The Urban Dictionary defines beer goggles as the “phenomenon in which one’s consumption of alcohol makes physically unattractive persons appear beautiful.”
A recent study in the journal Alcohol has found a reason why some of us might find people we normally would consider ugly to be handsome: we stop noticing facial symmetry.
In a new study, scientists went to bars near their university in England and asked students to participate in a small experiment. The students were given a breathalyzer test to determine whether or not they were drunk and then asked to determine which photo in a pair, repeated for 20 pairs, was the more attractive and which was the more symmetrical.
Students who were sober found symmetrical faces more attractive and were able to determine more readily which were the more symmetrical faces. But the drunk students lost both their preference for symmetry and their ability to detect it. Women more readily lost this ability than did men.