For many months in 2020, The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) was out in public, promoting the singles off of his 2020 album After Hours. Abel decided to forgo the streetwear kind of style he had for his previous promotional tours, and for After Hours, he went for suits and sharper-looking menswear. Weirdly, he also made “bandages” and a bloody face part of his promotional style. Whenever we saw him at an awards show or doing any kind of video or performance, his face looked beat to hell and he was always wearing bandages. I honestly thought it was all just a weird prop thing, an attempt to do something memorable, and I didn’t pay that much attention to it.
But… were all of the bandages real? Did he get plastic surgery? Abel posted the Instagram above last night and people are freaking out. In other recent IGs, he doesn’t look *this* different, which means that it’s likely facial prosthetics rather than cosmetic surgery. But it’s a total YIKES either way. Apparently, the “new face” was for this new music video for “Save Your Tears.”
Here’s my thing…I’m actually feeling kind of bad that I haven’t been paying more attention to what Abel has been doing? I feel like he’s been trying to make some kind of point or create some kind of narrative with the bloody face and bandages, and this video is probably the culmination of all of those narratives. But… there will be so many people, like me, who weren’t paying attention to his sh-t for months and are now like “WTF did he do to his face??!”
Photos courtesy of Instagram, Avalon Red, Backgrid.
Why? Whyyyyy? Why do people do this to themselves?
This is clearly prosthetics. The fact that anybody thinks this is real is kinda laughable
I guess I need a bigger cup of coffee this morning. Phew!
I hope you’re right, I mean you probably are.
There is a woman, tho, who got this kind of plastic surgery. Dunno her name, she was in the news a couple of years ago. I guess she was going for strong cheekbones a la Malificent (which is a combination of prosthetics, make-up and a bit CGI), but since you can’t just cut the cheeks out of a normal face, they just added the “bones”. She looked exactly like he does here.
Definitely prosthetics. You can see his real eyebrows under the fake ones. Also, in the photo of him bloody and bruised, his ‘injuries’ are inconsistent. Eyelids are usually the first to swell and his aren’t puffy at all. His lip and eyebrow aren’t swollen where they’re injured, just red. Yet his nose is swollen and cut in a very odd way – because it’s a prosthetic. You can literally see it on his nose. Nice performance art, I guess??
You have seen what Guy Tang has done to his face right
Yeah, I would ask for my money back as that surgery was botched.
My first thought was that this was a dig at Bella Hadid because uhhhh…
WHAT? This isnt photshopping? I cannot believe it. WHY??
His before face is beautiful, his now face is hideous.
I think that’s the point? I usually cringe at these gimmicky PR hoaxes but this one resonates. I think it’s a great point – almost no one loooks better after plastic surgery in my opinion, especially these already lovely people who go for “trendy” changes to their faces and bodies.
Oh good lord I’m gonna start believing some of the conspiracy theories about the music industry if this weird stuff keeps up. Wtf? He was a nice looking man. I hope he’s ok. I hope it’s just makeup and a publicity stunt.
It’s prosthetics everyone, you can all relax now because it isn’t real
I don’t doubt its prosthetics but I think maybe he did get into some lip fillers because those bad boys look plumped. Unless there is a way of doing prosthetic lips.
I think it’s a combination of putting something between his lips and teeth, makeup, and him simply pouting.
I feel the same! He was trying to make a cohesive performance art statement and I just kind of ignored it. I didn’t finish watching the video as his face was too distracting
I think this is some kind of prosthetics-enabled stunt, I just can’t figure out what the goal is. Is he shading his ex, Bella Hadid? Is it a Michael Jackson reference? I’m so confused.
Jinx! You owe me a Coke! I just said the same thing!
I laughed at shading Bella Hadid! Can’t think of any other explanation now!!
I’m confused, also. Maybe it’s a reference to new music? In any case, he’s probably happy he finally got everyone’s attention.
probably shading the whole industry. i doubt it’s directed at any one person.
I thought the same thing!! He looks like Bella Hadid – especially in the end, the last shot (I’m not sure what the correct term is) of the video!
Wasn’t he with Bella Hadid? I wonder if this is a jab at her and her jacked face(s)?
Why won’t you leave Michael Jackson alone and let him rest in peace, The Weeknd? It’s kinda creepy raing MJ out of the dead.
I’m not seeing MJ…more Little Richard.
Jocelyn Wildenstein. He just needs kitty-Kat ears.
Oh yes…let’s all do as you say. Jeez, it’s a public message board.
