Ah, fetishes — everyone has them, few mention them outside the confines of their web browser (Incognito mode, of course.)
You know the common culprits: feet, BDSM, and handcuffs. These fetishes were all popular between the sheets long before the dawn of the internet. But sometimes, you don’t know you have a fetish until you see a pornstar or gamer girl post a meme about it.
This seems to have been the impetus behind ahegao: a facial expression characterized by rolling or crossed eyes, a dangling tongue, blushing cheeks, and profuse sweating or drooling. As one writer artfully described it, ahegao looks like a cross between having an anvil dropped on your foot while tripping on psychedelics.
Over the past year, Ahegao (pronounced ah-heh-gah-oh) has crawled out of the dark corners of the internet into mainstream culture. As we write this, Google searches for ahegao have increased by 50%. Reddit’s ahegao-related subreddits have a combined quarter of a million followers. #ahegao on Instagram has nearly a million posts (not counting the ones that get removed for violating the app’s community guidelines.)
All of this craze...for a facial expression.