Over the past few days, The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) had the Internet abuzz with photos of his face appearing severely altered from a botched plastic surgery. The singer’s exaggerated cheekbones and forehead had fans saying he resembled a mashup between Jocelyn “Catwoman” Wildenstein and the late Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado. Fans even began humorously comparing him to “Handsome Squidward.”
But he’s finally showed off all his “work” in his new music video for his song “Save Your Tears,” and his appearance may not be only thing you’re left to wonder about.
The Weeknd started teasing us with this motif late last year when he showed up to the 2020 MTV VMAs in August with a bruised and beat up face. He then took the theme even further by popping in November at the American Music Awards with his whole head bandaged, and this video serves as a possible coda.
Mike Marino, studio designer at Prosthetic Renaissance Makeup-FX, posted an Instagram slideshow of how he came up with the idea for The Weeknd’s face with the caption reading, “My original rough sculpture and separated appliances with textures. Consisting of 4 prosthetic appliances, main face being a collapsible mold.”
The video’s setting was clearly inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1999 movie “Eyes Wide Shut,” and although there are many patrons present, the only persons unmasked are The Weeknd and his love object; her face, however, is untouched. There is also one particular scene that is certain to get the rumor mill fired up. Starting at around the 1:47 mark, The Weeknd appears to be holding a gold trophy and sings the lines, “I broke your heart like someone did to mine / And now you won’t love me for a second time,” after which he chucks it away.
The video has left many viewers wondering about its meaning and providing their own possible interpretations. Some of them range from commentary on the illusion of perfection on social media to possibly a love song about former flame Selena Gomez or maybe even a swipe at another ex, Bella Hadid. Let’s see how he plans to top this with his upcoming performance at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime show.