The internet collectively dropped its jaw when The Weeknd released his new music video for a song called “Save Your Tears.” The Grammy winner recently fooled his fans and audiences when he walked around at award shows and in music videos with a bloodied, bruised, and bandaged face. Of course, as a member of Hollywood, people quickly assumed that the singer had gotten a plastic surgery makeover and feared for the worst.
Then on Tuesday, he posted a picture to his social media account which seems to verify these rumors. His face looked almost disfigured, with the dramatic appearance of major plastic surgery. Luckily, it was all a high-tech hoax thanks to prosthetics for his music video “Save Your Tears.”
In the video, Abel rocks his signature sparkly red jacket, but with a new facial look. We love his overall look for this glitzy music video, besides his face looking like a botched Kardashian. The internet was horrified and making tons of jokes at his expense, with lots of “I Can’t Feel My Face” jokes riffing on one of the singer’s most famous lyrics.
We also saw hints of this at Kylie Jenner’s Halloween birthday party using prosthetics to transform into Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor. As if his beard and hair transformation back in 2019 wasn’t enough!
It is indeed terrifying, but this “new face” seems to be a comment on the insane plastic surgery of Hollywood — one that he knows well, after dating stars like Selena Gomez and multiple models with a less exaggerated version of these prosthetics. Especially since a Selena lookalike appears in the video (almost identical to her styling for the Dance Again video), dancing on stage with him before pointing a gun to his head.
She’s the only person in the video not wearing a mask, besides The Weeknd. The gun symbolism seems to be a comment on heartbreak and how it can destroy you. It’s provocative in this artist’s classic way, and we wonder if Gomez herself had anything to do with this creative decision, since the two share a true friendship post-breakup, and ended the relationship as best friends who genuinely encourage and care for each other.
Other fans have coined the “Bella Hadid” theory. One says he’s “definitely bashing” her with the plastic surgery theme, especially as Bella has been in the center of many plastic surgery rumors over the years. Some of his lyrics in the song go, “LA girls all look the same/ I can’t recognize/The same work on their face/I don’t criticize.” There’s also a reference to “Chrome Hearts hangin’ from her neck” and Chrome Hearts is a brand Bella has worked and collaborated with many times.
One interpretation by a fan says that the Weeknd is trying to show us how constantly pressured he feels to be perfect by the industry and award shows. Others think it’s a diss at The Grammys, who snubbed the artist on After Hours. But what makes the most sense is that the prosthetics are a reference to his music video persona’s face being beaten up and bandaged in previous music videos. As one Twitter user puts it “it’s part of the theatre he created for this album.” Some actors do method acting, and some singers need to get into their alter ego with some unorthodox techniques. It seems as though these mysteries are part of a bigger story that will only be revealed with more music video chapters.
As it usually is with this singer’s work, the music video is packed with a ton of symbolism that’ll take us hours to analyze, with endless interpretations. Overall, the message seems to be that the Weeknd is over the fakes — the fake industry, the fake people inside of it, and the fake Grammys. Abel’s on a search for authenticity, but we do enjoy how well he pulled off this little publicity stunt.
When Coronavirus finally ends, we wonder if he’ll go on tour with these crazy prosthetics, or have some other daring performance up his sleeve.