Louisiana man, alligator wrangler and inspiration to cucks everywhere Mike Kliebert achieved viral internet fame yesterday after a video circulated of him incorporating an alligator into his and his wife’s gender-reveal celebration.
Kliebert (aka “T-Mike, the Gator King”) pries apart the beast’s jaws and tosses in a hollowed-out watermelon. The primordial reptilian killing machine promptly chomps the fruit, revealing the blue Jell-O stored inside, and thus, confirming that Kliebert and his betrothed will, in fact, be having a baby boy. Kliebert then tames the swamp creature, because that’s just the kind of man he is.
We are now five years into the gender reveal party phenomena, if we are to use the requisite New York Times trend piece as the official barometer (although that means the practice probably started two years earlier). And in those five-seven years, gender-reveal parties have gone from a trapping of the moneyed elite to the kind of thing good ol’ boys do on their front lawns, while George Strait plays faintly in the background. (Official records are unclear, but one can safely assume Kliebert’s is the most unnecessarily dangerous and extremely badass gender-reveal celebration in human history.)
Katherine Kommer, lead event planner at Baby Showers Inc. in New York, says gender-reveal parties are, by their very nature, more gender-inclusive than the traditional baby shower. Whereas the standard baby shower is “15 women opening gifts together over brunch,” the standard gender-reveal party includes both male and female guests. As such, she makes sure to incorporate male-oriented activities, such as cigar rolling and whiskey tasting, into the gender-reveal parties she plans. She also tries to avoid public gift-opening, as it tends to bore males guests.
Still, the reveals themselves — popping a balloon to have pink or blue confetti fall out, or slicing open a pink or blue cake — are traditionally feminine. And so, many couples have been pioneering ways to make the reveal process more manly.
For instance, one couple reeled in a blue plastic fish out of a hotel pool:
Another had the man hit a golf ball that, upon impact, erupted in a cloud of blue dust:
Other couples use a football to roughly the same effect:
Meanwhile, car-enthusiast couples have the dust come out of BMW tailpipes:
And one either very funny or severely deranged Pinterest user suggests men incorporate an assault rifle into their gender-reveal celebrations.
This masculinization of gender reveals coincides with an increased popularity in gender reveal parties, in general. They’ve become so commonplace that Kommer says they’re now a vital part of her business. Case in point: Four years ago, only 10 percent of her events were gender reveals; this year, they’ll make up half of them. (The most extravagant gender reveal Kommer has helped throw was a 200-guest, $100,000 “wedding-scale” affair held in a swanky New York City hotel.)
Jacqueline Sandoval, the 32-year-old owner of Jackie’s Party Creations, a bakery in L.A., says the growth in gender reveals is fueled by social media, and the corresponding one-upmanship it generates between friends and enemies alike.
“With Facebook and Instagram, people have made the exciting moments of their lives more public,” Kommer says. “Events of all natures have become much bigger to-dos in recent years, and people spend a lot of money to make them as extravagant as they can.”
Of course, as we reported last year, the fact that gender-reveal parties are popular at all is curious given our heightened awareness about gender issues and the push toward letting people define their gender for themselves.
Then again, we’re starting with alligators here.