Sometimes we drink to acquire some courage when going to a date, because alcohol can make some of the fear go away. Other people drink just for the sake of fun, for that positive dizzy feeling, and some do it without caution and make fools out of themselves. Even though we are not claiming that drinking is good for you or your health, there are some indications that drinking in moderation, specifically not more or less than the equivalent of one glass of wine, can make a person look more attractive. But don’t think two glasses will do more or the same – it’s quite the opposite actually.
So, if you are trying to be appealing to someone, don’t have more than one drink, as according to a new study published in Alcohol and Alcoholism less than a month ago, a person who had 1 glass of wine is more attractive than a sober person, while someone who is sober appears to be more attractive than the same person after two or more drinks. These changes in attractiveness happen because of the changes in appearance – facial expressions change with every glass of alcohol.
The mentioned study compared the facial expressions of 40 students at the University of Bristol at three stages: when they were sober, after one glass of alcohol (equivalent to 250ml of 14% alcohol wine), and after two glasses of alcohol. At each stage, a picture of each participant was taken and later they were given to sober respondents for comparison. For each picture, the participants didn’t make forced facial expressions but were asked to pose naturally.
The students who compared the pictures were sober and didn’t participate in the drinking experiment. Each of these students were given two pictures to compare. First the ‘sober’ picture with the ‘1-glass’ picture, where most students reported that the person is slightly more attractive in the ‘1-glass’ picture than in the ‘sober’ one. But when given the ‘sober’ picture and the ‘two-glasses’ picture, the students said that the person is more attractive in the ‘sober’ picture.
- One drink causes “the right amount” of muscle relaxation, pupil dilation and blushing.
Marcus Munafò, a senior researcher in the study we are talking about, and a professor of biological psychology at the university where the study took place, explained the results saying that a small amount of alcohol makes a person more attractive, while more alcohol doesn’t do the same. Along with his colleagues, he suggested that it happens due to several reasons. First, when a person drinks a small amount of alcohol, the pupils dilate and that is perceived as something positive in the eyes of a ‘spectator’. Another reason is that after one drink muscles relax just enough for the person to look attractive and comfortable. However, after two drinks, this no longer is attractive. But the most probable reason for this change in attractiveness may be the blushing. Namely, after one glass of alcohol the complexion changes into a slightly rosier color, and the face looks healthier and brighter, and therefore more attractive. No wonder many women put blush in the form of make up, they must know that it makes them more desirable.
Anyhow, one drink can be said to be healthy to some extent. For example, some people say that it’s good to have one glass of wine per day, because it’s healthy for the heart and blood. But anything more than one glass stops being healthy. Maybe that healthy moment is actually what makes a person look more attractive. But these are just speculations.
This study was conducted in a controlled environment, where the people who drank alcohol were separated from those who didn’t, and the people who evaluated the pictures didn’t have anything to drink. This means that it is not certain what the results would be like if the evaluators took some alcohol as well, or if they were all in, for example, a club, and the evaluation happened live, and not over some pictures.