Pique N' Your Interest 

A beautiful life

Whistler’s attractiveness hits home

Last weekend it was hot enough to fry an egg on the Valley Trail, so I took to that Valley Trail and got my fried ass to Rainbow Park for the first real session of the season.

I laid my towel down on the lawn and it was like I never left. I was instantly reacquainted with the sheer pleasure of baking in the sun to the point of overheated insanity, then getting up and walking lazily, giddily, one foot tripping over the other to the dock and re-setting the inner thermostat to "ahh" with a quick dive into deliciously cool waters, a swim from dock to dock to dock and then back in.

Back to the towel, to the sun, to the book, to the gang, to a game of throw and catch with some sort of disc/ball unit before going back in the water. Repeat until the shadows start to creep across the lawn. Go home bleary and sunbleached and hope to God you can come back and do the same thing the next day. Living the summertime dream.

Know who else is living the summertime dream here in Whistler? Gorgeous people. Lovely people with great bodies and cool style and good hair.

Sure it’s a little more in your face at a place like Rainbow Park on a 30 degree Saturday afternoon, but look around you. Consider your nannies, your neighbours, the people that check your groceries and pour your drinks and fix your cars. At the risk of sounding like that schizo guy from ‘A Beautiful Mind’, the attractiveness quotient is considerably higher here than anywhere else.

Last month I took in the Whistler High School musical production of 'Anything Goes', which featured a cast of genuinely attractive teenagers. Not the contrived, plastic surgery-enhanced Paris Hiltonites you’d expect to see in Beverley Hills classrooms, just a bunch of damn good-looking kids.

And it’s not just the domain of the young.

The Whistler Museum’s January documentary film project Community Now: The People of Whistler Part I has received accolades for its unique presentation of Whistler’s spoken history, but I would like to take a moment to also point out that it was a damn good-looking bunch of seniors that were speaking that history. These are not the food court dwellers of the lesser mall circuit, congregating over smokes and donuts, oxygen tanks at their sides, defeat in their eyes. These are Whistler seniors. Something entirely different.

I’m not saying everyone here is model-perfect. God knows I’m not. Just on the whole, I’m talking about a level of general attractiveness.

If you don’t believe me, all you have to do is leave for a spell. That’ll more than drive it home.

It happened to me recently. In the interest of protecting the innocent, I’d like to say it was in a city that rhymes with Breadminton, the place where I was born and raised and to which I returned on a brief family visit.

I turned my observational capacities on autopilot for most of the short plane trip, preferring to zone out with my nose in a daily news publication. But upon landing in this northern Alberta metropolis, I ditched the printed word and took off the blinders and was hit in the face with a level of general unattractiveness to which my Whistler-conditioned brain was quite unaccustomed.

Gigantic rear ends stuffed into sweatpants waddled around in running shoes. One well-meaning woman had topped off a carefully chosen outfit with a horrid fe-mullet dyed a gruesome peroxide orange.

On the men, an abundance of Canadian tuxedos – that hoser-esque uniform of ill-fitting jeans, corduroy collared jean-jackets, tucked in plaid shirt and baseball caps. Pale, grim and pudgy, they stepped outside the airport terminal to smoke while scowling at the brightness of the sun, no halter-topped babes volunteering to give them a light.

To be fair, not everyone in Breadminton is a gargoyle and a healthy element of that city is incredibly attractive. Check out one of the cool independent music scene shows if you need proof. But there is an element of ugliness that a city, such as Breadminton has, that a place like Whistler simply does not.

Take a trip to a big box Wal-Mart in one of those cluster complexes on the edge of any random city sometime and you’ll see how the other half lives, grossly illuminated under buzzing fluorescent lights.

Whistler doesn’t have this. It doesn’t have a Wal-Mart. It has parks with swimmable lakes at the base of majestic mountains. It has the power to create beautiful people the same way the city grind can sap youth and vitality.

The people that really live here in Whistler give up a lot to live here. But they gain a lot too. They live in a place that makes you feel good on the inside, which can’t help but come out somehow.

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