So his character from this album is running away from something, probably loan sharks, and has been kidnapped beaten, etc. if you follow the videos chronologically by US/CAN release order.
He likes concept albums. Remember the last on he did with daft punk and his character was Starboy, the literal name of the album. In that one he’s steals his own identity and get abducted by the daft robots. It’s just concept albums guys.
What does that concept have to do with this cat face plastic surgery look? It makes no sense.
The character may be getting plastic surgery to hide from whoever beat them up. That makes sense given everything else.
I’m kind of surprised that so few people are getting this?
I know right. If you really watch all his videos and pay attention, there is always a story line that continues and it all connects.
I don’t get it because I’m an old fart deep in my soul even though I was a teen in the 80’s when music and imagery got mixed together.My family didn’t have cable, we couldn’t afford it, so I only got to see music videos on Friday Night Videos until I got friends who had cable. I guess that was the start of all this. I miss Dionne or Whitney putting on a beautiful gown a singing. Just singing. Now get off my lawn! 😜
If you squint he kind of looks like Bella Hadid. Well, like every insta-model and influencer really. Hmm.
So. I am not sure I have ever heard any of his songs, but at some point seeing him all scared and in bandages on this site I did a simple google search and apparently that was some kind of warning against drunk driving, which he tried to make as point in addition to his music. I would assume that now he is having a go at all those plastic surgery fanatics. I am just not sure that will be enough to force some of them to actually look in a mirror, but this effort definitely is appreciated. by me at least.
Great Jocelyn Wildensteins!
I like that he does performance art and creates a visual narrative for his album, I just wish the music were better 😑
I like he is committed to his performance art. Very Bowiesque, going to award shows in exaggerated bruising and bandages and now this. It’s pretty good prosthetics also.
I hope it’s a joke, because if he’s really going that route, yikes… Some of us are old enough to remember Michael Jackson and his journey through plastic surgery…
Oh my goodness, those facial prosthetics are just awful lol. That is full on Joyce Wilderstein territory scary. I mean, props to him for getting ready for Halloween so early. 😂 I wonder what the theme of the video is.
Wow! Who say Liberace cheek bones go out of style!
Kinda getting Lionel Ritchie ‘Hello’ vibes mixed with Michael Jackson.
People aren’t paying attention because there’s a PANDEMIC going on with REAL deaths and livelihoods turned upside down. Try- hard pseudo art pales in comparison.
Musical artists with an ongoing storyline or easter eggs is fun for fans who really want to dive into that artist’s world. But for casual fans who just want to enjoy the music without additional work, it’s confusing and even annoying. Which is why songs, performances, appearances, etc for the general audience don’t usually include the storyline part. It’s a way to have both an artistic expression and continued commercial success. It seems like he’s decided to go all in with the artist expression even if it pushes away casual fans.
I’m a casual fan of his and I’m not pushed away. Am I going to research why he’s doing this? No. But I’ll still watch the videos and listen to the songs I like. Not every thing has to be crafted to appeal to me.
I think Abel is making a statement about plastic surgery and what mainly young girls are doing to themselves. It’s hideous and I truly hope this he’s going to tackle this issue.
He looks like a Kardashian! Definitely hope it’s fake!
it is. There is an artist credit for prosthetics at the end of the video.
Yikes! I do hope it’s not real, it’s not a good look on anyone.
His IG has his normal face at Christmas so this continues to be his artsy side. It is gandering attention, which I’m sure is his goal, and is a good lead-in for his Super Bowl performance.
Its prosthetics… There is a prosthetics credit at the end. Duh
It’s fake it’s for the music video. I think it’s a total jab at Bella too. The plastic surgery thing is a theme that’s been going on in all his new music videos.
When he showed up at awards shows in bandages and all bloodied I thought it was a reference to BLM and people being beaten by the cops. Now I’m going to have to watch all the videos in order to get the narrative. I do think the look of the prosthetics might be a dig at Bella.
That music video was so beautiful… and nightmarish. Like, incredibly disturbing. In parts it actually reminded me of the movie Legend, when the princess is pulled into a dance with a masked dancer (and is “seduced” into wearing what the masked dancer is wearing, i.e. becoming something else)
editing to add: Yeah, it definitely looks like it’s a comment on people being seduced into disfiguring themselves with “richface” surgery as a sort of class marker. My husband said something about entertainers being exploited, too? Interesting.
I’ve seen Real Housewives makeovers before.
He went full on Madonna muppet face.
My dear melancholy is one of the best breakup albums of all time. I literally wept it was so raw. That is all.
He is clearly mocking plastic surgery ( I hope) LOLOLOL