By Catherine Fuentes
October 18, 2010 at 07:55 PM EDT

Image Credit: Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage.comThere comes a day when all teen idols must grow up, and for Zac Efron, that day is today. For today, on Oct. 18, the High School Musical star turns 23, and leaves us fans wondering if he wishes that he could be 17 Again instead of getting one year closer to (deeper into?) adulthood.

I’ve been a fan of Efron since way back in the day when he appeared on Summerland. And though I tried and tried to resist the peppy musical stylings of the High School Musical franchise, my efforts were futile — I quickly became hooked on the Disney trilogy. (I blame a summer internship and a need to learn the “We’re All in This Together” dance routine for a charity contest.) When Efron started to appear in more mainstream (read: you no longer need to hide the DVD jacket to rent in public without any children) titles like Hairspray and 17 Again, I felt this would be the prime opportunity for the public at large to see that Efron is actually a amiable young actor. I can’t help but root for him — he’s just too darn likable.

But then the beard had to happen. That unfortunate beard. Sigh. How is it that facial hair can look so terrible on someone who could even pull off this look? PopWatchers, what do you think is the perfect 23rd birthday present for Efron? A gift card to The Art of Shaving?