It turns out that The Weeknd's shocking new look that was seen on his latest music video is merely the work of a prosthetic artist. While fans initially thought it was plastic surgery of epic Michael Jackson's proportions, the New York Post reports that the credit is due to Mike Marino of Prosthetic Renaissance.
In his video for the song "Save Your Tears," which premiered on Tuesday, The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is seen with an exaggerated jawline, swollen cheeks, smaller eyes, and a slimmer and crooked nose. The new-look immediately went viral on social media as fans expressed mixed emotions of dismay and support over the drastic change.
This is not the first time that The Weeknd has superficially manipulated his looks to reflect his songs. As Marie Claire recounts, he appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards last year sporting what looked like a broken nose and black eyes. He also embraced a gory and bloody look with a matching red jacket for a Saturday Night Live performance. But perhaps what led fans to quickly conclude plastic surgery on the Weeknd's shocking new look were his heavily bruised eyes and bandaged face at the American Music Awards in November.
He set the stage well, and fans fell for it. One tweet says, "You are the modern version of Michael Jackson" (who happens to be one of the singer's biggest musical idols), while another tweet adds, "Why does The Weeknd look like that in the Save Your Tears music video!?! I don't like it."
While his shocking new look was the first thing viewers have noticed, most were also quick to point out that a couple of women in the video strongly resembled former girlfriend, Selena Gomez. He was also seen performing on a stage and throwing away a large golden trophy, which fans say is a dig at the Grammy's. To say that The Weeknd was disappointed at not being nominated at the now-postponed 2021 Grammy Awards is an understatement.
He tweeted, "The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency..." after his critically-acclaimed album "After Hours" and megahit single "Blinding Lights" were snubbed by the award-giving body. Rumors swirled that his upcoming performance at the 2021 Super Bowl may have played a part in the snub as he won't perform at the Grammy's. Still, the Recording Academy's chair and interim president/CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., quickly shot those rumors down.
In a statement supplied to Billboard, Mason Jr. said, "We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he's feeling. His music this year was excellent...To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd's performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process."
The Weeknd is set to perform at the 2021 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 7. While the challenges presented by Covid-19 may impact the live performance, fans are probably hoping for a gore-free appearance this time.
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