The Pursuit Of A Baytwach Body Sent Actor Zac Efron Into A Depression

By Doreen R December 12, 2023

The pervasive scrutiny of celebrities’ bodies is a long-standing issue, particularly for women. However, male celebrities also grapple with gendered expectations, ranging from chiseled biceps to “washboard abs.” Zac Efron, a figure who has inadvertently contributed to these unrealistic standards, reveals in a recent interview for Men’s Health’s October cover that the immense pressure to embody the “ideal” physique, especially for his role in Baywatch in 2017, has taken a toll on his health.

Efron acknowledges the detrimental impact of perpetuating unrealistic body standards through his roles, both personally and for others. He reflects on the unattainable “Baywatch” look, admitting that it required extreme measures, including the use of Lasix, a potent diuretic that led to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. The pursuit of this aesthetic ideal left Efron grappling with profound depression and burnout.

Image source: zacefron/Instagram

In the interview, Efron discloses his reliance on diuretics and overtraining with minimal sleep while preparing for “Baywatch.” The abuse of diuretics, initially intended for treating high blood pressure, is a common practice in bodybuilding and Hollywood to achieve a lean, ripped appearance. However, the consequences can be severe, ranging from dehydration to, in extreme cases, death.

The toll on Efron’s mental and physical well-being became evident as he developed insomnia and struggled with depression. The experience prompted him to open up about the damaging effects of striving for the Baywatch body, emphasizing recognizing the adverse consequences. It took six months after filming for Efron to regain a sense of well-being, highlighting the lasting impact of his extreme measures.

Efron’s decision to share his experience stems from a desire to caution individuals aspiring to attain similar bodies about the devastating process involved. He emphasizes that pursuing such unrealistic standards led to significant personal struggles, and it took an extended break and a visit to Australia for him to find balance again.

As Efron trains for his upcoming undisclosed movie, he expresses a shift in perspective. No longer willing to sacrifice his well-being for the “Baywatch” body, he reflects on when he allowed himself to deviate from the constant pressure to stay in top shape. However, the experiment revealed that contrary to expectations, he felt miserable, sluggish, and disconnected from his body.

Image source: zacefron/Instagram

In the face of commentary on his changed physique while streaming his reality show Down to Earth, where some referred to it as a “dad bod,” Efron reevaluates the societal perceptions attached to his body. This introspection prompts a rejection of the pursuit of an unrealistic ideal, signaling a newfound commitment to prioritizing his health over conforming to societal expectations.