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Which Zac Efron Is the Hottest Zac Efron?

From lanky Disney hottie to socially conscious Netflix daddy, Efron has managed to evolve along with a whole generation’s thirst

This blog should not exist. Zac Efron is extremely attractive. He is so gorgeous that Netflix willingly threw him a fat paycheck to star in an uninspiring self-help documentary series, Down to Earth. Efron, bless his heart, is learning about sustainability and climate change by jetting across the globe with an expensive camera crew. 

Most recently, Efron is known as the Baywatch hunk so chiseled you could grate cheese on his perfect abs (thanks to constant workouts and dehydration training). Down to Earth presents a new Efron, now 32. The boy has gotten… thicc? He’s rounder in the face and smoother around the waist. Page Six labeled it a “dad bod,” which is absurd! That’s offensive to the beauty of a fatherly physique.

Efron’s still-present abs and sculpted shoulders so clearly don’t resemble a non-celebrity male-presenting body that it’s a little silly to even entertain the assertion that he now looks “relatable.” Still, here I am, frustrated that Page Six has shaded one of the longest-running sex symbols in my life. 

Starting in 2006 as the heartthrob of High School Musical, Efron did what I asked of him late one night in my childhood bedroom while staring at a Tumblr photo of his perfect blue eyes: to just stay hot. 

Perhaps that is itself a sort of activism. Hots, instead of saying something tone-deaf (like writing an entire blog about an attractive white celebrity during a pandemic), start learning to shut up and stay gorgeous so that we all can have momentary escapes from our hell worlds. 

So which era of Efron is the hottest? “It’s every era. I’ve grown up with him. Hairspray, I was into that. Bleach-blond, it definitely tracks. Right now, I’m feeling the current look,” longtime fan Alexis Martinez, 26, tells me. She tweeted out a thank you to Efron for matching her tastes in men — from his lanky Disney days to socially conscious Netflix daddy. “He doesn’t stick to the status quo.” (That’s a High School Musical pun, you Gen Xers.)

High School Musical (2006)

Efron starred in the first film of the High School Musical franchise in 2006. He was 19 while filming but plays a very young-looking high school junior. Tween me was obsessed with this fuckboi.

Hairspray (2007)

Efron’s first major change to his look came a year later when he played Link Larkin in the film adaption of Hairspray. With slicked-back hair and a clean face, Efron still looks way too young to appropriately thirst. Plus, Hairspray low-key is a white-savior film.

The Beach Photo That Changed My Life (2008)

Just as Ryan Phillippe’s ass made a generation of millennials gay, Efron’s toned torso and Calvin Klein underwear peeking through too-long shorts radicalized 11-year-old me and many Gen Zs around the world. 

17 Again (2009)

These were the days of blow-dried sweeping bangs. This photo reminds me of Axe body spray. I’m sorry, I just can’t mentally go back there again.

Charlie St. Cloud (2010)

Please welcome “Serious Actor Efron” to the stage. The Charlie St. Cloud era is one of his most popular. What I see, though, is another basic white guy getting away with being basic, white and a guy. Efron is giving us Abercrombie & Fitch — which, much like their overpriced sweaters, feels uninspired.

Neighbors (2014)

Ah, we’ve reached peak Efron. His face is more angular, less boyish. His body is toned but not overdone. And he’s giving us some mild chest hair. Neighbors is undeniably the hottest Efron, and let me tell you those hot dogs aren’t the only sausages sizzling (sorry, Mom).

We Are Your Friends (2014)

I will refrain from commenting on Efron sagging on the beach in weed underwear while filming We Are Your Friends so HR won’t call me in for thirsting during business hours.

Baywatch (2017)

Teaming up with Dwayne Johnson for the Baywatch reboot meant Efron had to get in top physical shape. But this era is an example of how maintaining sex-symbol status can compromise one’s mental health.

“I realized when I was done with that movie, I don’t ever want to be in that good of shape again. Really. It was so hard. You’re working with almost no wiggle room. You’ve got things like water under your skin you’re worrying about. Making your six-pack into a four-pack. Shit like that, that’s just not… it’s just stupid, it’s just not real,” Efron said on an April episode of Hot Ones

Honorable Mentions

  • The Paperboy (2012): Efron can stuff my mailbox any day. 
  • Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016): Sororities aren’t the only thing rising…
  • The Greatest Showman (2017): And what a great show it was.
  • The Beach Bum (2019): If this movie isn’t about Efron’s tight ass on a sandy Florida shore, I’m not interested
  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019): I have too much shame to publicly lust after Zac Efron as killer Ted Bundy. 

And now we have…

Down to Earth (2020)

Honestly, Efron is starting to look like Jax Taylor from Vanderpump Rules, so I’ll let Martinez say her peace and objectify modern-day Efron. “This is a little more real. I could see him walking down the street or at the gym, and I would be like, ‘Oh my god that guy’s so hot,’ but he’s not that unattainable like the Ken Doll he was for so many years,” she says. 

In short? “I just love to see it.”