Beauty Is Not In The Eye Of The Beer Holder, As Beer Goggles Myth Is Quashed

A man holding two pints

It seems liquid courage is the cause of beer goggles. Credit: Freepik

“Beer goggles,” the magical elixir that supposedly transforms everyone into supermodels after a few sips of alcohol.

But science now says it might not be the magic potion we thought it was.

Research reveals that instead of actually giving people a makeover, alcohol might just be serving up a hearty dose of ‘liquid confidence’, the kind that turns you into the life of the party, and suddenly makes approaching that attractive someone seem like a fantastic idea.

Let’s hop into the time machine back to the 1980’s, where the term “beer goggles” first wobbled into existence, thanks to genius university lads in North America.

And while the idea might have been the stuff of legendary bar tales, the truth is, science hadn’t really sat down to investigate the love affair between alcohol and good looks, reported The New Scientist on Wednesday, August 30.

Previous attempts to crack the code usually involved having people rate each other’s attractiveness while flipping between sober and one too many.

A drunk man
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. Or maybe just beer. Credit: Kues1/Freepik

But the results were inconclusive.

Professor Molly Bowdring from the Stanford Prevention Research Centre, decided to crack the cocktail code open. She and Michael Sayette from the University of Pittsburgh, rounded up 18 heterosexual men for a social experiment.

The lads were presented with pictures of people they might just meet in the future.

They were then divided into two teams: one that enjoyed a delightful blend of vodka and cranberry juice and the others had a non-alcoholic beverage.

So, did the alcohol sprinkle a dash of fairy dust on these folks’ perceptions?

Turns out, not so much. After the photo-rating fiesta, they were asked to pick the folks they’d like to rendezvous with in the future.

Those who were a bit tipsy gained some liquid courage and were 1.71 times more likely to pick their top four lookers for a potential future meetup.

Turns out, beer goggles might not be giving Hollywood makeovers, but they’re definitely handing out VIP passes to the courage train.

Man looking like superman
Here comes the beer goggle train. Credit: Wayhomestudio/Freepik

All aboard!

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.