Science Shows 'Beer Goggles' Work in Reverse, Too

Image by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/intangible/2284056766">IntangibleArts</a>/Flickr/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons</a>

We all know about beer goggles: after a few drinks and perhaps some moody bar lighting, other people start to look more attractive to the drinker. But what about the drinker looking more attractive to other people?

A new study from the University of Bristol in the UK and Macquarie University in Australia found that social drinkers actually do look more sultry after a couple glasses of alcohol (but no more than that).

The researchers asked pre-screened participants to have their pictures taken at three different points: once when they were sober, another after two glasses of wine, and finally after four glasses of wine (about 2/3 of a bottle).

A separate group of participants were then shown all these different pictures and asked to identify the most attractive shots of the first group. Overall, people thought the participants looked best after two glasses of wine.

Lead researcher Jana Van Den Abbeele believed the results came down to two things: mild flushing of the face (due to alcohol's vasodilatory effect) and more relaxed smiles and facial muscles (due to lighter, happier moods). Both effects made the participants look healthier and appear more confident, especially in women.

But before you make a beeline for the bar, keep in mind that the participants who drank four glasses of alcohol rated lowest in terms of attractiveness, even when compared to their sober pictures. So have a drink or two and have fun, but don't go overboard on the booze.

Story continues below

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading