These days, Zac Efron is growing increasingly shirtless. His pecs are popping in the trailer for The Notebook of Dear John Saying a Vow for The Lucky One, the latest confection from the elves who make the cookies and tissues at Nicholas Sparks tear-jerker factory. Now he’s all bicep and sinew and flat stomach for his Men’s Health cover. Yeah, Zac Efron has a banging body, but doesn’t looking at him make you feel, I don’t know, dirty?
It’s like he’s your stepmother’s half cousin who you always see playing shirts vs. skins basketball at family reunions and you really want him badly, but he’s still family. You’re not related by blood but there’s something so familiar about him that the thought of actually getting naked together seems like it might get you sent to the slammer.
Just look at this cover. Yes, it’s a little ridiculous — what celebrity keeps his shirt on while posing for Men’s Fitness? (It’s like the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition featuring a burqini.) But it’s all sex. Our Zac-y is trying to tell you he’s a big man with a man’s body and he is going to throw you down and ravage you like a man. He might even have chest hair to wax now!
That is the problem with Zac. When most of you first saw him he was the blandly asexual kid twirling through High School Musical. You dreamed about marrying him, you added Efron after your first names and wrote them a million times in your Trapper Keepers as if it was a magic spell that could make it come true. You did not, however, imagine, you know, actually doing it.
But now the time has come and Zac isn’t that boy with the proto-Bieber haircut and a sly kiss on the cheek. He’s the romantic lead who wants you to fall in love with him and then carry his babies and everything that comes in between. (Mostly the in between stuff.) Still, you can’t help looking at him like he’s your younger brother’s best friend who you used to tease in high school but never thought of like that until he went through his growth spurt and his skin cleared up. But that’s exactly what Zac Efron is: He’s everyone’s younger brother’s hot best friend who is putting his beefcake on the buffet. We just feel bad about taking it. He’s all grown up, but we’re still seeing the little boy, not the man. Either that or it is his questionable taste in selecting projects. That might have something to do with it.
Still if he’s going to keep putting that body out there, we’re going to keep looking. We’re all only human.