Celebrity culture has long been about indulging people’s appetite for shock and awe. It’s about creating a conversation, for good or for bad. The Weekend’s plastic surgery certainly did that.
There was a lot that was said about it, with people mostly wondering why would he ever do that to his face. While it’s back to “normal” again, what was it all about? And did The Weekend really change his face for the so-called “performance art”? Let’s find out.
But First, Who Is The Weekend?
Few people know that The Weekend began his music career first through YouTube, where he uploaded on his channel “xoxxxoooxo.” It was anonymous, but his voice drew comparisons to none other than the King of Pop himself – Michael Jackson. The R&B singer has also made it clear that Micheal Jackson is everything to him, and people are going to hear him in his music.
The Weekend’s (actually without the third “e” in the end) actual name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye. He is a Canadian R&B singer who is known for his smash hits like “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills,” “Stargboy,” “Blinding Lights,” and “Earned It,” – for which he received an Oscar nomination. Other than that, he has also won Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, MTV Music Awards, and American Music Awards, among others.
Initially, he wasn’t too big on getting the spotlight, saying his career was going to be longer “because I haven’t given people everything.” However, to him, it was also about not doing things in “excess,” a point that he would also try to make through his plastic surgery.
Having worked with Drake, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, and Ed Sheeran, among others, there’s no putting a stop to the star’s meteoric rise. Currently, he has over 38 million followers on his Instagram alone, with his YouTube channel having over 18 billion views.
The Weekend’s Face Unraveling
It all started back in 2019 when he released the music video “Heartless.” Drunk, he wanders through LA. His following music videos follow the course of that night, where things go from bad to worse for him. In his interview with Variety, he said, “This character is having a really bad night — all these videos are taking place in one night — and you can come with your own interpretation of what it is.”
After that came “Blinding Lights” in January 2020. He told Esquire that the video was about “driving to this person” who you really want to see, but “you’re just really blinded by streetlights.” However, that doesn’t stop you from going to them “because you’re so lonely,” After an accident and a fight, his face ends up bloodied and bruised.
Continuing the storyline, he gets bandages. But he appears with those bandages (just on the nose, for now) to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. It’s in March that more action takes place with the release of the “After Hours” short film, “In You Eyes” music video (where he gets decapitated) and his SNL performance. For those, who watched the show, it was clear that The Weekend’s get-up was makeup and prosthetics because he had his original face in the sketches.
“Until I Bleed Out” was released, and in “Too Late,” his decapitated head was attached to another body. With a bruised face, he performed at MTV Video Music Awards, and it was at the American Music Awards that almost the entirety of his head was covered in bandages. Now, that created confusion, again. Was the Weekend plastic surgery real? Many thought so when the bandages came off in the “Save Your Tears” Music video. And many people thought the surgery a disaster.
What Was Included In The Weekend Plastic Surgery “Package”?
It’s only a guess from his “Save Your Tears” music video. It was “botched” in every sense of the word. Everything was done to the extreme and “in excess,” making him look disfigured.
While these implants can help add to the facial symmetry and even restore lost volume, giving people a more youthful appearance, on The Weekend, they looked simply wrong. It was like someone had taken some clay and pinched it at the corners, giving it that sharp-ish look.
It was the nose where the bandages were first seen, so it only makes sense that it was damaged enough for him to get a nose repair job. While originally having a button nose, the surgery gave him a completely new nose with a sharper tip, flared nostrils, and an implant or filler in the dorsum.
It was supposed to look straight, but it didn’t. It may have been a dig at the “straight nose” being an ideal beauty standard among many celebs (since he, too, is one in his album).
A part of his full face makeover was also lip fillers. Again, it is seemingly meant to poke fun at the celeb culture of having bigger, fuller lips. But the way it was done on the singer’s face, it was meant to look bad, and of course, it was overdone.
It was hard to look away from the whole of The Weekend plastic surgery. With those lips, you couldn’t help but notice that his teeth looked white and a little too much. Teeth whitening is a popular procedure among celebrities, so, again, it would make sense here.
The singer had very prominent scars in his music video, particularly on the sides of his face. A facelift involves making incisions around the temples and front of the ears. Done right, the scars from a facelift should not be visible, but since this was a botched operation, it should have been expected.
What Was The Reaction to The Weekend Plastic Surgery?
Needless to say, it blew up the internet. And not many people were happy with “The Weekend plastic surgery” phenomenon. Most popularly, he was referred to as a “Handsome Squidward.” This was a reference to an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where Squidward gets hit by a door, and that makes him look “handsome.”
Some people said that it looked like an “allergic reaction,” while a fan jokingly said that he looked more like “Monday” than a weekend. In an interview with Variety, he did make it clear that “being attractive isn’t important to me but a compelling narrative is.” Well, he was successful in what he was trying to say.
But Why Did The Weekend Get Plastic Surgery?
The internet was abuzz with theories. After all, what could have led to this? Some said that The Weekend was inspired by Michael Jackson himself, even in this. Some thought it was a dig at his ex-girlfriends: Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez.
Some even compared the female model in “Save Your Tears” with Selena and said that her name was whispered in the video. Another theory was that it was a jab at being snubbed at the Grammys (he did not receive any nominations).
He cleared things up in an interview with Variety that took place before his Super Bowl LV Halftime show. “The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” said the superstar. In answer to another question, he said, “It’s all a progression and we watch The Character’s storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.
So, it’s a character who is meant to critique the culture of not only celebrities but also their fans, as was depicted in the “Too Late” music video. Celebrities feel pressured to look a certain way at all times, and it’s possible that their own fans don’t let them be more “normal” or “human.”
Things like acne, weight gain, or ageing are not “forgiven.” This is even more so for women than men. So, plastic surgery is one way to deflect that critique. Although, if we’re being honest, the surgery itself becomes a source of critique or ridicule.
Was The Weekend Plastic Surgery Real?
The Weekend plastic surgery was never real. He had facial prosthetics done by the designer Mike Marino of Prosthetic Renaissance. Marino posted about it on Instagram, where he told everyone that the look was composed of 4 prosthetic appliances. Anyway, the Weekend plastic surgery saga came to an end before the Super Bowl LV Halftime show in February 2021.
More recently, Mike Marino posted about the prosthetics for Weekend’s new album “Dawn FM.” With the “Old Man” face – wrinkles and white hair and beard – the Weekend is hardly recognisable.
Through his very elaborate performance, the Weekend plastic surgery was successful in creating a conversation. The plastic surgery was the culmination of all the madness that was depicted in his music videos. It was a critique of its excess as that did leave his face quite disfigured. However, it also showed the pressures and scrutiny that celebs face.
Fortunately, Weekend’s face transformation was just prosthetics. Throughout the year, he wore them on different occasions with his red jacket and black shirt, but it came to an end before his 2021 Super Bowl performance.