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I’ve been a fan of The Weeknd since the summer of 2011 when I first heard the Canadian entertainer’s sultry Drake-assisted track The Zone. Back then, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye rarely made appearances and his cover art was an ode to his love for White women so we barely knew what he looked like. That was 10 years ago. Today, The Weeknd is one of the biggest artists on the planet drawing comparisons to the late Michael Jackson. Despite the spotlight, the mystique is still there.

The Weeknd remains a top trending topic on Twitter, today, following the release of the visuals for his latest single Save Your Tears in which he debuted a”plastic surgery” face as intriguing as it is visually disturbing. On the surface, it seems like an obvious publicity stunt to ramp up record sales, but this is more calculated starting with his gory After Hours cover and bandaged face at the American Music Awards. While it may very well be for shock value, The Weeknd’s distorted face is a reflection of what has become the norm on social media — botched and outrageous plastic surgery and a system that rewards the bizarre with likes.

While plastic surgery isn’t new, it has reached peak levels with the rise of social media. It’s become synonymous with celebrity and influencership while being an indicator of lifestyle. The Clermont Twins and Audrey O’ Day are examples of personalities whose brands have ventured into disturbia. Plastic surgery was once considered taboo, now it is a vehicle to fame adjacency.

Abel’s new face is most-likely not permanent with prosthetic designer Mike Marino taking credit for the look.

Whether The Weeknd’s Save Your Tears is a the greatest stunt of 2021, or it is his attempt at some greater social commentary, the single has entered the top 10 on the Billboard charts further perpetuating plastic surgery runs parallel to success. Social commentary or experiment? Either way, well played.


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The Weeknd’s ‘Plastic Surgery’ Face: Social Commentary Or Publicity Stunt?  was originally published on