Several Anime Conventions Announce New Ban on Attendees Wearing ‘Ahegao’ Clothing

Three different anime conventions have announced new policies specifically banning attendees from wearing ‘Ahegao’ print clothing, citing reasons such as “feedback from staff, attendees, guests, and the industry” and the “social climate” for the ban.

‘Ahegao’ clothing refers to items such as t-shirts or hoodie sweatshirts that bear multiple cropped images, taken from various hentai doujins, of characters making the ‘Ahegao’ face, a facial expression typically featuring rolled back eyes and a protruding tongue featured in numerous adult manga and anime. These items have recently grown in popularity, as many have begun to wear the t-shirt as an ironic joke or in contrarian response to the growing number of complaints about the adult origins of the clothing.

On January 15th, the Colorado Anime Fest became the first convention to officially announce a ban on Ahegao clothing, stating that they “will not permit ‘ahegao’ or similar clothing with graphic sexual imagery to be worn on the convention floor.”

Related: Rose City Comic Con Bans Hydra and Red Skull Cosplay

The next day, Anime Milwaukee announced a similar change to their “Costume & Clothing Policy”, stating that this change was implemented because “the world and social climate has changed dramatically over the past couple years” and clarifying that this ban will not affect cosplay costumes:

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Announcing that they had “decided to follow suit of some of our fellow conventions,” Minnesota-based anime convention Anime Detour revealed that they would be instituting a similar policy for their “2020 convention and all future conventions.”

Related: Anime NYC Institutes Ban on Cosplays of “Fictitious Nazis or Nazi-Like Organizations”

In response to this announcement, the official Twitter accounts of Colorado Anime Fest and Anime Milwaukee assured Anime Detour that the convention had their “full support.”

While some applauded these policy changes, others took issue with the apparent hypocrisy of the conventions’ decisions, as while the ‘Ahegao’ clothing items were targeted for their sexual associations, “sexy” cosplayers were still permitted unrestricted:

Related: Alice Livanart Responds to EuroCosplay’s Ban of Her “Racist” League of Legends Costume

What do you make of these policy changes?

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