The Weeknd’s face bandages have been puzzling people ever since he wore them at the 2020 American Music Awards. Before then, he attended the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards with bruises and blood on his face. Well, the “Blinding Lights” singer has finally revealed the reasoning behind his changing face: It was all for his art.
The blood, bandages, and prosthetics were all part of a story within his songs “Heartless,” “In Your Eyes,” “Blinding Lights,” “Too Late,” and “Save Your Tears.” In a recent interview with Variety, days before his much-awaited Super Bowl performance,” he explained that his bandaged face was also a commentary on Hollywood as a whole.
“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,” The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, told Variety. He outlined how the bandaged face in his music video character’s storyline shows him inching toward “heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.”
“Being attractive isn’t important to me but a compelling narrative is,” Tesfaye said.
If you’re wondering if this new character is here to stay, that’s still unclear. The Weeknd said in the Variety interview he enjoys experimenting with new storylines. “Why not play with the character and the artist and let those lines blur and move around?” he added.
Tesfaye is set to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show on February 7. It’s possible we’ll see his bandaged face during the set, but it’s also possible it was just for his music videos. In his Super Bowl commercial, The Weeknd’s face is back to normal, so he may just perform as his usual self. When asked by Variety if his persona, The Weeknd, is still in character, he responded coyly, “I don’t know. I’d have to ask him.”