psychologist specialized in the LGBTQIA+ public Hamilton Kida, the possibility of non-conformity with traditional gender roles and stereotypes and transsexuality. “The revelation tea comes in a conservative movement. I think of Damares Alves talking about boys wearing blue, girls wearing pink. It’s an attempt to standardize gender”, he says.
And not everything is flowers. Jenna Karvunidis, the inventor of the revelation tea, told People magazine in 2021 that she regretted the idea as her daughter, announced to the world with a pink cake, showed interest in wearing short hair and suits.
Kida states that this association of girls with pink and dolls and boys with blue and football are social pressures and that parents do not need to give in to this. “Preparing to welcome the child should come without so much expectation and idealization,” she says. “The reveal tea and gender are nothing more than social constructions.” One is not born a woman, one becomes one, wrote Simone de Beauvoir. The teas seem to be there to challenge you.
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