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Old 09-03-2019, 01:19 PM
BwanaBob's Avatar
BwanaBob is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4,214
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
Celebrate it? Sure. Of course it's a big deal. But in just the last few years, these sort of events have become increasingly standard. I think of them as "look cutes" --events where you want everything to be super produced and creative and slick, so everything "looks cute" in the pictures. Many involve custom props and professional photographers.

Here's a list. I have starred the ones that existed fifteen years ago.

High school--
  • Promposals
  • Senior Pictures*
  • Reaction vids for college acceptances
  • Graduation*
  • Graduation party*
Young adulthood
  • Public Proposal
  • Engagement photo shoot
  • Wedding party invites (where you ask people to be Bridesmaids in elaborate ways)
  • Wedding showers*
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette parties*
  • Bridal Suite (where the bridesmaids all wear matching kimonos and get photos made of getting hair and makeup and stuff)
  • Wedding, Wedding photos*
  • Cute baby announcement/staged photo
  • Gender Reveal Party
  • Nursery theme*
  • Baby Shower*
  • Newborn Photoshoot
  • Sip and See (this is when you have an open house and invite people stop by and see the baby)
  • Monthly photos (with the chalk board, all cute).
  • Big First Birthday Party*

Even the things that existed ten years ago have been ramped up to another level: senior portraits used to happen in a studio: now they go to ever more elaborate locations and have ever more elaborate costume changes. Bachelor parties are now whole weekends. A nursery theme used to be bedding and a couple pictures--now it's transforming a room into a wonderland.

Obviously, very few people do every one of these things, but the sum total of them is overwhelming. It's so much sharing, it's so much making events out of everything. To me, it looks like so much pressure to live a curated life, where you are publicly displaying your emotions in a carefully proscribed way. It puts everyone in a fishbowl. There's women out there right now worried about keeping their nails done all the time because their SO may propose and if he does and their nails look bad in the pictures, they will make a bad impression. And god help you if your emotional reaction--or the way you show it--isn't what people want to see. You're disappointing the masses. There are social circles where these things seem brutally competitive, almost. It's an emotional circle-jerk--instead of orgasm, it's "sqwweeeeee"s.

I'm not so much judging the individuals that do these things as I am shocked at what seems like a sea change in society, in how we interact with each other. Should I be working with my 8 year old to make sure he knows how to pose in "candid" photos? Is that going to be an essential life skill in the world he grows up in? I'm pretty sure most people age 14-30 have a set of poses and expressions they've worked on. I think you have to, these days.

But weirdly, lately, I've seen more and more where the parents DO know and they are "revealing" it to others. Which seems insane. It makes it about the parents enjoying the reactions of the guests, not the other way around. But the simple reality is that no one cares about the sex of the baby like the parents do: for everyone else, either way is the same. It's only the parents who are going to find the rhythms of their lives potentially fundamentally shaped by boy or girl. Making the party about the GUESTS reactions shows a real lack of perspective about the whole thing.
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1st Wet Dream Party
1st Period Party

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