'Gender Reveal' Creator Jenna Karvunidis' View on Gender Changed as Daughter 'Gravitated Toward' Short Hair, Tuxedos
"She just gravitated toward what she liked and I picked up on it," says "gender reveal" creator Jenna Karvunidis on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast of her daughter's gender expression
Jenna Karvunidis has changed her tune since introducing the world to the concept of the "gender reveal party" in 2008.
The California mom and law student reveals how her daughter's affinity for suits has given her a new perspective on gender, sex and the phenomenon she started, on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast with host Janine Rubenstein.
"She just gravitated toward what she liked and I picked up on it," Karvunidis says. "And as she gets older, she's, 'Mom, I want to cut my hair short, I want to wear a tuxedo. And I want these other things.' And I'm like, 'That's fine. Whatever you want to do.' She's adorable."
She explains that she got her oldest daughter, 12, a black tuxedo for her first birthday. But it wasn't until they were taking family photos for their Christmas card around the time she was 8 or 9 that Karvunidis began to rethink what she thought she knew.
Listen to more of our interview with Jenna Karvunidis below on our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day!
"It was just not a conversation that was really happening in the popular media at the time in 2008, about gender," Karvunidis explains. "I've just never had to question my own gender or my own sexuality or any of that. So I just, 'Hey, it's a boy or it's a girl.' It was just an unexamined belief. So, then I have my baby and just from day one, she's just on her own little path that she liked certain toys and she liked a certain aesthetic, I guess. It's funny that I was just really in communication with my baby."
Although sex reveal parties have become commonplace with expecting moms on social media, they often face criticism for forcing a gender binary on children before they're even born. Not to mention, parents-to-be have gotten creative — and even dangerous — with their reveals, in some cases causing injuries or even death.
In the past year alone, sex reveal parties have caused deaths in a plane crash and a forest fire, forcing Karvunidis to denounce them. "Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties," she wrote on Facebook in September, amid the El Dorado Wildfire. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid's penis. No one cares but you."
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"We definitely need to stay safe and just really re-examine where they're coming from with this party, because really it's become politicized a bit because these parties become so aggressive with the guns," Karvunidis says on PEOPLE Every Day. "They've really tied themselves in with a gun rights message, which is so far from my belief."
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