One of the weirder trends spotted at a lot of anime cons lately has been the prevalence of a certain piece of clothing. Technically there is more than one design, but you know, that one.
We speak, of course, about the rising popularity of the “ahegao hoodie.”
For those of you blissfully unaware what “ahegao” means, it refers to a certain kind of exaggerated expression on a female character’s face in hentai. To put it bluntly, it’s cartoon porn face. If you want to know more, I’ll spare your google search history by pointing to the Wikipedia page for it, but that’s really the gist of things.
Needless to say, it’s controversial.
People who defend them will point out that the clothing only features the character’s faces and that nothing explicit is displayed. Critics will point out that the imagery comes from a pornographic source and that anime conventions (where the hoodies are most often seen) are often supposed to be family-friendly events. I tend to take the middle ground — that it’s just really creepy to tell strangers what kind of porn you’re into, and that I really don’t consent to participate in your scene. Like, dude, you’re in public. Stop being so gross.
Apparently conventions are starting to wake up too. Recently UK based SunnyCon Anime Expo has announced that they are banning the clothing from their event. Earlier this week the convention posted the following to their twitter account:
⚠️Currently updating our cosplay etiquette rules for 2020 and we're not allowing ahegao clothing at our future events because we are an all-age convention. Rules will be uploaded this week as we update our site but we thought we'd get this one out there so you have been informed!
— SunnyConExpo (@SunnyAnimeExpo) November 18, 2019
Honestly I think it’s the right step, and I hope more cons decide to do this as well. I literally saw dozens of these at a con earlier this month, and it’s just… it’s just gross folks. I can’t believe I have to keep saying stuff like this, but I honestly never at any point need to know what gives you a boner. It’s just unnecessary, and odds are no one else wants to know what gives you a boner either if you’re wearing these things.
Just please stop.