A YouTube-famous family got a lot more than what they were… expecting after posting a video of a gender-reveal stunt at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The video couldn’t have landed at a worse time as the practice recently caused a massive wildfire in El Dorado County, California. Opponents of these gender-reveal parties and gimmicks, including the creator of the trend, are imploring expecting parents to “stop it.”
Vloggers Anas Marwah and wife Asala, known as the Anasala family to their 7.94 million YouTube subscribers, shared an over-the-top stunt of the world tallest building turning blue to indicate that the couple will be having a baby with a penis. It’s filmed to capture the family’s reaction as the unborn child’s sex is “revealed.” Tears of joy stream down their faces as they learn what genitals their baby will be born with.
The Anasala family released a 15-minute ‘making of’ documentary detailing how they pulled off the stunt.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for two months now,” Asala says in Arabic in the video.
“We wanna do something special but also memorable so that [the] family will look back at it and see what we built and created,” Anas adds.
“Today is the day, guys, where we will reveal the gender of the baby for Anasala’s family on the tower of the Burj Khalifa,” Anas goes on in the video, which has more than 21 million views on YouTube.
“Oh, my God, I have goosebumps,” his wife says.
But, wait, it gets better.
The couple also shares, in the documentary, that they plan to move to California. What!? It seemed almost too on-the-nose for some viewers who noted that their future home state currently has historic and devastating wildfires ravaging it. One of which, of course, was infamously caused by a gender-reveal stunt. The blaze has consumed over 9,000 acres and 20,000 people had been evacuated because of it.
Commenters were fast to decry the bad timing of the display and its potential cost. One person, the New York Post found, estimated the cost to be upwards of $95,000.
Really really disgusting In midst of global pandemic too— mac (@macdaddie415) September 11, 2020
“People spending insane amounts of money on a gender reveal party, right after a gender reveal party set half of America on fire, is like the most Dubai thing I’ve ever seen,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Really really disgusting [in] midst of [a] global pandemic too,” another added.
The video further stirred the debate raging online and off about the relevance of these gender-reveal stunts. If you don’t know the difference between sex and gender, look it up. After all, a gender-reveal actually reveals very little about an unborn child unless you’re really into knowing what genitals they’re going to be born with (those do not a gender make).
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The ‘inventor’ of gender-reveal parties weighed in after the news of the California wildfire broke.
Jenna Karvunidis is a parenting blogger who, in 2008, kicked off this trend after throwing a reveal party in which pink icing was found inside a cake. Ever since then, expecting parents have been taking these “reveals” to new extremes. She had something to say after she learned that a stunt sparked a California wildfire.
“Stop having these stupid parties,” she wrote. “For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you. It was 116 degrees in Pasadena yesterday and this tool thought it would be smart to light a fire about his kid’s d*ck. Toxic masculinity is men thinking they need to explode something because simply enjoying a baby party is for sissies.”
Well, that wasn’t a perfect response, but at least we know where Karvunidis stands. The debate continues and you can feel free to wade into it in the comments. Whether you take offense with the exorbitant cost of such a stunt or people not understanding the difference between sex and gender, we’d love to know your thoughts.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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