Are “Beer Goggles” Real?

People With Beer BottlesEvery ugly man and woman who has ever gone out to club on a Friday night hoping to hook up has had the same thought on which all of their hopes and dreams rested: “Beer goggles.” Beer goggles refer to that magical state of drunkenness in which members of the opposite sex suddenly become considerably more attractive to you. Like the yeti, the Sasquatch, and the little green men from outer space, either you believe in beer goggles, or you don’t.

The trick with beer goggles is to find a potential partner who is drunk enough to actually think that you’re attractive, but not so drunk that they throw up on you or pass out before you get to consummate the, uh, relationship. This takes some major self-assessment skills, because you need to know exactly how ugly you are to know how drunk your target needs to be. If you’re a “six,” you can probably hook up early in the evening; if you’re a “two,” you’re going to be waiting until closing time.

Is there medical support for the idea of beer goggles?

There are some things that we know alcohol can do, medically. It’s a depressant, so it can slow down reaction times and make you sleepy. According to the website, The Human Condition, alcohol can make you feel warm and not even notice if the environment around you is becoming colder. Most importantly for dating purposes, it can impair your judgment.

Impaired judgment is at the heart of the idea of beer goggles. When your judgment is impaired, the “six” at the bar looks like a “nine.” For that matter, the “two” at the bar might look like a human being.

There is also support for the idea that your judgment becomes more impaired the more that you drink. This means that there could, theoretically, be a time when the “two” at the bar begins to look like a “nine,” or the bar itself begins to look like a “six.”

Is there a psychological component to beer goggles?

One component of the beer goggles phenomenon is confidence. If the person on the hunt is more confident, they will be more likely to approach somebody, good-looking or not. If the person being courted is more confident, they will carry themselves better and naturally look more attractive. An article on The Huffington Post reports that there is research to indicate that people who had more to drink believed that they were more attractive.

Perhaps the more interesting thing to come from the Huffington Post article was that people even thought they were more attractive if they thought they were drinking alcohol. Part of the research involved giving test subjects drinks that may or may not be alcohol and they had to guess whether or not the drink was alcoholic and rate their own attractiveness. Those who thought they were drinking alcohol, whether they really were or not, rated themselves as being more attractive.

It stands to reason that, if the mere thought of drinking alcohol makes people think that they’re more attractive, it might also make people believe that other people are more attractive, too. This is especially true since the idea of beer goggles has been around for so long and people may simply expect the phenomenon to exist, whether it really does or not.

What are the dangers of beer goggles?

The biggest danger of beer goggles is waking up the next morning in a strange room with someone from the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in Star Wars. It could get worse, of course; you could wake up married to that person, or impregnated by them, which is even more concerning if you’re a guy. Or they could be in love with you.

The same impaired judgment that causes beer goggles could get you into other predicaments, too. You could end up in bed with your best friend’s girlfriend, or your boss’ daughter, or somebody’s pet gerbil. You could also end up in jail, and then who knows what kind of trouble beer goggles will get you into?

What are the benefits of beer goggles?

One could probably make a fairly convincing argument that beer goggles and drinking in general are the driving forces behind dating and mating in the modern era. People have a natural tendency to be insecure about themselves and judgmental about others.

Alcohol boosts your own confidence and the beer goggle effect makes you see others in a better light, which makes you more likely to approach them and buy them a drink, which in turn might get them drunk enough to think that you’re attractive. Without the alcohol, you end up with one average-looking, insecure person glaring at another average-looking, insecure person across the room and everybody goes home alone.

The idea of beer goggles has been around for a long time, and people believe it exists. That belief, coupled with the impaired judgment that comes with drinking alcohol, makes the phenomenon real enough to be a factor in bars and nightclubs around the world on a nightly basis.