Similar to beer goggles (which makes unattractive people attractive due to drinking beer), wine goggles make pretentious, ugly art attractive. This is why wine is almost always served at art shows and gallery openings.
Brad: “Buffy, why is this hideous thing hanging on the wall?!?”
Buffy: “I bought it at Harriet’s gallery opening this weekend. I drank too way too much wine. It looked better last night.”
Brad: “You had wine goggles on.”
We’ve all heard the term Wine Goggles, sometimes referred to as beer goggles by the lads and we are all well aware of the somewhat cringe worthy connotations; we drink too much, we ‘get loose’ as the saying goes. We then find ourselves more attracted to certain people when drinking than we would ever do when sober and soon we are behaving in a more sexually promiscuous manner than we could ever contemplate when not inebriated. In the morning we are left with a convenient excuse for our questionable behavior, complaining that we had the dreaded ‘wine goggles’ on.
However, a couple of recent studies from opposite sides of the globe have suggested that there might be something more to this convenient little excuse and it starts to look a lot more like an inconvenient truth.
Wine Spectator Magazine last December, published an article by Douglas de Jesus that reported a group of researchers in China studied the phenomena and came out with some striking results.
The researchers split up the participants of the study into two groups; one group was given alcohol and the other a placebo. The two groups where then shown pictures of faces and landscapes and asked to rate then for their attractiveness. The researchers found that pictures rated as low in attractiveness were given higher ratings once alcohol had been consumed. This was solely put down to a deterioration of the eyesight after alcohol consumption.
Even more radical findings were arrived at by a research team form Bristol University in the U.K. who suggest that drinking wine not only has the ability to make others more attractive to us, it can also make us more attractive to others!
In a paper entitled: Increased Facial Attractiveness Following Moderate, but not High, Alcohol Consumption:
Social alcohol consumers completed an attractiveness-rating task, in which they were presented with pairs of photographs depicting the same individual, photographed while sober and after having consumed alcohol and required to decide which image was more attractive.
Photographs of individuals who had consumed a low dose of alcohol were rated as more attractive than photographs of sober individuals. This was not observed for photographs of individuals who had consumed a high dose of alcohol.
In addition to perceiving others as more attractive, a mildly intoxicated alcohol consumer may also be perceived as more attractive by others.
The researchers make no claims as to having conclusive proof of why this happens but, they do put forward some interesting theories in the full paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agv010
In the meantime, we may as well all start replacing the traditional toast of ‘here’s to your good health’ with ‘here’s to your increased facial attractiveness’.