The Beer Goggle Defense


Beer goggles. They are mysterious. Like Loch Ness or Sasquatch, some deny their existence. These deniers are usually women with impeccably pressed cotton shifts who don’t know the hell that is smeared mascara. But the rest of us know better.

These some, who shall remain nameless, may kick back a beer or five and wake up with a broken high heel and dim recollections of dancing on a bar. And they might admit to wearing beer goggles from time to time. Even though we (I mean, THEY) know that beer goggles are really just a product of our inebriated imaginations. Right?

Wrong! New evidence shows that beer goggles are real. Men and women in real-life white coats have performed experiments proving their existence. Discovery News recently reported that beer goggles are in fact a fact of nature. And apparently, it is all about the symmetry of the face.

Symmetry plays an important part in defining beauty. Experts point out that symmetry in the face is all about the human eye recognizing “averageness” – that is, someone like Angelina Jolie is considered très magnifique because she really just has a more symmetrical, average face. We’re all hard-wired to like symmetry, as our brains think symmetrical faces connote reproductive fitness. People with less symmetrical faces are thought by our evolutionary subconscious to have a poorer health background.

In other words, most of us are bee-bopping along looking for symmetrical “fit” faces. But what happens when we drink? Apparently, we throw evolutionary behavior down the tubes. A recent study reveals that drinking prevents us from detecting asymmetrical faces. Therefore, our inebriated eyes see people we might not soberly find attractive “¦ attractive. So if someone looks like a Picasso’s Woman with a Flower, if you drink they might look like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Lewis Halsey of Roehampton University in London conducted this study on drunken attraction. With some colleagues, Halsey went over to some campus bars to take notes. They showed symmetrical and asymmetrical faces to drunk and sober students. The sober students were more able to detect symmetrical faces and showed greater preferences for them.

And the umbrella on our cocktail? Apparently women are more prone to beer goggles than men. Experts think this is because men tend to be more visually oriented than women and more stimulated by who they see.

And what will this mean to all of us who wake up next Fred Flintstone after going to bed with Brad Pitt? Yes, it really was our beer goggles. Now if we could only find a way to make them match our eye makeup.

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Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.