Is The Weeknd’s Faux Plastic Surgery Transformation a Statement or a Publicity Stunt? Anthropology Professor Is on the Case

The Conversation

Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, has been trending on social media in the past few weeks after debuting a faux plastic surgery face in his latest music video. But was he out for shock value or to make a bold statement?

In a recent piece for The Conversation, Alvaro Jarrin, associate professor of anthropology at the College of the Holy Cross, said that he was "struck" by The Weeknd’s use of this medical practice.

An anthropologist who has been analyzing the societal implications of plastic surgery for over 15 years, Jarrin believes that this might be the singer's way of acknowledging the immense pressures that celebrities feel to conform to unrealistic beauty standards.

"For celebrities, it can sometimes seem that there’s no pleasing anyone," says Jarrin. "By making those concerns with superficial beauty part of his art, The Weeknd seems to throw that mirror back at his listeners, asking them to reflect on the irrelevance of his appearance to his craft."

To read the full article, go to